But Matt's new companion, named Gilly, isn't one for self-pity - or modesty, as he describes himself as "one of the handsomest dogs at guide dog school." A keen observer of the human condition, especially his human's condition, Gilly provides a running commentary on Matt's progress. And as Gilly and Matt learn to work together, the two gradually forge a relationship that transcends the ordinary bonds between dog and man.
From dog training school then back to college, from home and on to Brazil, Gilly relates their story with humor and insight. Through Matt's challenging adventures, new friendships, and ultimately, lasting love, Gilly provides him with guidance and companionship for six years - a lifetime that will last forever.
Not a dog lover? You will be once you've finished this tale and looked at the world through Gilly's eyes.
FROM THE BOOK:
Matt and I made our first solo foray onto campus. I had no idea where we were going, and Matt, it turned out, had only a vague one. The two of us made an extremely awkward team.
As we started off down the block, he began counting his steps in a low voice.
Smart boy, I thought. I wouldn't be able to find our house on the very first return trip. He'd be able to cue me on the way back.
Unfortunately, walking and counting at the same time didn't seem to be one of his strengths. I distinctly heard him say the number 'sixty' twice. Then, I heard him curse. Finally, we reached the intersection.
"Two hundred and fourteen," he announced.
Give or take a few dozen, I thought.