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Dog Book Reviews: Partners in Independence


Helen Keller once said;  “It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”  In Partners in Independence- A Success Story of Dogs and the Disabled, Ed and Toni Eames share their vision. Although both Toni and Ed are legally blind, they shrug off the world labeling them as “disabled” and celebrate instead their “abilities.”

Partnered with their guide dogs, Partners in Independence is a personal guide through the world of Guide Dogs and the people fortunate enough to be teamed with them.  Toni and Ed explain in vivid detail their world-wide travels as they educate, instruct and demonstrate how lives can change once joined with a guide/service dog.

They discover along the way, how rewarding love is; both their love for each other and their love for their dogs. Having the privilege of meeting both of them last year, I was impressed with their confidence and how they carried themselves. Impeccable manners, accompanied with a warm sense of humor rounded out the foursome. You don’t think of them as a couple, because of their connectivity to their dogs always by their sides.

Their accomplishments will amaze you. Their travels delight you.  Speaking in front of large crowds of veterinarians, Toni and Ed were instrumental in opening up the portals of communication between vets and assisted dog owners in regards to the importance of care.  You hear the triumph in their voices as they explain each new challenge they faced and conquered, and you reach for the nearest Kleenix box  when they relate how the death of their dog partners impacted their lives. You know at the end of the book that not only are Ed and Toni best friends but their dogs are also included in the friendship, sharing every aspect of their lives.

Toni and Ed see clearer than any sighted person could. Their goals are attainable not because of their disability, but for their ability to overcome all the barriers that society intentionally or inadvertently  places in their path.


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