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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Review - THUNDER DOG by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory

Author Susy Flory will be one of the presenters at the Write to Inspire Conference in Elk Grove, CA, next month. Her book with Michael Hingson hit the New York Times best seller list right after it released in 2011.

Thunder Dog is the story of Roselle, a guide dog, and her friend Michael Hingson. I know there are thousands of stories of the heroism of guide dogs; this is only one. But it's a very special one. You see, Roselle guided her master down 1,463 steps to safety from the 78th floor of the North Tower on September 11, 2001. It took them about an hour to descend--barely enough time. Hundreds of others walked with them.

Roselle's story doesn't start and end on that day, nor does Michael's.

Michael had been blind since shortly after his birth, a victim of that period of history's propensity to place premature babies in a pure oxygen incubator. He learned to "hear" the presence of solid objects in his vicinity. When a child, he walked and ran without the aid of a cane or dog, rode a bike through his neighborhood, and even drove a car on occasion.

He learned Braille, but some of his school years were spent where no Braille textbooks were available. Patient (and sometimes not-so-patient) teachers and classmates helped him through the lessons.

Roselle was not Michael's first guide dog, though possibly she was his favorite. Michael received his first guide at age fourteen. Roselle became his dog in 2009, 35 years later.

Join Michael and Roselle as they descend the stairway, reliving memories while they wonder if they will live through this experience.

Thunder Dog is available through Christianbook.comAmazon, and Barnes and Nobel in e-book, audio book, and hard cover. Soft cover will be available in late July.