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Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory

thunder dogMichael Hingson has been blind for as long as he can remember. His parents were reminded several times that he would just be a burden and should be sent to an institution for the blind. Yet they refused, determined that their son shall live life independently in a world that wasn’t designed for the sightless. This is also the story of Roselle, a spunky yet serious trained guide dog. Fourty-some years later, on September 11, 2001, she will save Michael’s life.

What I Thought of Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust

Any story of an encounter with 9/11 stirs up something in Americans’ hearts. Even with people like me, who weren’t around to see it! Thunder Dog was an amazing true tale of how a blind man and his guide dog Roselle made it out of the burning North Tower unscathed. But it is much, much, more. It is Michael’s life story, his parent’s refusing to ship him off to a blind persons’ school, him self-teaching echolocation, and a powerful message about the unimportance of disabilities in what people are capable of. He strived throughout the book to show that his blindness is just a bump in the road of life and that he can still do almost anything just as well (or better) as a seeing man. He also said that him descending around 1,400 stairs to freedom in the burning World Trade Center was not the most amazing part about it at all; the journey that allowed him to be there in the first place is by far more interesting. A blind man, with the closest thing to vision being his canine and cane, in the World Trade Center!? In the midst of a visually demanding job, he not only gets the job, but also escapes “the worst terrorist attack on American soil” with his life. It is astounding! Another awesome aspect of this powerful pooch story is the thought-provoking insight Hingson provided. There were quotes at the entry to every chapter, which were curious and interesting. Some even belonged to him! There are also bonus features for readers to browse through! The author taught us lessons on how to be brave, independent, and to keep our egos in check. “Don’t let your  get sight in the way of your vision” Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson

A memorable moment is when Michael and David are making their getaway after the towers have collapsed, and a woman temporarily blinded by the multitude of dust stumbles in. She is frantic as she attempts to feel her way towards the subway, and Michael (and Roselle) offer to help. It truly was the blind leading the blind, and they made it there safe. Now if that isn’t to show the high capability level of the blind, I don’t know what is!

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars