Posted by: arnoldoneal | July 9, 2011

Who’s that guy with Brody?

Let me begin this blog with a disclaimer. I am not a writer, although I am writing a blog. I am not a comedian either, although it may seem I am trying be. Telling a story with a funny twist is just my way of coping. If I didn’t have a sense of humor I would have to shoot myself, and I can’t do that because it would piss off my wife. My insurance wouldn’t pay off , and she would have to do load of paperwork. I am not very good at spelling or grammar, I barely speak English, and my ‘southernease’ has a serious Carolina twang.

Having made this clear I will attempt to write a blog about my guide dog Brody and our adventures together. I hope that it will be entertaining and informative, and not to offensive. I will give you the real deal, my real thoughts and feelings, not some made up crap that would go over good in Readers Digest. Although if Readers Digest wanted to buy my stories, I would gladly sell! I guess I am just cheap and easy.

I hope you like following along as Brody and I learn to get along together, and I hope you enjoy our stories.

I am doing this because my wife Bobbi Jo told me to, and I thought it was a good idea. Maybe there are people out there who would find it interesting, after all who doesn’t like a good ol’e dog story?

Where do I begin? So as to not bore you with the insignificant details, I will for go the part about me and say ‘hello, my name is Arnold and I am blind”. Not totally blind, but blind enough to be a danger to society, and it’s getting worse. I will someday be totally blind. Blindness is not black and white. It’s not like a light, either on or off. In some cases its kinda grey with multi-colored spots, maybe like driving down the Vegas strip at night while looking through a dirty fogged over windshield. Hey honey, did you hear a scream when we went over that speed bump?

Anyway I digress. As my vision has gotten worse I have resorted to a variety of techniques to cope. One of which is humor, as mentioned earlier, and another is denial. Denial is somewhat ineffective, since no matter how hard I deny, I still run into things, fall down steps, and basically come across as a drunken ass. My next technique was to hang on to my wife all the time. This isn’t all together bad because I like her and it makes me look good to be seen with her. It is unfair to her though to have to have me hanging on all the time. The problem is that I do try to have a life and I am not always with her. When I go out with my friends I needed help, and lets face it there’s nothing cool about a middle aged fat guy hanging on to another guy in a dark restaurant.

After denial came the dreaded white cane. Yes, the white cane, oh how I do hate it so! It’s like a people repellant. When people see it their first response is to look for the nearest exit and runaway. I guess folks aren’t trying to be rude, they just aren’t comfortable around people with disabilities. And the truth is that many people don’t know what a white cane is for, their just wondering why is that guy caring around that funny white stick? Lets face it, it just ain’t cool being blind.

This is where Brody comes in, The next step after denial and the cane was getting a guide dog. But I’m not blind enough for a dog, am I? Well it turns out that I am. But if you want to read about Brody, you will have to wait.

I will post again soon with the scoop on this fabulous dog.



  1. I can’t wait to read your posts. It has been an amazing ride with lots of humor. Tell lots of great stories! Love you, Bobbi Jo.

  2. arnold, this is your old friend, and cousin, from Cooleemee, glad to see that you still have your sense of humor. I will be following your blog. I am very interested in what you have to say next.
    I have a dog to, that looks much like yours, and he to, is my best friend.
    just wanted to let you know that I will be following,
    Thanks, and best of luck
    Eric O’Neal

  3. Hey Arnold!
    What a great dog! I can’t wait to meet him. Keep writing these posts, I sure miss your humor. It’s good medicine.
    We love you all greatly,
    David & Niki

  4. I look forward to every misspelled werd.

    • There will probably be a few. Even with spell check. It wouldn’t be my blog if there wernt.

  5. I am so exciting to follow your stories! And I love Bobbi Jo for telling you to do this!
    Guide dog puppy raisers will love reading what happens to a guide dog like theirs!
    durga Garcia, Brodys raiser

    • I am so excited you are following along. Brody is doing great although we have had some really funny moments that I will be writing about. Hope you enjoy them.

