Ten months into our adopting a collie that was born blind, I am amazed at my growth as a person. Note I didn’t say Sammy’s growth, I wrote MY growth. Sammy is happy, laid back and completely adjusted. In fact, that process took just a few weeks. Yet, as I look back on the time he has been in our home, I am most amazed at how I have changed. As I admitted in an earlier essay, going into this I was scared. I didn’t know if I could really handle the challenges of having a blind dog in our two-story house. In the weeks leading up to adopting him, I very much doubted my abilities to give Sammy what he needed. Now I wonder why I was ever nervous. Sammy has been as easy to deal with as any pet we have ever owned. I often go days without even consciously considering his blindness. But learning to accept Sammy as just another dog is not the very important lesson this remarkable collie has taught me. I would have never predicted this, but Sammy’s greatest lesson has come in changing my view of people!
Because of Sammy, I treat people with handicaps much differently that I once did. As I have learned to not put limits on Sammy, I have come to realize I should never limit the potential of people either. Thanks to Sammy, I fully recognize that people who are blind, deaf, in a wheelchair or supposedly limited in a myriad of other ways have the potential to enjoy life just as deeply and with just as much passion as I do. They don’t want or need me to feel sorry for them; they want me to accept them. In fact, most wish to be given the independence to reach beyond what others see as their potential.
Sammy has taught me not to limit others. He has taught me to accept those who are different. He has caused me to find wisdom, hope and promise when in the past I would have felt only compassion. Thanks to this amazing dog, I now seek out those who are different and learn great lessons in coping from them.
If you don’t want to see the potential of a special needs human then never adopt a special needs pet. Once that dog or cat shows you their potential, you will find your heart opening to accept and love people you might have avoided in the past. And once you get to know these people, you will come to realize that by changing your view of them they have also changed your view of the world. I think I knew this wonderful truth before we adopted Sammy, but having him in our home reminds me of that wonderful and hopeful message every day of my life. Yep, I really owe this dog, he is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had!
Ace Collins lives to write! This is proven by the more than sixty titles he has created in the past two and half decades. Ace’s latest, Reich of Passage, from Bay Forest hit selves in April, has garnered incredible reviews and is already being considered for the big screen. His current novel from Zondervan, Jefferson Burke and the Secret of the Scroll, went into its second printing five days after release and is optioned for film. Ace has four more novels scheduled for release in 2011 and 2012. Three of those are with Abingdon Press and another is for Barbour. Both The Christmas Star and The Yellow Packard were released this month.
About The Yellow Packard
Buckle up for intrigue and adventure in scenic Depression-era America. George Hall, a draftsman, buys a 1936 Packard sedan from the estate of spinster Abigale Watling in Oakwood, Illinois. At first, the car brings George, his wife Jean, and their daughter Rose an unexpected boon. But tragedy follows when Rose is kidnapped. The auto then comes into the possession of salesman William Landers, FBI agent Helen Meeker, and serviceman James Coffman's family. As clues to the kidnapping caper come to light, more than one life is in jeopardy. Will Agent Meeker catch the culprit before it's too late? View The Yellow Packard trailer here.