Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye (Tales from King Campbell Book 1)

Children's book reviews

What Amazon says

NOW INCLUDES ‘WISH OF THE WEE GOLDEN ONE’ A CHRISTMAS STORY. A charming story about Christmas and Santa Paws and how the pups help deliver the Christmas gifts.

In this magical and love-filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

My review

Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye is a delightful story for all ages, told from the perspective of King Campbell, an older and more experienced Seeing Eye dog (trained to guide the blind). King Campbell appears at night to the puppies at the Seeing Eye School, and their mothers, and tells them stories about how he came to be selected for the school, his training process and meeting his forever mother. His stories help to allay some of the puppies own concerns and anxieties about the future when they undergo their training to be Seeing Dogs and eventually become companions to a blind person.

This is a most insightful book about how Seeing Dogs are selected, including the qualities they need to have to do this job, as well as the training process they go through before they are matched with a blind person. I say matched because that is exactly what happens, the person is paired with a suitable canine companion. I thought this was very interesting as I had never really thought about how close the relationship between a blind human and their Seeing Dog is prior to reading this book.

The second part of the story when Campbell meets his new forever owner was the most meaningful for me. It was a wonderful experience for me to learn about how the Seeing Dog and their new owner must adapt to working together. The Seeing Dog needs to learn to read their human owner’s body language and respond to subtle signals. The human must also learn to trust their dog and this is quite a difficult thing to do. I can understand that putting your faith in a dog, no matter how much you love it, must initially be difficult when you are unable to see and protect yourself. I loved reading about how this amazing trust developed between Campbell and his owner.

This is a book that everyone can read and enjoy for the story and also appreciate for its detailed insight into the relationship between Seeing Dogs and their owners, and also the world at large.

Purchase Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye (Tales from King Campbell Book 1)

 

80 thoughts on “Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye (Tales from King Campbell Book 1)

  1. Robbie, a heartwarming review of a moving and insightful book … your thoughts on Bubba Tails has me wanting to reading and learn more about these pups and King Campbell. A brilliant way to share about these dogs and their work with a wide audience.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello all.
    First, Robbie, thanks again for your lovely review. As I stated when sharing onto my blog it is so far the best review done for the book, and I’m so glad to see the book did as intended.
    As to the comment made on the title. That came about quite by accident.
    When I sat down and wrote the first draft, which I did all in one day, I accidentally wrote tail rather than tale when titling the document, I sat for a moment and then said to Bubba who was curled up beside me telling me what to write, “What do you think? Shall we name it this?” He wagged his tail with delight, and so it was born.
    To the reader who says they’d like to read the book, I hope if you do you’ll let me know what you think.
    I thank all of you for reading and invite you to visit in campbellsworld soon.
    Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Norah.

      Thanks for reading.

      I tell people all the time, “There are lots of great smart devices, but I’ve got a Smartdog.”

      😊

      Even today, though Campbell is now retired I continue to be amazed at what he knows.

      Even though he does not work in harness except for very rare occasion, he still does things related to the guiding process when we’re out for leisure walks, with him on leash and me using my cane.

      Just the other day, we were walking round our yard, and as I went to pass a car parked in the turnaround behind my house, he suddenly looked up from his sniffing, and abruptly jerked me to the left away from the nose of a car parked there. He was not in harness, was not in working mode, but he showed me that just because he was an old man he was still looking out for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How special is that, Patty. A friend is a friend for life. It is a true testament to your relationship. Thank you for sharing such a special event. 🙂

        Like

      2. Hi Norah.

        You’re welcome.

        I’m working on a book of essays, short stories, and poems which I hope to publish shortly after my Pathway To Freedom Broken and Healed: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life Second Edition, which is to be the first of a three book series.

        The book of short stories, etc. is to be called, An Explososion of Stories.

        I’ve so many special stories and stuff which have happened to us over the years that I’ll never tell them all.

        I’m so grateful to Robbie for allowing me this opportunity to chat with all yawl about all this.

        She’s most kind.

        I fear I’ve taken over here.

        I hope you’ll visit us in campbellsworld.

        😊

        Liked by 1 person

      1. The dogs begin socialization and obedience training at 8 weeks old when they’re placed with a “Puppy Raiser Family” They remain there for approximately one year, during which they’ve been in direct contact with training staff from the school.

        After testing, if they pass they’re then transferred to the school where they live in the kennel and work with an assigned trainer for approximately 4 months at which time they’re matched with a person, who comes to the school and lives on campus for anywhere from 2 weeks to a month depending on whether it is their first dog or their successor dog.

        There are some successor dog training programs that consist of partial on campus training and at home training. There are some rare situations when a full at home training program will happen. This means that a trainer will travel by air from the school with a dog to a student’s home and do the entire training there.

        These are extremely rare because they’re costly and should the person and dog not match there is no readily available dog to switch over to.

        The Seeing Eye has the highest rate of first match success than any other Dog Guide school in existence, and they recently celebrated their 90TH year.

        The Seeing Eye is a nonprofit organization. The only cost to the student is a one time fee for their dog. First time handler owners pay $150. Successor dogs are $50.

