Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blonde Leading the Blind - Book Review

Recently I have been trawling the book shelves for books on Guide Dogs.

 As some of you may have read, I am currently waiting to go for training with a guide dog at San Rafael, California in October. So it was with some interest that I picked up this book  "Confessions of a Guide Dog: The Blonde Leading the Blind" by Mark Carlson






 
Mark Carlson and his Guide Dog "Musket" are residents of San Diego, CA. They are also alumni of San Rafael. Mark received Musket in 2004 and they have enjoyed a remarkable life together and have gathered many friends and fans, including astronauts, war heroes and everyday folks.
 
Mark writes the book from his own perspective and also uses the voice of Musket to counterpoint their relationship.
 
Together Mark and Musket describe their lives together and daily work life, the troubles they encounter and also the benefits that a guide dog brings to the life of a blind person.
 
Parts of the book brought tears to my eyes, the poignant death of Mark's father in law, "Pop-pop" to Musket. But many of the daily encounters will be familiar to the blind who encounter the general public in day to day life. Most of the book is full of information, I learned a lot about the care and instruction of a guide dog from this book. Mark reinforces what I have already read in my study papers from Guide Dogs for the Blind with solid practical real life examples.
 
The book is also very funny in parts, the previously mentioned tears of sadness were often followed immediately with tears of laughter especially the story of the United Airlines pilot coming to the rescue when Musket required relieving at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on a long trans continental flight.
 
Confessions of a Guide Dog is available at my Amazon Store or from your local bookstore and libraries everywhere.