Paul Horgen, Vancouver Island resident and retired university educator, recently published a book about – and from the perspective of – his guide dog, Kona. “Many people do not know how guide dogs are trained or how to behave around a blind person and a guide dog,” says Horgen. “This is Kona’s story and she tells it to the reader as the book’s narrator.”
In the book Kona takes us through her life up until her 7th birthday. Readers meet Kona’s mom and 10 siblings (5 of which have also become guide dogs); see how Kona was trained and all the ways in which she helps Paul; and find out that when Kona’s harness is off, she is just a regular dog who loves to play, dig holes at the beach, and even visit Santa!
Paul was diagnosed with Retinitis pigmentosa at 25 years old. The inherited degenerative eye disease involves the breakdown of the retina and can lead to blindness. Paul and Kona graduated as a team from BC & Alberta Guide Dogs’ training program in 2010.
“Paul, through this wonderful tribute to Kona, has captured the dedication, love, and devotion of Kona,” says William Thornton, CEO of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs states. “The book also demonstrates to us the wonderful way that a successful guide dog partnership can enhance not only the life of a visually impaired guide dog user but also all the lives of those around them. I am quite certain Tales of Kona will captivate young readers, as well as parents, teachers, and others that will be reading the book together at home and in school.”
Click here for more information and to purchase Paul’s book.
A portion of book sales will go to BC & Alberta Guide Dogs.