Mom’s Best Friend
By: Sally Hobart Alexander & George Ancona
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 1992
Age Level: 6-10
When Sally Hobart Alexander loses Marit, her first dog guide, the entire family mourns. But for the author, this death means more than heartache–it means curtailed mobility.
Fiercely independent, Sally Alexander finds “going sighted guide” or walking with a cane inadequate. She decides to return to The Seeing Eye, where she obtained Marit twelve years before, for another dog guide.
Told by her daughter, Leslie, this is the story of a mother’s leaving her family to meet, get to know, and bring home a new–and crucial–member. Bob, Joel and Leslie Alexander carry on bravely, but no one carries on with as much courage and sheer good humor as the author herself as she trains with a dog guide, then helps the dog to adjust to a whole new set of people in a strange environment.
Also funny, moving, and inspiring, this sequel to the well-received Mom Can’t See Me sheds further light on what it means to be a blind person, and to be parented by one. The photographs by veteran photographer are simply beautiful.
The author of Mom Can’t See Me (1990) again presents her experiences as a blind person through her daughter’s eyes and voice. Now 12, Leslie describes the family’s grief after the death of Mom’s guide dog, her decision to get a new dog, the training at The Seeing Eye, and “Ursula’s” adjustment once she’s home. Along with details of the dog’s training, valuable information is implicit here, including the range of tasks Mom does at home and her capabilities and limitations with and without a dog. Ancona’s many, crisp b&w photos make a fine complement to the brief but informative text.