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

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

In a lyrical love letter to guide dogs everywhere, a blind poet shares his delightful story of how a guide dog changed his life and helped him discover a newfound appreciation for travel and independence.At the age of thirty-eight, Stephen Kuusisto—who has managed his whole life without one—gets his first guide dog, a beautiful yellow labrador named Corky. Theirs is a part...

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Title:Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey with an Exceptional Labrador
Author:Stephen Kuusisto
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Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey with an Exceptional Labrador Reviews

  • Renée

    FIVE PAWS: Stephen Kuusisto's "Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey with an Exceptional Labrador" has taken its spot as one of my all-time favorite dog books. Profoundly moving and beautifully written.

  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    by Stephen Kuusisto is an incredibly touching love song to dogs – not just guide dogs as a means for a person to be

    to experience so much more freedom, but simply the ever loving nature of these wonderful creatures and how they can transform a person's life.

    by Stephen Kuusisto is an incredibly touching love song to dogs – not just guide dogs as a means for a person to be

    to experience so much more freedom, but simply the ever loving nature of these wonderful creatures and how they can transform a person's life.

    So they told him to hide it, to pretend

    How Stephen managed to live half of his life this way and even teach students remains a mystery to me – nothing short of a miracle.

    – it's the fact that one day he had enough. And that's when he decided to request a seeing eye dog.

    is the story of this change. And it's nothing short of amazing. The story goes through the exhillaration of freedom, freedom of movement, freedom of choice, so many freedoms suddenly within Stephen's grasp. But it's not just that. It's also the freedom to love and be loved.

    Read more about how guide dogs give the blind people more freedom and loving acceptance in my full review on my

    . There you will also find more from this book about how you should NOT treat a blind person and generally avoid being ableist.

  • Janice

    What an incredible story. The author has gone through tremendously difficult circumstances and yet his outlook is so uplifting. I enjoyed this book as a memoir but also as a dog lover. The bond between Corky and Stephen Kuusisto is not only beautiful but beautifully told. Well-written. Recommended.

    My thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • Heather

    I loved this book. Kuusisto takes readers on a journey from isolation and unemployment as a blind man to self-advocacy and inclusion, thanks largely to his first guide dog Corky. It's an important book, fast-reading, informative, and beautiful, and readers will have a newfound appreciation for the impressive work of guide dogs and the trust required of their owners. Kuusisto's chronicling of the training period with his guide dog is fascinating, and I appreciated the deftly woven research on gui

    I loved this book. Kuusisto takes readers on a journey from isolation and unemployment as a blind man to self-advocacy and inclusion, thanks largely to his first guide dog Corky. It's an important book, fast-reading, informative, and beautiful, and readers will have a newfound appreciation for the impressive work of guide dogs and the trust required of their owners. Kuusisto's chronicling of the training period with his guide dog is fascinating, and I appreciated the deftly woven research on guide dogs. The story is ultimately about how to live differently, how to move into the world as one never has before (in Kuusisto's case, from reticence to confidence) and there's something profoundly important and even universal there. And yet it's also a story of disability in an ableist world. Kuusisto captures the perils of life in the "town square," as he calls it, narrating several incidents of discrimination, even as his guide dog gives him greater freedom. But ultimately, Corky brings Kuusisto communion with the outside world in a remarkable way. The book made me want to scrape more funds from my budget for monthly donations to Guiding Eyes.

  • Nick Aaron

    This memoir is beautifully written. Being blind is not sad. Apart from all else, Stephen Kuusisto preaches this by example: when you’re a talented poet and you’re capable of writing in such an undramatic yet compelling voice, you have no reason to be sad.

    And the stories about Corky are just wonderful. Conveying the reality of living and working with a guide dog in a very imaginative way, the author brings it alive completely.

    Simply a great read!

  • Amanda

    This book was deeply touching. I enjoyed reading about how Corky came into Stephen’s life and the way she changed it for the better. A good read for all dog lovers.

  • Amberly

    The first thing I have to say is going into this, I did not know just how much I did not know about blindness and seeing eye dogs. I am so glad I picked this book up and learned that my small minded point of view was completely wrong.

    Stephen Kuusisto is an amazing writer who takes you along his journey of getting his first guide dog, Corky. That has got to be one of the best dog names ever! During different points in the book I was laughing and trying not to cry because Kuusisto is so good at e

    The first thing I have to say is going into this, I did not know just how much I did not know about blindness and seeing eye dogs. I am so glad I picked this book up and learned that my small minded point of view was completely wrong.