        When I went to get Campbell in 2011 his financial cost from breeding to handout to me was $78,000.

        The Seeing Eye breeds, raises and trains its own dogs, and graduates of the program own their dogs outright from the moment they graduate the program. The Seeing Eye is the only school which offers complete ownership from graduation.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They do huge fundraising you should have a look.

        When I was there in 2011 I spent some of my free time down in the fundraising department picking the brains of the people who do that work.

        My favorite fundraiser they do is called Pennies For Puppies.

        I tried sharing the link to it but WordPress sent me an error message. I guess it thought it was spam.

        They also have one called Dollars For Dogs.

        They’ve a great tandom bike event every year too and I’d love to be a part of it someday.

        They also have an endowment program and estate donations.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s why I’m trying to get back into shape physically and mentally before I go back into training.

        It is very stressful and the training is also very physical. One walks on average three miles each day and also attends one to two lectures each day plus the smaller classes with the instructor and their individual groups.

        A day begins at 5 A.M. and usually doesn’t stop until about 9.

        That’s all training. You begin at 5:30 with your dog’s first relief time and feeding, then breakfast, and then training all day.

        I refer to it in my book Campbell’s Rambles as “Bootcamp for blind people.”

        Liked by 2 people

      4. LOL.

        Well, I did get plenty of short breaks during the day.

        Each instructor has on average four students to begin the class with. Normally two new first timers, and two retrains (Persons who are coming for a successor dog) Of course sometimes this varies, but what happens is that the instructor will take one or two students out on trips (Training walks or outings) and the ones left wait either in the downtown training lounge or on campus depending on what the instructor and student are going to do.

        So sometimes I would sneak in a doze. Lots of times though I needed to groom or play with Campbell, do laundry or sneak off to the tech center and check email and catch up with family and friends.

        The great thing about being on campus to train was that all meals were made for us. We had a wonderful dining room and they employed a real chef and had servers, so it was much like eating in a restaurant. Also they employed a cleaning staff and so except for your own laundry you didn’t have to do anything. Of course they expected you to clean up after yourself, pick up dirty clothes, keep your room neat, but I remember one morning my instructor walked passed my room, I had the door open and he looked in and saw me making my bed. He stopped and said, “Honey you don’t have to do that. The cleaning crew is just going to change your sheets anyhow. You should be hanging out in the lounge having a cup of coffee and readying for the day.”

        I was amazed and a little appalled. I’d been taught to make my bed before breakfast when attending the school for the blind, so not making it went against everything I knew.

        (I don’t make it all the time at home Shhh don’t tell mom.)

        😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, the processes of trusting Seeing Eye dogs, which is what those Guide Dogs from The Seeing Eye Guide Dog school are called is different for each individual. For me, at first it was a bit scary. Now, I wonder as I have so often over the years, what took me so long to take the plunge, and since Campbell no longer works officially as my guide, I distain using my cane again.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jacqui.

      Thanks for enjoying this lovely book review with us.

      I hope that if you decide to read Bubba Tails that you’ll let me know if you think it’s well-done or not.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked learning about them from the perspective of gaining understanding of how it is for blind people. I hadn’t really ever thought about how much trust has to be developed in the Seeing Dog when a blind person hands their safety over to them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Robbie.

        Here’s the crazy part. Even now, though Campbell is retired, when we go out with him on leash and me using my cane, I still to a certain extent trust him to look out for me. He’s proven that he can, when needed leash guide quite well.

        I did, however have a very hard time in the beginning learning to trust him. I knew he was well trained. I knew he would do what he was to do for me but still, getting that firmly in my mind was hard.

        There’s a chapter in my book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life which talks about the first time I truly worked him without thinking about it.

        I’m doing a second edition of this book which will become the first in a Memoir trilogy I’m writing.

        The first book, Campbell’s Rambles is now available for purchase though.

        It is written from my perspective, and it also talks about the affect my getting a dog had in my personal life.

        Now that I’ve worked a guide I’ve no idea how to live without one.

        If Campbell’s health were better, I’d have already been back for a successor dog.

        But…

        I feel that if I had two dogs, Campbell and a new working dog neither dog would get all they needed from me. Campbell’s health requires a lot of work from me. I figure he gave his life to me for all those wonderful working years, so the least I can do for him is to see to his needs now that he is elderly.

        Speaking of which he is jingling his tags telling me…

        “Hello? I’m starving and I need out!”

        LOL.

        Advice?

        Never tell a Labrador they’re a king. They will believe it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Tandy.

      I’ve not had a chance to look at your info yet, but here’s what I know about being a Guide Dog instructor at least where The Seeing Eye is concerned.

      Their instructors train in an apprentice program for 3 years before they’re given full instructor status. Their job is to train both dog and student.

      It is not always the case that both student and dog are trained by the same person. I was one of the rare lucky ones who had this privilege.

      If you want more info on the training program you can check out the school’s website. They Also have a Youtube channel which shows videos on the entire training process.

      I’d like to say, keep in mind that there are at least 11 accredited “Dog Guide” schools in the US. The Seeing Eye is the oldest and largest not only in the US but in the entire world.

