Author: Lloyd Burlingame

Publisher: CreateSpace

ISBN: 978-1477446027

Everyone knows that man’s best friend is a dog. But a Seeing Eye dog is more than a friend to a blind person who totally relies on him for sight – he is a partner, companion and an entity to that person. In Lloyd Burlingame’s Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan! … A Love Story, this bond between man and canine is beautifully told.

This two hundred and twenty three page softbound book has a picture of two Labrador dogs below bright New York lights on the front cover. The back cover has four paragraphs about the book with five reviews. Inside there is an introduction about the author’s true life story involving guide dogs, along with acknowledgements and author information. Black and white photographs usually begin each chapter of the actual dogs and author. There were no typographical or grammatical errors but a few capitalization and punctuation issues were noted. Although there were a few minor profanities, the book would be acceptable for reading by middle age children through adult ages.

Instead of a human author telling his life story about his debilitating handicap and how he overcomes it by using Seeing Eye dogs for guidance, this book is written by the two dogs who worked for the same Partner/Scribe who translated their writings and correspondence. Whether memoirs of the older dog’s rules and reprimands or learning experiences given to the newcomer or the young, playful trainee’s questions or fears, both dogs write from their own, history and education involving their Partner/Maestro/Magoo.

The book begins when Partner Lloyd starts to go blind and no longer trusts his white cane to get him across the streets of busy Manhattan. After an unfortunate
situation with one dog, Lloyd has fears establishing a long-term relationship with Hickory, a precocious, wanting-to-please-his-new-master mongrel. Hickory tells of his terror of water, disdain of the vet, panic of loud noises at the opera and his constant concern of not getting enough to eat.

But all Seeing Eye dogs retire after they get up in years and Lloyd sadly has to send Hickory to a new home, free of harness, constant commands and chores. Here Hickory finds his new owner “Himself” as a scribe to email Lloyd his daily activities while his old owner locates a guide replacement. New dog, Kemp, is up for the challenge of being like his predecessor but loves water, does not care for the two apartment felines either and also has to get used to the sounds of the theater, even travelling internationally. The relationship between both dogs and their old and new owners is delightful, comical and endearing.

The charm of this book is the perfect interaction between dog and human correspondence and how it is spot on to what one would think being in an animal’s mind. One learns about the ins and outs of not only the arduous training of a Seeing Eye dog but the frustrations and obstructions of the blind and how both deal with day to day living by helping each other.

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