A blind man has written a book about a very special Labrador guide dog who changed his life.
In the book Confessions of a Guide Dog: The Blonde Leading the Blind, Mark Carlson shares the story of the special friendship between him and his Labrador guide dog, Musket.
Carlson lost his sight in the 1990s. He was eventually matched with a Labrador named Musket.
He said Musket changed his life.
“If you are a visual person like I used to be, sight was my primary way of viewing the world,” Carlson told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday. “When that was taken away, Musket led me through so many experiences, and everywhere we went, Musket opened doors.”
With the help of Musket, social interactions became more comfortable for Carlson.
“When seeing-impaired, there’s an anonymity. But with a guide dog, you’re part of a team,” Carlson said. “Disabilities are a hard sell. People are uncomfortable being around someone with a disability, and they don’t approach you.”
The freelance writer wrote the book to help people feel more comfortable about approaching someone with a disability.
“People with disabilities are people first and want to be treated the same,” Carlson wrote in his book.
Musket is now at the Rainbow Bridge. He passed away after spending the last two years of his life in retirement with Carlson.
Carlson now has a new guide dog, 4-year-old Saffron.
Lonnie Raimond, a guide dog trainer, is raising an 8-month-old black Labrador named Eisen. The guide dog in training goes everywhere she goes.
After reading Carlson’s book, she said she came to understand the special bond between the handler and guide dog. She says anyone who trains puppies should read it.
“Mark is the reason why I do this,” Raimond said. “It changes people’s lives. It’s an honor.”
Get your copy here: Confessions Of A Guide Dog: The Blonde Leading the Blind