      They began in Nashville Tennessee in 1929.

      I studied each “Dog Guide” program very carefully before deciding to go to The Seeing Eye. After doing so one thing became clear. I realized that to go anywhere else would be quite like trying to buy brand name at the dollar store.

      In short, if they don’t know what they’re doing no one does.

      They train traffic training more than any other school, their dogs know over 30 commands, their matching success rate is higher than any other and they’re the only school that gives the handler complete ownership as soon as they’ve graduated the program.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Tandy.

        You’re welcome.

        One of my writing goals is to, through my writing educate about the “Dog Guide” movement as much as is possible.

        Helping the public understand the whole process helps to decrease myth and misconception, increases acceptance and stops discrimination.

        It also hopefully will bring more of the types of people needed to continue the work being done to train both dog and human so that the standard of The Seeing Eye and other schools is continued as the older ones retire and younger take their place.

        My and Campbell’s trainer has retired. That was a huge loss to the school because he was one of the best in his field.

        I understand he volunteers from time to time but it’s not the same as having his knowledge all the time.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Sounds a lovely book, and putting our trust in anything or anyone let alone our dogs, is a task we humans often find difficult.. I only have admiration for those dogs who are trained to help be the eyes for their blind companions.. They do such a remarkable job…
    To put ourselves in those shoes, and trust a dog to lead us, takes a bond that must go very deep and be very special..

    Sending love your way Robbie,, ❤ Hugs and Much love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sue, for adding your thoughts. I thought Patty’s book was wonderfully informative. I have seen people with Seeing dogs while travelling in England and have been very interested in them. They look so confident and the dogs are so well trained and well looked after. It is super to learn more about it all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Sue.

        Thanks for enjoying the review with us.

        To everyone…

        Sorry if I’ve been a bit talkative about all this. I’m rather passionate about it all and get rather chattery about it all.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You have no need to worry from me Patty, I spend a lot of time reading and commenting, when I am in WP, I think it’s a great compliment to any of our posts when people take the time to comment and reply… I do not often just leave likes and move on, unless I am in mega catch up mode.. And as you see, I too love to chat… 🙂 lol..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Liz.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting.

      There are many books on this subject, but I’ve not found one quite like the one I’ve written in the voice of the dog concerning what it is like for the guide dog.

      I also have a memoir out which talks about this experience.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Michael and all.

        First, Michael, thanks for reading.

        Campbell and I used to go and volunteer at one of the elementary schools here in our town. We did a program called Reading On Campbell’s Corner.

        I’d already done a presentation to the kids and taught them what kind of dog Campbell was and all.

        Shortly after that we attended a literacy event and afterward during snack time with the kids, I found myself in the floor in the middle of a group of kids, they were all petting and reading to Campbell, and one thing led to another, and the next thing we knew we were going to the school once a week and volunteering with the special needs kids.

        We’d sit on this big rug, with Campbell lying smack in the middle of a circle of kids, and they would take turns reading out loud to Campbell.

        My rule was, hands off the dog if you stop reading.

        Campbell was in absolute heaven and the kids loved it.

        Unfortunately when that school’s liaison left and went to another school, the next one on board did not get in touch with me at the beginning of the school year and when I tried connecting with her, she gave me some crap about their not having time for it.

        Then, I got caught up in something else and the opportunity was lost.

        I never understood how a school had no time to help children read.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Robbie.

        I have one very clear memory of a little girl Campbell and I worked with.

        The history I had gotten on her said that she was painfully shy, didn’t open up to strangers, and hardly ever talked unless directly spoken to.

        But, when she began reading to Campbell on her very first visit with us, she became very animated and even gave voices to the characters in the stories she read to us.

        I’ve thought about getting back in touch with the schools to see if I might bring Campbell back to visit.

        Now that he’s retired he would be able to interact with the children even more.

        However, when I looked at the school’s policies, I see they’ve changed a lot of things, so I’m not sure Campbell would qualify for their program in his current status.

        Really sad how government is so very interfering in the school systems now. It’s why so many of our youth graduate without the proper skills to become productive successful young men and women.

        Aww… Best not climb up onto my soapbox about that. LOL.

        *** King Campbell here, Miss Robbie you’d best not let her get barking about that, else she’ll be out in the yard at it all day…

        Like

    1. Hi Teri.

      Thanks for reading.

      You all aren’t alone. You cannot believe the people who don’t know anything at all about this, and of course it is why I write as I do.

      But…

      The thing that gets me is that guide dogs have been making their way around since 1929 and there are copious amounts of all types of differing books out about the subject.

      I suppose lots of people think it is a need to know thing, but honestly the more people which are educated the less discrimination and misinformation we have.

      Right now, the Airline Carrier Act is the biggest thing going. And, the reason it is so is simply because there is not enough education going on about what are and what aren’t real “Service Animals”

      Anyhow, I’m very appreciative of having this opportunity to help spread the word.

      One more thing…

      It isn’t just sighted persons who are not correctly educated. There are many blind persons who have a lot of misconception as well.

      Only about 2 to 8 percent of blind persons use a guide dog.

      I am hoping to change that.

      Liked by 2 people

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