Book reviews, Uncategorized

Embracing Blindness

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Have Dog, Will Travel
is the story of Stephen Kuusisto, who was born blind to parents who taught him to hide his disability. It is also the story of Corky, the smart and spirited guide dog that taught him a better way of being in the world.

Throughout childhood and into his late thirties, Kuusisto concealed his limited vision. For example, although he could see only see colours and shapes in one eye, he never used a cane. His “aversion to blindness,” was driven by fear and shame, and he led a very lonely, isolated existence.

Then Kuusisto met Corky, and he entered into a partnership of utter trust and gentle companionship. After extensive training, he and Corky were able to walk the busiest of streets together with joy and confidence. His travels connected him to fresh opportunities to appreciate beauty, cultivate friendships, and advocate for disability rights.

In lyrical and tender prose, Kuusisto chronicles his personal journey with blindness – a quest that is both physical and spiritual. He also explores the history of guide dogs and the societal prejudices that can prevent people with disabilities from flourishing.

As Kuusisto pays tribute to his beloved first guide dog, he respects the inner curiosities of both canine and human affection. “Disabilities never vanish. What a dog can do is entice you back into the world,” he writes. “The mysteries of [Corky’s] love and fast intelligence will never be knowable. I learned to like this as she guided me through the streets I could not see.”

(Originally published in Christian Courier)

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4 thoughts on “Embracing Blindness”

  1. Adele, thank you for reviewing some excellent books. Can’t wait to read Have Dog Will Travel and The Sun Does Shine.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Margie. Always glad to point people to excellent books. I enjoyed both of these memoirs and I think they both raise important questions/challenges related to recognizing our shared humanity and dignity. And somehow even with the “heavy” topics both authors even manage moments of humour. In both cases I read the print versions, but I suspect they’d both be wonderful to listen to as audiobooks. Would be good book club selections, also.

    1. Thanks so much for your note here, Stephen. I’m grateful that you wrote about your journey with Corky, a most remarkable dog indeed! And I’m glad to point readers to your beautiful book, so even more people can “meet” her in its pages.

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