Come, Let Me Guide You
164 pages
English

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164 pages
English

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Description

Come, Let Me Guide You explores the intimate communication between author Susan Krieger and her guide dog Teela over the ten-year span of their working life together. This is a book about being led by a dog to new places in the world and new places in the self, a book about facing life's challenges outwardly and within, and about reading those clues-those deeply felt signals-that can help guide the way. It is also, more broadly, about the importance of intimate connection in human-animal relationships, academic work, and personal life.In her previous book, Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side, Krieger focused on her first two years with Teela, her lively Golden Retriever-Yellow Labrador. Come, Let Me Guide You continues the narrative, beginning at the moment the author must confront Teela's retirement and then reflecting on the entire span of their relationship. These emotionally moving stories offer the reader personal entrée into a life of increasing pleasure and insight as Krieger describes how her relationship with her guide dog has had far-reaching effects, not only on her abilities to navigate the world while blind, but also on her writing and teaching, her ability to face loss, and her sense of self.Come, Let Me Guide You is an invaluable contribution to the literature on human-animal communication and on the guide-dog-human experience, as well as to disability and feminist ethnographic studies. It shows how a relationship with a guide dog is unique among bonds, for it rests upon highly regulated connections yet touches deep emotional chords. For Krieger, those chords have resulted in these memorable stories, often humorous and playful, always instructive, and generative of broader insight.

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Publié par
Date de parution 15 juillet 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781612493909
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0650€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

COME, LET ME GUIDE YOU
New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond Alan M. Beck and Marguerite E. O’Haire, series editors
COME, LET ME GUIDE YOU

