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The Two-in-one
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Table of Contents

CONTENTS Acknowledgments Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Search for a Guide Chapter 3 Is That One of Those Blind Dogs? Chapter 4 The Grace of Teaching Chapter 5 The Power of Reputation Chapter 6 Feel Free to Ask Chapter 7 The Two-In-One Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index

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The author acquires a guide dog and a new identity

About the Author

Rod Michalko is Adjunct Professor of Sociology, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, St. Francis Xavier University.

Reviews

Michalko, a sociologist, has written an insightful memoir of how, with the aid of his guide dog, Smokie, he came to fully inhabit his blindness. Although medically diagnosed as blind when he was a child, Michalko writes that, "from the point of view of my experience, I was not." When he lost the rest of his sight as an adult, he writes, he had to transform not only how he did things but also how he viewed himself. As he explores his experience of blindness, Michalko recalls how, for years, he fought against the fact of his poor sight and questions his previous assumptions about his own mobility and the trials of everyday life. He found that his confidence grew with a well-trained dog at his side. "Getting me safely where I want to go is what Smokie has done for me, and this is important. But even more important, Smokie has re-introduced me to my blindness." Michalko presents himself on many levels: the scientist considering the meanings of social behavior toward disability; the attentive pet-caretaker describing guide dog training and funny incidents that occur during his walks with Smokie; and finally, a down-to-earth intellectual who begins to forget‘after decades of near-sightlessness‘that he has a disability. He writes movingly about how, through his relationship with Smokie, he came to view blindness not just as a lack of sight but as something in itself, a condition with its own properties. In so doing, he invites us to rethink the very nature of disability. (Dec.)

"The Two in One offers a fresh look at disability in western culture by reconsidering our traditional views about the human-animal bond. Along the way, Rod Michalko shows us how both he and guide dog Smokie learn to scan the far horizon." --Stephen Kuusisto, author of Planet of the Blind "This is a moving phenomenology of blindness, a provocative deconstruction of the culture/nature dichotomy, a telling analysis of the everyday construction of identity, and a compelling argument for the special 'insight' of marginality of various kinds." --Spencer E. Cahill, University of South Florida "Michalko, a sociologist, has written an insightful memoir of how, with the aid of his guide dog, Smokie, he came to fully inhabit his blindness. ...Michalko presents himself on many levels: the scientist considering the meanings of social behavior toward disability; the attentive pet-caretaker describing guide dog training and funny incidents that occur during his walks with Smokie; and finally, a down-to-earth intellectual who begins to forget--after decades of near-sightlessness--that he has a disability. He writes movingly about how, through his relationship with Smokie, he came to view blindness not just as a lack of sight but as something in itself, a condition with its own properties. In so doing, he invites us to rethink the very nature of disability." --Publishers Weekly

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