  6. my name is vicky and i am a puppy raiser for southeastern in southeast florida. i know brody personally, he was in our group. i am so happy to hear he made it and got a really cool forever person like you. i hope my pup in training gets so lucky. his name is frank and he goes in for training in two weeks. July 23rd, and i am not looking forward to losing this sweet little thing. i will be following you blog and can’t wait to see what is in store for frank when he goes out into the world and shows everybody how well i raised him. hahaha best of luck, can’t wait to read more. i love you and bobbi jo already.

    • Hi Vicky, Thanks for following along. Thank you for being a puppy raiser. It really does change someone’s life. Hopefully Brody and I will give you some insight as to what it is like when we come home. We have a friend who is thinking about getting a guide dog. Who knows…maybe he and Frank will be ready at the same time and be matched…..stranger things have happened.

      • hi arnold,
        when is your next blog? we all can’t wait much longer. 🙂 i check every day. i only have 10 more days with my guide dog in training and if you don’t write some encouraging words soon i am moving to austrailia WITH the dog and i am never coming back. i will be on “wanted” posters as “THE DOG NAPPER” all over the states and it will be all your fault. lol just kidding, of course. i will be at SEGDI….. kicking and screaming….. but i WILL be there because i want frank to get a good owner to help. hopefully someone who will do what you are doing. if you only knew how much you are helping the raisers by doing this blog. we are all talking about you and how amazing this is. you are making a lot of people so happy. thanks again. and write soon! lol

  7. Hi Arnold, My children and I are just getting involved with Southeastern Guide dogs, and that is where I heard about your blog. My 13 yr old daughter plans to become a vet, and so we are just starting to get involved in becoming puppy raisers. We look forward to hearing all about Brody, your family and all of your stories. Thank you for starting your blog!

    • Hi Christine, Thank you for becoming a puppy raiser, it is a wonderful thing what they do. Thank you also for following along on my blog. I hope you enjoy it and enjoy some of our funny stories!

  8. Thank you Arnold for blogging about Brody. I to know Brody, I was in his ‘puppy raiser group’. Can’t wait to read your adventures together. Give Brody a hug for me and thank you again for doing this

    • HI Alison, Thank you for following along. Maybe sometime when your group is getting together we can come down and meet everyone and let you see Brody all grown up.

  9. I am thrilled to be able to follow Brody’s life! He was an amazing puppy and so fun to work with!! You can thank me for doing such a good job housebreaking and being so well acclimated to society! We brought him everywhere as young as 10 weeks old!! My husband and I are so proud of Brody and so happy he was placed with such a loving family!! I am looking forward to your blog. Oh, and this is my first experience with blogging; but hey if it involves my favorite black lab, I am ALL in!!
    Jan Black, Brody’s puppy raiser

  10. As always Arnold, I look forward to the ride as you share your experiences in your unique style. 30 minutes!

  11. Hi,
    I also have a guide dog, named Brittania (Brie for short). I am legally blind from RP and also have a great sense of humor. I like to say that if I didn’t have a sense of humor, I’d have no sense at all. I can relate to your comment about killing ones self. I cannot do it either because my grandchildren would miss me too much, I hope. I look forward to following your blog. Thanks for posting.

  12. Arnold, I googled blogs about retinitis pigmentosa and came across your blog. I, too, have a dog from SEGD. He’s my second and his name is O’Malley. His antics bring laughter to my life everyday and the public sure adds their fair share.
    I’m looking forward to reading your blog!


    • megan, have you kept in touch with your puppy raiser? it means so much to us just to hear how they are doing. the good the bad and the ugly, we want to hear it all. 🙂

  13. Hi Arniold,
    Durga sent me your link this morning. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your escapades with Brody. I have an Aunt who raises guide dogs and cousin wh was born with Cerebral Palsey and now has a leader dog Monty. She has just published a children’s book about Monty from his perspective1 I will pass along this link and will look forward to reading your posts in the future! Thank you for sharing with us all!
    Many Blessings, Peg

    • Hi Peggy,

      Thank you for your post. I would love to see the link to the Children’s Book.

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