May 29, 2013
BSC #118, Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer: Hey, Kids! Let’s Get Traumatized for Life!
Summary: Kristy’s family takes in a puppy named Scout so they can train her to one day be a guide dog for a blind person. Most of the book is about training Scout, and how they have to treat her differently from Shannon (the dog, not the person – though they have to treat her different from Shannon the person, too, of course). The book is basically a big advertisement for organizations that train and place guide dogs, but it’s a good kind of ad.
The B plot fits in with the main plot. A local 12-year-old named Deb has recently gone blind due to glaucoma, and she’s having a lot of trouble adjusting. She’s extremely bitter and nasty about it. The BSC girls are sitting for her younger brothers, so they encounter Deb a lot, but they can’t find a way to befriend her because she thinks everyone’s staring at her and/or pitying her. She also freaks people (including me) out by telling them how quickly she got sick and lost her eyesight, and how the same thing could happen to them.
One day while Kristy’s sitting for Deb’s brothers, Deb disappears. She’d been wanting to go to the video store (awww, remember those?), and when Kristy delayed the trip, she decided to go by herself to show she’s independent. But she went the wrong way and wound up in the middle of a busy road. Kristy finds her, then basically yells at her for acting like she needs pity when she keeps saying she doesn’t want it. It’s kind of mean, but honestly, Deb was really annoying and needed to hear it.
Thoughts: I’m glad I didn’t read this when I was the actual target age of the books, because I might have had a bit of a meltdown. Deb seriously freaked me out. Deb: “You could go blind…right now.” Silence. Me: “Waaaaah, Mommy!”
Trivia: To Kill a Mockingbird is one of Kristy’s favorite books.
“Scout was growing up so fast.” You’ve had her for two weeks, Kristy. Don’t break into “Sunrise, Sunset” just yet.
Kristy says a dog that wasn’t able to become a guide dog now mentors others. Dogs can be mentors? Huh?