SoCS: Miss Katherine and Dana

This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS) couldn’t have been more timely as I was thinking about posting regarding Miss Katherine and her guide dog, Dana.


Until I learned to drive late in life, I got around by city bus. While living in downtown Fort Worth I rode the bus in the mornings with an older blind black woman named Katherine Brooks and her guide dog, Dana. Miss Katherine worked at The Lighthouse for the Blind caning chairs. Dana was a sweet, but sometimes mischievous, black labrador with eyes every bit as soulful as those of the golden lab in the picture above.

Miss Katherine also had a special skill that I wouldn’t have believed if she hadn’t demonstrated it – she could thread a needle with her tongue. No joke! She did all of her own clothing repairs and adjustments, too. I wish I was able to find the old article from the newspaper to share the picture, but alas, that was pre-internet and I’ve been unable to find it.

As much as I loved Miss Katherine, I adored Dana. She always knew when we had reached their stop at The Lighthouse and as soon as the bus stopped she stood up, ready to go. But I learned quickly to keep an eye on her. She never hesitated when getting on the bus, but if she smelled something tempting in the trash can, you could guarantee she would make a grab for it on the way out the door. I learned the signs and was often able to warn Miss Katherine in advance so she was prepared and didn’t get brought up short when Dana lunged.

One of my most memorable interactions with Dana was the morning that I approached the bus stop and noticed Miss Katherine wrestling with Dana, trying to get something out of her mouth. I can still hear her gravelly voice after I asked her what was wrong. “Oh, she’s got something in her mouth and I cain’t get it away from her.” One look showed me the something was one of those square ketchup tubs used by Whataburger (and other burger joints, I’m sure). I reached down, grabbed the tub on each side and pulled while firmly telling Dana to “let go.” People at the bus stop, not familiar with Dana (and guide dogs in general), were yelling at me, “Lady, that dog’s going to take your arm off!” Miss Katherine and I both got a big laugh out of the incident and the people’s reactions.

SoCS badge 2016-17

If you would like to join in the fun, here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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