The Ivy League of Seeing Eye Dog Schools
As a blind woman in Queens seeks the perfect canine companion, an elite training school prepares pups for the toughest assignment they’ll ever receive: life in NYC.
Photos by Brad Horrigan
The kick came fast and from just ahead as Dorcas Conde stepped off the curb and into the 23rd Street crosswalk in Manhattan. She didn’t even feel her cane fall from her hand at first. Between curled fingers and a sweaty palm, all she sensed was air. She walked forward a few paces, feigning unawareness that it was missing. She stopped midway through the crosswalk, unsure what to do. Should I try to find the cane? I didn’t hear it fall. Use my foot to find it? I don’t know where it is. It could be outside the crosswalk. It could be in traffic.
The cars behind her would soon begin moving and she didn’t want to be trapped in a crosswalk as horns blared and cars she couldn’t see attempted to swerve around her. Now she really felt blind.
Though highly independent and wary of assistance, the then thirty-seven-year-old Woodhaven, Queens, native thought of her teenage son away at school and quietly hoped someone had seen what happened, that they would find her cane, or hel…