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3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  255 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
“If this dog loves me enough to lay down his life for my survival, how can I just give up?”

One misstep on a mountain climbing trip plunged Brenden McCarthy into darkness by stealing his sight—and everything else he held dear.

But a too-independent guide dog named Nelson just might lead him back to life…if they don’t kick him out of guide dog school first.

Brenden can’t accep
Hardcover, 231 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Thomas Nelson Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 462)
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May 11, 2012 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: read-reviewed
I am a sucker for stories involving animals - particularly dogs. This was not a terribly well-written novel, but it WAS a beautiful story of the bond between a guide dog and his handler. My favorite parts of the book were the parts about the relationship between Nelson and Brenden; this was the thing that earned the book 3 stars.

Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have rated it terribly highly - way too much vagueness; lacking in emotional development of the characters' relationships with one anothe
Dec 29, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick and easy read, but enjoyable subject matter. This story gives insight to the life of someone who is blind.

I read this book because Betty White's name was on the cover (and who doesn't love Betty White?), but it was a pleasant surprise and a good read for anyone interested in Guide Dogs for the Blind, who loves dogs, or who wants to read about the opportunities and challenges for someone who is blind.
Sep 14, 2011 Reanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in the Dollar General book section tucked away alongside the cheap coloring books and assorted bibles. As a long time fan of Betty White I had to buy it and read it. I'm so glad I did. This was the perfect heartwarming tale for a winter spent next to the fireplace bundled in my pink robe and fluffy blankets with my dog at my feet. There is no way that you can read this story and not become attached to the characters. You will cry with them and you will laugh with them. Generall ...more
Jul 17, 2011 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real tear-jerker, but in a good way. It's the story of a blind man and his guide dog. It's fiction, but since the author is blind, it's very authentic. I learned a lot about the guide-dog program, and about the experience of being blind. But mostly, it's just an unbelievably touching story about how much a relationship with a four-legged friend can change a life... or two lives - the man's and the dog's.
Mar 17, 2009 Angie rated it it was amazing
This is really an amazing story. I can't imagine losing my sight and going through all this man went through. It really has some good life lessons for those of us that are whole in our senses. The relationship of the dog and the blind is made to where you get that up close and personal look and it's truly amazing. I think it changes your outlook on life.
Aug 28, 2011 Rhonda rated it really liked it
This was a very easy and enjoyable read. The main character loses his sight in a mountain climbing accident. His journey in learning how to deal with his blindness and how to love his seeing eye dog is heartwarming. The author is blind himself so his insight as to how perceptive you become when blind is very interesting.
Jul 22, 2012 Pattie rated it it was amazing
The gift a seeing-eye dog gives to his master is an amazing gift and to "hear" both sides of this story was sweet and very enjoyable. Very quick read, would highly recommend to animal lovers as well as those who love to hear a story of victory in the midst of tragedy.
Libby Caldwell
Jun 15, 2011 Libby Caldwell rated it it was ok
It was an ok quick read. Didn't like the fact that he ended up going climbing again in such bad weather. A little common sense would have been better. I did like the fact that animal and human had such an amazing bond and trust in each other.
Oct 09, 2010 TL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a beautiful story of hope, love, and friendship... it made me laugh and cry... Tom and Betty take you on a rollercoaster journey, your rooting for Nelson and his master from the beginning. Highly recommend!
Nov 23, 2011 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a super easy and super fast read. kind of cheesy at times and not much depth but an ok easy book to read in between "heavier" reads.
Oct 05, 2012 Denice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
Jul 24, 2009 Marti rated it liked it
Heartwarming story with NO death scenes.
Kris Trierweiler
Feb 15, 2014 Kris Trierweiler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life, lessons
As a dog lover and as someone who has considered training service dogs, this book captured my attention from so many angles. First, Maroon Bells is one of my favorite spots in Colorado and there is an element of that in this book. Seeing a person go from the top of his game to the bottom and then find the courage to rise up again - another awesome element to this book. And, the really good information about how service dogs are trained is amazing.

These two authors put together a great, great boo
Oct 21, 2012 Kristy rated it really liked it
Anyone can learn a lot from reading this book. It's funny how in everyday life the average human rushes through their daily routine, and is so caught up in the daily responsibilites of life that they don't notice the details. Brendan McCarthy used to be one of those people until one day when he had an accident and lost his eyesight. Now he has to learn how to navigate and become independent in a world that can't give him light. Sure it would be easy to give up and just become dependent all is li ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for this kind of book: Brenden is a young man finishing med school, out climbing the Maroon Bells in Colorado. When a climbing accident blinds him, he is in despair and even contemplates ending his life.

