Bonding with a Guide Dog 101


Bonding 101. We walked around NYC for three full days. A trusting exercise. Best place in the world for trust explorations…


We went to the east village and visited McSorleys pub. The place was filled with mid-19th century bric-a-brac. Corky wanted to lick sawdust off the floor.


We entered a jewelry shop where an old Russian woman wanted to give me a silver crucifix on a chain. I tried to refuse it, but it becames clear she meant to have her way–there was something sincere and strict behind her eagerness, like the last chapter of Crime and Punishment. I accepted the cross and she gently placed it around my neck. Corky sat obediently by my side. 


Bonding. I walked up seventh avenue with a tsarist cross around my neck. I remembered a Russian proverb: Бо́гу моли́сь, а добра́-ума́ держи́сь–pray to god but hold on to your good mind…


Bonding. Corky and I together created a good mind, a steadfast one. 


Bonding. Sublime and ridiculous. A cab driver refused to take us in his taxi. I think, “but I’m wearing my silver cross, and my dog is beautiful!” Oh dear. He shouted horribly, the back door to his cab wide open, my left foot on the sill. Passersby stopped then moved ahead, the old New York shuffle, no one wanted to get involved with a blind man and a dog and a fucked up cabbie. I couldn’t really blame them. I got the cabbie’s number and resolved to report him to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Later at the TLC I’d learn the cab license had been stolen–the real driver had reported it a year earlier–I was the victim of an illegal driver who likely would never be found.   




For the sheer hell of it we went solo to the Empire State Building. 




Sometimes I felt we were playing an untuned piano all day. 


We rode the number 7 train to Shea Stadium. It was March. Baseball wouldn’t begin for two more weeks. We walked. Then rode the train back to Manhattan. Bonding. Strange sights and escalators. 










Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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