    Stephen Kuusisto is an amazing writer who takes you along his journey of getting his first guide dog, Corky. That has got to be one of the best dog names ever! During different points in the book I was laughing and trying not to cry because Kuusisto is so good at evoking the feel of what it is like for him that you feel it yourself. Also, the insights he has about dogs and there thought process is just beautiful. I now want to read his poetry because it has to be just as good as his regular work.

    Kuusisto does a wonderful thing with this book. He is an ambassador for seeing eye dogs and not only does he shatter preconceived notions about them, he also is doing a wonderful job on educating people on the joys of having a seeing eye dog and the proper behavior for interacting with one.

    Please excuse me while I figure out how to volunteer at a seeing eye dog facility and try to do more about spreading the word about these wonderfully talented dogs. This also made me super aware of how badly my dogs would be at seeing eye dogs!

  • Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

    I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley for my honest review.

    The author, Stephen Kuusisto, grew up hiding the fact that he was blind. It was not something easily hidden, but it was more a lack of acknowledgement and accommodation of his disability by his mother. He never knew how to embrace his disability, having been forced to hide it. For the first time at the age of 38, he would finally acknowledge his disability and start

    I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley for my honest review.

    The author, Stephen Kuusisto, grew up hiding the fact that he was blind. It was not something easily hidden, but it was more a lack of acknowledgement and accommodation of his disability by his mother. He never knew how to embrace his disability, having been forced to hide it. For the first time at the age of 38, he would finally acknowledge his disability and start his journey to acceptance and independence. His life would change after he chose to get a service dog, who would give him the confidence he needed to find his way in the world.

    The book is written in way that you feel you are sitting in a coffee shop with Stephen and he is telling you about his story. It is very honest and real. I learned new ways of thinking about situations, not just involving disabilities, but how to be kind to all people. There are a few stories where Stephen could have easily been angry with those less tolerant of his disability, but he chose to diffuse the situations with kindness; the one thing the author portrayed was patience. He was often in situations where his conversations revolved around his disability, and further questioning about Corky’s role in aiding him. Because of his disability many people have treated him like he was less of a person. Not realizing that Stephen is person, just because he is disabled it doesn’t mean he can’t still think, have opinions and contribute to society.

    He had a beautiful relationship with Corky, and you learn just how much training and love goes into the process of training both the dogs and those in need of a guide dog. If anything, I learned so much of the training process and that these dogs are professionals and not pets and often need to be treated very differently by outsiders; the book describes the reasons why and Stephen provided many examples of situations he and Corky were in that give perspective to their working relationship.

    Corky gave Stephen confidence. They both relied on each other. Corky was there to help guide Stephen and look out for dangers, but Stephen had to be in the lead. Guide dogs do not choose directions or make decisions, they take the lead from their owner.

    Stephen, through his words, is a voice for those who are struggling as he did early on. He is proof that if you open yourself up to love, you will receive love in return. Corky sounds like an amazing dog, thank you for sharing your story.

  • Jessica White

    So Stephen Kuusisto was born blind in one eye and soon lost vision in the other eye.

    For 38 years, Stephen pretended he could see. He pretended he was normal. He graduated, went to college, and became a professor, all while pretending he didn't have a disability.

    See when he was growing up, people viewed disabilities as a disease. They didn't know how to react or speak to those with disabilities. So he had no choice but to mask his disability.

    But once his teaching gig didn't last forever, he dec

    So Stephen Kuusisto was born blind in one eye and soon lost vision in the other eye.

    For 38 years, Stephen pretended he could see. He pretended he was normal. He graduated, went to college, and became a professor, all while pretending he didn't have a disability.

    See when he was growing up, people viewed disabilities as a disease. They didn't know how to react or speak to those with disabilities. So he had no choice but to mask his disability.

    But once his teaching gig didn't last forever, he decided his life needed a new turn, one that could ultimately change his life for the better.

    He was getting a service dog.

    He had to go through intensive training in order to get his very own service dog.

    In Have Dog, Will Travel, Stephen outlines what was included in his training, as well as the training that the dogs have to go through, starting in their puppy days.

    He also talks about the stigma that goes along with blindness. He talks about the stress of putting your life in the hands of a dog, but once that dog becomes your lifelong partner, there is no hesitation. That dog is going to protect you with their life because that is what they are trained to do.

    Huge thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Have Dog, Will Travel!

    Even bigger thanks to Stephen Kuusisto for writing this fantastic book that helped me better understand service dogs!

    Have Dog, Will Travel hits shelves March 13th!

    Looking for other books on service dogs?

    Try:

    The Dog Lover Unit

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