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Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side

This book is a romance, a travel adventure, an emotional quest, and a deeply reflective description of coming to terms with lack of sight. It reveals the invisible work of navigating with a guide dog while learning to perceive the world in new ways.  In a series of beautifully textured stories, author Susan Krieger takes the reader on a fascinating journey as she travels with Teela, her lively "golden dog," through airports, city streets, and Southwest desert landscapes, exploring these surroundings with changed sight. This unusual account of travel will inspire the sighted as well as the blind, offering pointed observations on processes of learning to work with a service animal and on coming to terms with a disability.

Although an intensely personal account, Traveling Blind extends beyond one person's experience to illuminate our understandings of vision informed by the academic fields of disability studies, feminist ethnography, and the study of human-animal bonds. What does it mean to "travel blind"? What is it like to live in an ambiguous world where things are not black and white so much as shades of gray? How does it feel to navigate through constantly changing imagery that requires changing inner perspectives as well? What can experiences of blindness tell us about sight? The book confronts these questions and more. In remarkably visual detail, Krieger’s descriptions of exquisite natural landscapes and intimate personal moments will touch as well as educate readers.  

Image of dog paw print

From the Reviews

"As the author takes to the road, we come to understand that to 'see' is some combination of perception, memory, and desire. As Krieger explores the commitments between humans and animals, she shows traveling as a challenge for both, but worth it all the time. Traveling Blind is an unforgettable experience, and at the same time a great read." –Mary Felstiner, Author, Out Of Joint: A Private & Public Story of Arthritis

"This highly personal account of the struggle with, and slow acceptance of, her blindness is a must read." –Ed Eames and Toni Eames, Founders of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

"Readers will be fascinated by the insight into service  animals, and guide dogs in particular, learning how these specially trained  animals actually do their job.  This is a book that will involve and transform  the reader, who comes to identify with Krieger's experience and to rethink what it means 'to see,' just as the author must do in her travels." –Esther D. Rothblum, Professor of Women's Studies, San Diego State University

Read more reviews                    Read an excerpt

Photo of author kneeling with her Golden Retriever-Yellow Labrador guide dog Teela

About the Author

Susan Krieger teaches in the Program in Feminist Studies at Stanford University.  She is also the author of Things No Longer There: A Memoir of Losing Sight and Finding Vision (2005), The Family Silver: Essays on Relationships among Women (1996), Social Science and the Self: Personal Essays on an Art Form (1991), The Mirror Dance: Identity in a Women's Community (1983), and Hip Capitalism (1979).

Listen to or watch an interview with the author

Ordering Information

To order Traveling Blind, please visit Purdue University Press, or call 1-800-247-6553.  Also available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s Books; as an eBook from Kindle, iTunes, Google eBooks, and NOOK Books; and as an audiobook from Audible and Crossroad Press.

Accessible versions specifically for the blind are available from Learning Ally: email custserv@LearningAlly.org, or call 1-800-221-4792; the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped, Bookshare, and the publisher.  For further information about ordering the alternative format editions, please visit accessible versions.

Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side
by Susan Krieger
Purdue University Press, 2010, 217 pages
ISBN: 978-1-55753-557-3, Cloth: $24.95
New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond

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