Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Those Big Brown Eyes 🦮

| Filed under writing

 

Being a guide dog handler often means added responsibilities and animal husbandry when it comes to our canine partners. We not only practice daily obedience, but also brush their teeth, clean ears, and  inspect nails for trimming. We check for changes in their relieving routines and   the hands-on attention lets us know  when to  ask for assistance with identifying a bump or injury.

 

On the top of the list is eye health. Canine eye health is a primary concern for our dogs. I know, it seems almost trite to say it,  but one cannot work a guide dog that has trouble seeing. Dogs are susceptible to eye diseases just like people.  This is why the  month of April  and May has been reserved  for free eye exams in a Nationally-recognized program instituted by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, or ACVO.

The ACVO/Epicur National Service Animal Eye Exam event will provide a free screening-wellness eye exam to qualified Service and Working Animals including those providing the following services: guide, hearing assistance, drug detection, police/military, search and rescue, therapy, and those assisting people with disabilities other than blindness. Registration is open annually April 1st – 30th.

 

Bailey passed his exam with  great tolerance and a huge sneeze, which isn’t an uncommon reaction when getting one’s big Labrador eyes inspected with one of those newfangled blue light thingies. 😊

Below is Bailey sitting  and looking at the camera wearing  his new black ACVO bandana. What a good boy! 🦮

 

 

Yellow lab Bailey sitting facing the camera wearing a black bandana with the ACVO logo

Stepping In It 💩

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem

I thought I’d share a slice of life with our best friends.

Poo on a shoe

By Ann Chiappetta

 

 

The day began in good faith and plan

Rising at six a.m.

Busy with brewing dark roast

coffee aroma disguising the odiferous

Tang of poo

Deposited   along my route to the office

Unknowingly I cam across it

And tracked the goop hither and yon

And blithely carried on

 

It was the second time that did it

My sneaker stepped in the middle

Of the big pile with a   squelch

And  , slip and slide

Then the smell arrived.

 

Dog shit on my best Merrills

And stuck in this muck

What was I going to do?

I, of course yelled down the hall for my husband

And as we coordinated the clean-up

With gagging and nose plugs

He said,

“Honey, why did it have to be you?”

Dedicated to the family dogs, Bailey and May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann M. Chiappetta, M.S.

Making Meaningful ConnectionsThrough Media

914.393.6605 USA

Anniecms64@gmail.com

All things Annie: www.annchiappetta.com

 

 

Feline Revenge

| Filed under writing

black and white cat. This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.Feline Revenge

 

This is about inter-species communication. No it’s not about extra-terrestrials, it’s about cats and dogs.

 

Jerry and I were in bed listening to an audio book, Bailey was on the dog bed and May was laying between us on our bed. In saunters Papa, our tuxedo cat. He and I have this routine of him coming onto my side of the bed and onto my lap, then we proceed with the human-feline interactions,  the feline sucklying  and kneading the blanket and me petting him until he relaxes and rests.  But this night May and Pappa are competing for the blanket space and my lap. So Pappa, not happy with May being so close to “his” place, begins to rub on her; he dives in, his face and upper body rubbing her face and shoulders.  He continues until she is twitching in annoyance and begins to scratch her face and neck. By this time Jerry and I are  trying not to laugh . The cat is giving May the feline version of the canine nose boop.  We want to cheer Pappa on, knowing he is doing his best to conquer the space on the human bed and in five minutes, May gets off the bed and Pappa has what he wants. Smart kitty cat. It makes up for all the times when May annoys him while he’s cat-loafing on the coffee table trying to catnap. 🐱🐱

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

National Poetry Month Such a Sweet Nectar 🍑

| Filed under Poem writing

Nectar —  an acrostic

By Ann Chiappetta

 

 

Nothing else as quenching

Elicits flavorful tongue-bursts

Carnival of colors

Tangy pulp jewels,  vine-ripened orbs

Ambrosia’s best friend

Rainbow juice.

 

 

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Annie on Dream Young Arts & Media 🎥🎤

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs writing

Want to check out what I’ve been up to ? Thanks to Dream Young Arts and Media co-founders Nicky and Otis, I shared parts of my life, struggles and successes before and after blindness.

After watching it on YouTube, why not like and share it?

https://youtu.be/ftQOT-6Yc-I

 

More about DYAM:

Dream Young Arts & Media (DYAM) focuses on helping people with disabilities to develop social and fundamental skills. DYAM will support our member’s goals and help them co-exist in their communities through the use of educational and social skills, music, and media creation with our Podcast (@dreamyoungmedia on YouTube).

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Photo of Ann at Harbor Island Park, Mamaroneck, NY West Basin. She is with her  first guide dog, Verona and is smiling.

Photo of Ann at Harbor Island Park, Mamaroneck, NY West Basin. She is with her guide dog, Verona and is smiling.

Reactions like this are Real

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Relationships

We walked into the holiday party. I was already anticipating a good time with friends after the imposed bouts of social isolation as a result of Covid.

