cover image Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey with an Exceptional Labrador

Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey with an Exceptional Labrador

Stephen Kuusisto. Simon & Schuster, $25 (242p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8979-2

Poet and memoirist Kuusisto ([em]Eaves- dropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening[/em]) again addresses his experiences as a blind person, this time sweetly recounting his life with Corky, his first guide dog, who “burst in like a clown” when he met her. They connected instantly, to Kuusisto’s surprise and delight. Kuusisto was amazed at how different life became with a dog at his side, and his newfound mobility and confidence eventually led to a job traveling around the country educating audiences about blindness and the role of guide dogs. Day-to-day, Corky attracted attention from children and people on the street. Once, Kuusisto walked into a barbershop in upstate New York and was met with silence, which Kuusisto initially assumed was a response to his disability (“Disability scares some folks”). But it turned out that the men in the shop were Korean War veterans and that the sight of Corky stirred memories for them of a friend who got a seeing-eye dog after he was blinded in the war. Kuusisto laces the book with these type of encounters to give readers and animal lovers terrific insight into not only his experience with blindness, but also the unshakable bond between a guide dog and its owner. (Mar.)