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)