Guide Dog Helps Blind Man See: Dog Gone It! The True Story of Elko
TALLAHASSEE, July 21 /Christian Newswire/ — A guide dog named Elko helped Roger Brannon see again. Brannon’s book, „Dog Gone It! The True Story of Elko,“ is a remarkable tale of the partnership between a blind man and his guide dog.
„No matter how much difficulty we had with our guide work Elko always had unconditional love for me,“ Brannon says, explaining that Elko is an illustration of God’s unconditional love. „I strive to do the same thing, but I’m not always perfect. Elko’s done a better job than I have.“
Congenital glaucoma took Brannon’s right eye at the age of 11 and his left eye at 25. With nothing but light perception in his left eye, Brannon navigated the world with the help of a cane. Brannon distrusted dogs after being attacked as a child and didn’t even consider a guide dog.
But in 2000 he nearly fell down a flight of stairs, catching himself in time and realizing that he needed help. Brannon overcame his fear of dogs and turned to Guide Dogs for the Blind, a California-based organization that trains dogs and their handlers. A few months later Brannon met Elko, a nearly two-year-old yellow Labrador retriever.
Their seven-year partnership included highs and lows. There were serious moments like when a German shepherd tried to attack Roger and Elko stood in the way. But there were also lighter ones, like when Elko got in a barking match with a puppy named Bailey. Elko had the last word.
„I had to rely on Elko to be my eyes,“ Brannon says. „It took a lot of trust and patience, but he gave me more freedom and opportunity.“
„Dog Gone It! The True Story of Elko“ is available through Amazon.com and can also be ordered through local bookstores. Roger Brannon lives in Tallahassee, Fla. Elko retired in 2009 and lives with a family in Tallahassee.
Call 850-575-7952 to schedule an interview with Roger Brannon or request a review copy.