All that ends (but not before some drama) when he is paired with his guide dog, Nelson. Nelson has been paired unsuccessfully with 2 prior masters, and so he's ready for a good relationship as well. Brenden and Nelson bond, and by the book's end, Brenden has gotten over his pre-accid
Dec 20, 2014 Monica rated it it was amazing
I knew I got lucky when I found this book at a library sale, but didn't know how lucky until I read the incredible story of Brenden and his guide dog Nelson. In these pages I experienced one of the purest forms of joy: the bond between a man and his dog. Even as a sighted person, I could relate and sympathize with Brenden's struggle. As a dog owner, I shared in his love and trust in Nelson. This book is a light and quick read, but also fulfilling and deeply moving.
Gerardo Corripio
Dec 19, 2014 Gerardo Corripio rated it it was amazing
Wow! what a book! Very realistic, in not only how McCarthy dealt with his sudden loss of sight, but the family too! and how with perseverance, and especially because of the loyalty of Nelson his Guide Dog, he managed to turn his life around! Apart from keeping me hooked, left me a very positive feeling! how adversity, can sometimes lead to positive things, we'd never thought we could gain!
Cheryl Mcintosh
Aug 10, 2013 Cheryl Mcintosh rated it did not like it
This book initially sparked my interest as a guide dog user. However, I felt this book does a great disservice to the blind community and the guide dog user. I found many inaccurate protrailes of the blind and the guide dog process itself. I was very upset with the portion of the book where Brendan is violently lashing out at his dog. This is unacceptable and he should have never been allowed acceptance at the guide dog school. The guide dog school that I attended was very particular about who t ...more
Arlys Veen
Mar 22, 2015 Arlys Veen rated it it was amazing
This is a heart-warming book. A story of a young man who couldn't accept his blindness and a guide dog having to leave two homes and how they learn to love and trust each other. It was an easy read, perfect for a Sunday afternoon.
Jan 22, 2016 Joni rated it liked it
I'm a bit of a sucker for a dog book, but this was an interesting read about a successful young man who lost his vision in a climbing accident. The dog was a pivital part of his accepting his new restrictions in life.
Sep 16, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Sometimes you can't see what matters most until it's gone.

Brenden McCarthy feels like he's lost everything. His fiancee. His independence. And his passion for life. All due to one tragic misstep while mountain climbing that cost him his sight.

But he's about to gain the last thing he ever expected.

A big-hearted black Labrador named Nelson who's given one last shot at being a Seeing Eye dog.

Both are beyond hope and resigned to live alone. And both are about to experience a bond of friendship that
Sep 28, 2015 Lindy rated it liked it
Sweet and nice - but almost to the point of being preachy. Got to love a good dog story though.
Janet Valonis
Jan 27, 2016 Janet Valonis rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable book. The bond between man and his dog is amazing.
I picked this up because it sounded like a cute story. Who wouldn't like a story about a blind man and his rescued guide dog finding one another and growing together? Unfortunately, the idea was substantially better than the execution. The plot was unrealistic, the writing was poor, the dialogue was beyond corny, and the characters lacked development. It was one of those books where you could tell someone created the story around an agenda/moral they were pushing. Gets two stars, because I was a ...more
Jul 04, 2008 Anita rated it really liked it
Another fiction book for summer reading. A real treat for the brain. This one reads a bit like a Hallmark movie, but I like that kind of thing. I also found the lack of searing refreshing. It would probably be rated pg if it were a movie. A good book to focus on what is most important in life and overcoming obstacles. It is about a young man who "has it all" but loses his sight in a mountain climbing accident. It is also about a black lab who has been returned to the guide dog school too many ti ...more
Sarah Ruth
Jun 02, 2014 Sarah Ruth rated it it was amazing
Elaine Connell
Aug 29, 2013 Elaine Connell rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book because it brought me into the heart of a young man who has lost his sight. It feels to him like he's lost everything worth living for. He goes through tough times, and gets some great help, but it's a great dog that makes the difference. The process of training a guide dog for the blind is unveiled, and it's detailed and intriguing all that goes into the process. The story works, and the learning is fascinating. I never knew how much goes into it!
Desirae Ogden
Oct 13, 2008 Desirae Ogden rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I heard about this book when I was watching Ellen and she was interviewing Betty White who is the co-author. It sounded interesting so I decided to give it a go and I am glad I did. It was a quick, fun read with a great message. It is about a man who is blinded in an accident and he is ready to give up on life. He ends up going through training to have a guide dog and it changes his life. It really was one of those books that just makes you feel grateful for what you have.
Genesis Demera
Jan 02, 2013 Genesis Demera rated it it was amazing
I cried while finishing this book, its such an inspiring story. My father got me this book and I thought I was never going to read it but over the summer of 2010 I started picking up random books to read and this was one of them. This book actually got me wanting to learn braille, its not the same because I could see but just thinking about how hard it would be to not be able to is devastating, and this book actually opened my eyes a lot. People whom love dogs this is quite the read.
Cheri Stringer
Jan 03, 2014 Cheri Stringer rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed
Wonderful. Frank and with all the blemishes of a newly blinded man who is very angry about his fate. Nelson is the black Labrador that literally pulls him back to life. I rarely give more than 3 stars but this one deserves it.
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