 

We were greeted and directed to our table by a pleasant staff person. Bailey, my guide dog, was excited to see our good friends and greeted one of them. I pulled out my chair, settled my coat and bag and asked Bailey to lay down under the table when the two women to my right became hysterical upon noticing him.

“I can’t stay here, the dog will eat all my food,” and “That dog is going to bite me,” and “I can’t relax with that dog so close,”.

My heart sunk and I put on the blank face.  The face that tries to hide the disappointment and frustration brought on by ignorance and fear of my guide dog by others.

 

My friend tells them the dog won’t do that, it’s trained. Still they go on and I feel the anxiety build. Will I have to leave? I do my best to ignore them, but one person continued to go on about “that dog, will bite me,” “I can’t stay here with that dog,”, etc.

I grope for my water glass and wait it out.

I don’t want to be here, don’t want to eat, I feel like these people just stole it all from me.  I almost got up to leave, was close to tears but I refused to let them see me cry. I had a right to be there, too, and because I am blind, my guide dog did, too.

 

a person sitting on the other side of our table spoke to the person who was now almost yelling about “that dog,” — and quieted them.   It took me some time to refocus on my meal and my friends. My guide dog curled up for a nap under the table.

The rest of the afternoon was fun thanks to a stranger who knew how to handle another stranger’s fear of dogs.

 

The thing is even though I stayed quiet, I was angry. Being subjected to reactions like this, while infrequent, still happen and still affect me in a powerful way. I felt confused and hurt by their reactions.    I hope they will remember how “that woman with the dog,” kept her cool and shared a meal. I hope they will one day understand how much it cost me personally to shelf the feelings and get past their outburst.

Annie with pink mask and Bailey close up

Ann and Bailey on bench: Both looking straight on

 

 

Year in Review

| Filed under blindness nonfiction writing Writing Life

Annie Shares News Issue 2.2 February 2022

anniesharesnews@groups.io Subscribe anniesharesnews+subscribe@groups.io

Everything Annie: www.annchiappetta.com

Here’s to palindromes, 2.2.2022! There are ten palindrome dates during 2022 and in 2021 there were twenty-two.  Hm. 💭

 

I wasn’t going to do it, wasn’t going to give into the year-in-review, fan the rolodex of personal and literary accomplishments and ego-boosting feats and phantasms claiming it is imperative for others to read it and feign being impressed. What can I say? I gave in like a cheap pair of dollar store flip-flops.

 

Here’s a year in review. I’ll attempt to complete it in quarters and leave the unmentionables unmentioned.

  1. Two of my books on Audible.com.
  2. Narrating part of the book, Words of Life: Poems and Essays. Gads of winks to Lilly and Graydon for encouraging me to even do it.
  3. Completing my YA novel, Hope for the Tarnished and getting it to my editor, Leonore.
  4. Submitting to more journals and article writing opportunities in paying markets to benefit my craft and visibility in the writing community.
  5. Collaborating and developing two podcasts.
  6. Being a guest on two international podcasts to promote my books.
  7. Posting a monthly newsletter and making it a routine.
  8. Stepping back from stressful volunteer responsibilities and healing my overstressed mind, body and spirit.
  9. Joining a private weekly poetry writing and critique group that I adore.
  10. Embracing my talents in both the physical, creative, and metaphysical places and forms.
  11. Accepting the aging process and working with what I’ve been given.

I am sure I could go on to number over twenty items but won’t belabor it, folks. I am good and find the place where I am now one of wonder, learning, and balanced with stubbornness necessary to push through the challenges.

Peace and health for you, friends. I value the connections and the free exchange of support and care we’ve shared over the past year and hope we continue the connections into the future.

Dreya the book dragon wants to wish you all well and continued flights of creativity to come your way.

 

 

1Red and green dragon floating amid books and musical notes. She is smiling and Ann’s  name and the words “Making meaningful connections with others through writing” is to the right of the dragon.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lost Homonym

| Filed under writing Writing Life

👚 Six Sentence Story

 

 

Where is my underwear? Folded neat and clean only a moment ago, gone like the unmatched socks lost in the great beyond.  The brassiere and shirt and even the socks are present, along with the pants but the bloomers have disappeared. I decide not to call for bloomer back-up, instead I find a spare to wear, dress and   reach for my shoes. fingers brush against familiar lace and Lycra and I smile, feeling less like a doddering fool. Now, I wonder, how did the darn undies get over there?

 

Thanks to Abbie Johnson Taylor and Behind Our Eyes  for  weekly prompts like this one to keep us writing. 😊

 

 

Tulips and Breath and Shadow

| Filed under nonfiction Relationships writing

Thanks to editor-in-Chief, Chris Kuell, I am honored to be featured, with other talented writers in the Winter 2022 issue of Breath and Shadow. Check out the prize-winning essays, fiction and poetry in this issue.

 

https://www.abilitymaine.org/bs2022winter-1/%22the-tulips-come-back%22