Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Taking Juno Walks on Dog Day

by Patty Fletcher

I can hardly believe this day has arrived. Yesterday passed in a whirlwind of activity.

One of the most important things we did was to take two Juno walks. During a Juno Walk, an instructor has you take the harness handle, one end of which he or she is holding. By doing this, the instructor can see how fast you walk and how well you sense direction. This gives them what they need to find a dog which has the correct pull for your walking pace and shows them your reaction time to things such as stops at up and down curbs, as well as a plethora of other information they need to make that perfect match.

During these Juno walks, I found I’d picked up some habits which were from working with Campbell my previous guide for so many years having made many adjustments to various circumstances along our way. I also found I’d forgotten a lot of what I’d known, and this was due to having not worked a dog since Campbell retired in 2019. I was pleased however to see how quickly things began to fall back into place for me and by the time our second walk was done yesterday afternoon that old familiar rhythm was returning, and I knew all would be well.

When we weren’t working one-on-one with our instructors, we were having meetings to go over things we’d need to know when we began working with our dogs. When the Q&A portion of the meeting took place, those of us who are here to receive successor dogs were given an opportunity to share experiences both good and bad and this, I must say, sparked some lively conversations during which much was learned by all.

This morning, after breakfast we’ll have a brief meeting to cover last minute information and get the schedule for the day. Then, we’ll all go back to our rooms where we’ll wait for our instructors to bring our dogs.

As I’m typing this post for you, I’m counting down the minutes until I hear that magic knock on the door signifying my instructor is on the other side with my guide.

I’m excited, nervous and a bit terrified by it all but for me there’s nothing more satisfying than having the independence these wonderful dogs give.

For now, my tale is done but stay tuned because soon I’ll be back to introduce you to my new best friend and to talk about all we learn together.

About the Author

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant. To learn more, visit:

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