A Life Shared with a Guide Dog
Susan Krieger
Purdue University Press West Lafayette, Indiana
Copyright 2015 by Susan Krieger. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Krieger, Susan.
Come, let me guide you : a life shared with a guide dog / Susan Krieger.
       pages cm. -- (New directions in the human-animal bond)
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 978-1-55753-714-0 (hardback : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-1-61249-389-3 (epdf) -- ISBN 978-1-61249-390-9 (epub) 1. Krieger, Susan. 2. Guide dogs--United States--Biography. 3. Blind--United States--Biography. 4. Human-animal relationships--United States. I. Title.
HV1780.K75 2015
362.4’1092--dc23
[B]
2015014481
To obtain an accessible version of this book, please contact the publisher at pupress@purdue.edu .
Cover photo courtesy of Estelle Freedman.
For Estelle
Contents
Preface
Introduction
PART I: SHARING THE ROAD
Chapter 1: An Older Guide Dog
Chapter 2: When She Was Young
Chapter 3: This Furry Companion
Chapter 4: Our Intimate Bond
PART II: SEARCHING FOR SIGHT
Chapter 5: Framing My Pictures
Chapter 6: In Search of a Camera
Chapter 7: On Not Seeing the Ground
PART III: WEATHERING LIFE’S LOSSES
Chapter 8: On a Distant Hillside
Chapter 9: My Mother’s Bracelet
Chapter 10: Visiting Her Memory
Chapter 11: Writing My Way through It
PART IV: SEEKING CONNECTION
Chapter 12: The Art of the Intimate Narrative
Chapter 13: Women and Disabilities
Chapter 14: A New Pair of Eyes
Bibliographic Notes
Preface
T HE JOURNEY THAT BEGAN when I first came home with Teela has taken me through loss of vision, deaths of dear ones, and an increased intimacy with my partner; it has taken me through playful times on grassy fields as I happily tossed a Frisbee to Teela; and it has made me feel more welcome in the world than I ever was before—because people now greeted me with the pleasure of also meeting my dog.
I want to thank the staff of Guide Dogs for the Blind for breeding, training, and nurturing Teela and for their support of both of us as a pair. I am indebted to Teela’s “puppy raisers”—Betsy, Galen, Emily, and Spencer McCray—who cared for and socialized this lively, loving dog during her first sixteen months. Jim Power, our Guide Dogs field representative, visited Teela and me each year after our graduation to check on our well-being, providing expert instruction and support. When the time came for Teela to retire, Jim trained me with a second guide dog, Fresco, easing the transition. I am grateful to Fresco’s puppy raisers—Patty, Mike, and Klamath Henry—who gave him such a good start in life.
Most of all, I am indebted to Estelle Freedman, my intimate partner, who has guided me often when I have lost a sense of direction. For over three decades, Estelle has been a joy and an inspiration for me who has helped make all else possible. She improved each draft of Come, Let Me Guide You , knowing, more than anyone else, the importance of my conveying an inner sense of reality and the nuances of the life I have shared with Teela. In this book, I refer to Estelle as “Hannah” to indicate that this is but my version of our shared experience.
My second closest reader of these stories has been Paola Gianturco, who encouraged the intimacy of my writing and provided invaluable editorial advice. To the extent that Come, Let Me Guide You is clear, expressive of feeling, and conveys a sense of inner freedom, it is because, as I wrote it, I often was guided by the thought, “I think Paola will like this.” Everyone should have such a superb muse.
During the six years while I was writing this book, treasured friends and colleagues gave me helpful input on specific chapters and the organization of the whole. I would like especially to thank: Susan Cahn, Zandra Contaxis, Lynn Crawford, Carmen de Monteflores, Hal Kahn, and Ilene Levitt. Angelica Bammer and Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres helped shape “The Art of the Intimate Narrative” when it was originally prepared as an outgrowth of a conference on “How We Write: Scholarly Writing and the Power of Form.” Martin Krieger generously offered encouragement and contributed the chapter title “A New Pair of Eyes.” I thank my sister, Kathe Morse, both for her insights on chapters and for helping me with the challenging task of representing our mother in “My Mother’s Bracelet.” Susan Christopher closely read the entire manuscript, polishing my prose, clarifying where needed, and suggesting improvements to the flow of the whole. I thank her for her keen editorial eye, her good sense, and her ability to suggest changes in keeping with my poetic style.
At Purdue University Press, Director Charles Watkinson and Series Editor Alan Beck were graciously receptive to the idea of this book and then helpfully encouraging of my efforts both to tell a specific story of my life with Teela and to make a broader contribution. I thank Katherine Purple for her generosity, her sensitive copyediting, and her tasteful book design; Bryan Shaffer for production and marketing and for the beautiful cover design, done in collaboration with Heidi Branham; and Rebecca Corbin for valuable administrative assistance. Shelley Fisher Fishkin and Esther Rothblum critically reviewed the manuscript, providing insightful comments and suggestions.
Because Come, Let Me Guide You draws on experiences I have shared with others, I wish to thank all those who have made the moments I describe here especially meaningful for me. They may appear in my stories under pseudonyms or anonymously, but they have supported my explorations and have figured more largely in my inner life than a brief mention might suggest. I thank the students in my Women and Disabilities seminar at Stanford University during 2002–2014 for contributing to my learning about disabilities and for welcoming Teela into our classroom. I am particularly grateful to Jessi Aaron, Audrey Dufrechou, Maja Falcon, Julia Feinberg, Rasha Glenn, Amelia Herrera, Shayla Parker, and Tania Tran.
I thank Phoebe Wood for directing me to the San Pedro Cemetery the year my mother died, where I found the grave of another “beloved mother,” Francisca Saavedra, and a way to help deal with my loss. I am grateful to my uncle, Herbert Lewis, for his memories of my mother, and to my sister and her family—Kathe, Rich, Rachel, Julia, and Beth Morse—with whom I shared the experience of my mother’s last days and the honoring of her memory. I thank my mother, Rhoda Cahn, in memoriam, for the love of life she passed on to me and for being smart, caring, and all-knowing. I continue to be indebted to Carolyn Hallowell for eighteen years of constancy and for being with me still, her legacy now carried on by two beautiful golden guide dogs.
Louise Sholes wrote the original poem from which this book gains its title. I was deeply moved when I heard it read aloud at Teela’s Guide Dogs for the Blind graduation ceremony in October 2003, and it has been an inspiration for me ever since. I also thank Klamath Henry for her moving words read at Fresco’s Guide Dogs graduation in October 2013, and quoted in the book’s closing chapter. I am indebted, of course, to Teela and to Fresco, who have helped me learn to trust, moved me through the world with speed and ease, and enabled me to feel less alone.
Estelle Freedman has been with me through all the experiences described in this book. As I follow Teela through these stories, holding tightly to the harness handle, Estelle is always by my side—watching out for us, protecting us, leading at times, following at others, urging me forward, making sure no obstacle ahead is insurmountable. She has welcomed two guide dogs into our life with the same generosity as she has long welcomed me into hers. I thank her with all my heart.
Introduction
F OR OVER A DECADE , I have had the privilege of sharing my life with a guide dog, a Golden Retriever-yellow Labrador named Teela. During this period, the relationship between us has changed both of our lives. This is a book about being led by a dog to new places in the world and new places in myself, a book about facing life’s challenges outwardly and within, and about reading those clues—those deeply felt signals—that can help guide the way. It is also, more broadly, about the importance of intimate connection in human-animal relationships, academic work, and personal life. It is about the company we keep, about companionship, guidance, interdependence, and love.
In these stories, I describe how my relationship with Teela has had far-reaching effects—influencing not only my abilities to navigate the world while blind, but my writing, my teaching, and my sense of self. I explore my inner emotions as I walk with her, no longer facing the world alone but accompanied by her spirited presence, and I examine other intimate relationships in my life that have been enriched and supported by our bond. Yet these reflections are more than strictly personal. Throughout, I draw insights from my experiences that I hope may prove helpful to others—guide dog and service dog users, individuals with pets or those who also share their lives with animals, and readers interested in issues of

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