Have Dog, Will Travel by Stephen Kuusisto (“…a dog-driven invitation to living full forward.” A tender, lovely book.)


Each step is good. Every footfall. “Walk as if you are missing the Earth with your feet,” said Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen master whose writings I’d always loved. “Now walk as if you are kissing the Earth with six feet,” I thought, “and say, ‘Good dog!'” (p. 57)

It isn’t until Stephen is 38 that he gets his guide dog, Corky. And then, his life opens up for him. He can move past an alcoholic mother who denied his blindness all her life,  never “permitting” him to admit to a disability.

But, when a social worker gives him a pamphlet about seeing eye dogs, he goes to New York to find connection with a Labrador named Corky.

This is a beautiful book. It isn’t just for dog lovers, and it certainly is not just for those with difficult seeing. For all of us bear wounds of some kind which make passing through this world a bit tricky at times. My life was affirmed as I read Stephen’s story describing his life. How fortunate we are when something can make the journey easier, especially if that is a joyful, loving dog.

8 thoughts on “Have Dog, Will Travel by Stephen Kuusisto (“…a dog-driven invitation to living full forward.” A tender, lovely book.)”

  1. I didn’t succeed in my attempt to read the book about the cat, but this sounds like one I may enjoy! I walked in a forest this afternoon and didn’t hear a sound other than the murmuring of a nearby river, the buzzing of a bee and happy birdsong. We are pretty much alone in this campground and I must say, rather selfishly, that I am happy there aren’t the annoying sounds of noisy children zipping by on their bikes, men standing around shooting the breeze in loud voices or women enjoying their second or third glass of wine, cackling with laughter around a fire ring. I don’t usually mind all of that (too much), but it’s so nice to be somewhere so peaceful and serene. A place where I can kiss the earth with two feet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lesley, I thought of you so often as I read this book. I know it would be special to you, too. We love dogs, and this man is a poet who is tender and good, showing us all his insecurities and strengths. It is so beautiful. (I would send it to you, but it’s not my copy.)


        1. Not buying any more is a good idea! I saw your library books photographed on Insta, and thought how wise that is. There was a time, though, that my fines almost equalled my purchases at Borders. Glad those days are behind me!


          1. Would you believe me if I told you my library does not issue fines for overdue books?!! Crazy, right? There is a “guilty” jar, if one is inclined to pay something, though. I wonder what they do if you never return the book. Somehow, I think they would make you replace it.


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