Morris Frank & Blake Clark
First Lady of the Seeing Eye
Buddy, ‘first lady of the seeing eye’ tells much more than just the history of the introduction of guide dogs to the United States. The author, Morris Frank, tells how he becomes blind at a young age as a result of an accident. The difference with his life before the accident is huge. The loss of his eyesight robs him of his independence and quite often people treat him rather with pity than with respect.
One day his father reads him an article about guide dogs in Europe. At once Morris knows that such a dog is what he needs to regain at least part of his life from the time before he went blind. And at the same time he thinks how great this would be for other blind people and that he wants to make that possible for them too. Thus he makes a virtue of need.
The long and difficult journey to Europe, with all its obstacles, is worth it, as far as he is concerned. With the help of others and through his great efforts and his first dog Buddy, Morris succeeds in realizing his plan. This includes step-by-step access for dogs to hotels, restaurants, and all types of public transport.
The part of the book that touched me most was the part that describes the special role that a guide dog plays in the life of a blind person, the love with which the animals do their work and the loving bond that develops between owner and dog. Especially these things we do not realize when we see a blind man walking down the street with a dog.
I really enjoyed reading this beautiful book full of touching moments.