Here's to hanni, and to a good book review, too

May 20, 2010 • Posted in blindness, book tour, Flo, Hanni, Seeing Eye dogs, travel, Uncategorized, visiting libraries, visiting schools by

Cheers to Hanni for keeping us Safe & Sound.

Every couple of weeks, Hanni and I take the train from Chicago to Elmhurst and enjoy a glass of wine (or two!) with Flo and my sister Cheryl. Whoever opened that cute little wine bar right across the street from the Elmhurst train station sure knew what they were doing! The three of us try to pick a date that marks a special occasion in the family. Last month we met on my sister Marilee’s birthday, and today marked Cheryl’s daughter and son-in-law’s tenth anniversary.

You might remember my post about visiting Caren and Mark and their two girls in Minnesota last March. Now you can see them here in a “Fighting Childhood Obesity” news clip on Minnesota TV –they’re all superstars!

But back to our wine date. After toasting Caren and Mark’s anniversary, we toasted a review of Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound that came out in New Jersey’s Recorder newspapers today. The timing is perfect: Hanni and I fly to Newark Saturday for a three-day book tour. From the review:

This excellent book should be available in every school and public library.

I’ll toast to that! But wait, there’s more:

The colorful drawings are intriguing, and they show Hanni’s intelligent personality. Hanni talks about how she must disobey Beth’s commands in case she sees dangerous obstacles that Beth can’t see. Seeing Eye dogs can even navigate their companions safely in busy cities and traffic.

Hanni has been doing her fair share of that lately (navigating me through city traffic, that is). She walked me to the downtown Chicago commuter train station to catch the 3:40 to Elmhurst this afternoon, and now she’s sleeping at my feet for the ride back to the Loop.

It is such a gift to have a dog I can count on to get me wherever I want to go, and whenever I feel like getting there. Thanks to Hanni, I felt confident about taking the train out to Elmhurst to meet my sister and mom this afternoon.

Even young children will be able to understand this material about how independent blind people can be. Hanni takes Beth to meetings, concerts, shopping and ball games. She rides on airplanes at Beth’s feet, as other service dogs can also do.

Which reminds me. I’d better get packing for New Jersey. Cheers to the writer who wrote this wonderful review of our book. And most of all, cheers to Hanni.

bethfinke On May 21, 2010 at 9:33 am

Might be a good thing that wine bars don’t open until noon, huh? It’s 9:30 am here in Chicago and I’m toasting you back with a cup of coffee. Lucky for you it’s just my first cup, otherwise this would be a much longer…and painfully perkier…reply. Cheers, Stu!

Beth Finke Author of “Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound” Winner of an ASPCA/Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award Read my Safe & Sound blog:

Rick On May 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Flo & Marilee talked about how great the wine bar was for your short visits to Elmhurst. Sorry we missed you last week. Now you are off to NJ ZOOKS Rick

marilee On May 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

What a nice review! I think that I will send that comment about your book being available to students in “all schools and public libraries” to all of my Media Specialist friends! I meant to give you ladies a call last night while you were at the “Honey Girl” – but I missed the time window. Did Flo make it to Bingo?

bethfinke On May 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Ha! As it happens, Flo just called me. She *did* make it to bingo, Cheryl saw to it that Flo was home before 7. But boohoo, she didn’t win any prizes. All she could figure was, “They must have given me the wrong cards!”
She didn’t call to report on the bingo game, though. She called because she’d forgotten to tell me something last night, and it just came to her today. I like your haircut!” She said I look “in fashion, like the young people.”
I love that Flo. She always makes me smile.

Lolly On May 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm

HI, Beth,

A thought struck me as I was reading your latest post:
Hanni didn’t “Take you places,” you accompanied each other (you are both thinking beings,) or she “Guided you to places.”

The idea that she took you places reenforces the concept the public has that the dog does all the work. As we know, that’s not true. While they do a great deal, and their contribution is not to be understated, guide work is team work!

Happy travels.

bethfinke On May 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Oh, Lolly , you are so right, just sloppy writing on my part. Guess that’s what happens when I try to put a blog post together after a couple glasses of wine!

Cheryl On May 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

Looking forward to your return from New Jersey so we can gather and have a glass (or two) of wine to celebrate your book tour! Lolly: I think after Beth has a couple glasses of wine, Hanni might be taking charge a little more and being less guided…..

Caren On May 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

Thanks for toasting our special day. We’ll always remember the beautiful music that played for our wedding by then, future Author of award winning childrens books, Beth Finke! I’ll drink to that!

bethfinke On May 22, 2010 at 11:57 am

Ha! Cheryl, you are right: Hanni does have to “take” control a bit more at certain times! I am shutting down my computer now to pack it for NJ, Hanni and I will both have to be on our toes/paws through security, at O’Hare, to the gate, on the plane, finding baggage claim at Newark and getting the ride to our hotel. Think I’ll stick to coffee for today, save the wine drinking for my next get-together with you and Flo when we get back home…safe & sound!

bethfinke On May 22, 2010 at 11:58 am

And Caren, thanks for rememberring that music –it was a TERRIFIC wedding from start to finish –and a terrific marriage, too –congrats on ten terrific years.

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