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Walter is a beautiful blond golden retriever who born for a very special purposes. He works as a Seeing Eye® dog with Pastor Diane. Pastor Diane has difficulty seeing, and Walter's job is to guide her through the day so she can do her work of caring for the church.
To become a Seeing Eye® dog, Walter had to go to school. He had to learn how to guide in the harness, how to follow directions, and how to keep Pastor Diane safe in traffic. To become a pastor, Diane went to school, too, first to college and then to a special school called a seminary. Walter was right there beside her all the way. Her job was to learn, and Walter's job was to guide her away from danger as she walked through the town, in the halls, and around the school grounds. They worked very well together.
When Diane graduated, she was ready to become a pastor. Together Walter and Diane went to a ceremony called an ordination. The bishop prayed a blessing prayer. Some of the people wore long robes over their clothes. These robes helped the congregation know which people were the pastors. Over the robes most wore long red scarves called stoles. Aer the ordination, it was decided that Walter and the new pastor would go to a church downtown to begin their ministry together. They were very happy.
Now, Walter guides Pastor Diane down the sidewalk each day to the big church downtown and sits in Pastor Diane's study as she works. As Walter lies on his big green pillow under the desk, he can see many different people come to visit with Pastor Diane. Some people come to plan Sunday services. Other people come to talk about their worries, to pray, or to find help with their lives. Pastor Diane tries hard to help everyone who comes to see her.
On Monday, Pastor Diane begins to write the church newsleer. She types into her computer. Pastor Diane and Walter hear the computer talking as she types. The talking of the computer helps Pastor Diane know what the screen says. Soon the newsleer is done, and they can go home for the day.
Excerpted from The View from Under the Pew by Diane Winters Johnson, Margaret Freed. Copyright © 2004 Rev. Diane Winters Johnson. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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