The very moving story of how a dog, Emma, brought a whole new lease of life to a young girl
‘All I had to do was go out of our front gate, tell Emma to turn right to the top of the road, a main road, turn right again, go straight to the bottom, turn left and ask Emma to find the first gate. So off we went … Twenty minutes after setting out, we were standing in the porch and I was reaching for the bell. We had done it: it was a milestone. “Good girl, Emma,” I kept saying. I was so proud of her.’
Emma, a beautiful chocolate-coloured Labrador, came into Sheila’s life when she was a teenager in the 1960s. Before then Sheila hadn’t wanted to admit to herself she was blind, but when she found herself one evening apologising to a lamp post only to collide again, she knew something had to be done.
Guide dog Emma gave Sheila an independence she’d never experienced before (more than perhaps she’d like – why walk to the bus stop the same way everyday, when Emma could choose a new route each time instead?). Soon Sheila was able to leave home and even find love. And when Sheila received a operation to regain her sight, Emma stayed by her side.
There have been a good few memoirs about dogs who have changed their owner’s lives – but none more so than what Emma did for Sheila.
“A delightful and courageous autobiography ... will move you to tears”
“I confess to having a large lump in my throat as I read Sheila Hocken's story. Touching and joyful”
“The year's most poignant true story”
“One of the most poignant works I have ever read. It is a beautiful book”