Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Christina  DiBella
The Qualities of James Herriot: Trust, Honesty, Respect, Hope, and Love The Education of the Blind in Europe and the United States and the Use of Guide Dogs
James  Herriot
Link to Senior Art Thesis
James Herriot, a beloved veterinarian, alleviates the suffering of animals and acts as a true healer with the qualities of trust, honesty, respect, hope, and love. No matter how dangerous and risky the situation in which James Herriot is involved, he always demonstrates the qualities of a true healer. His vast amount of love for all creatures motivates him to heal and care for animals in pain. Although James Herriot’s life as a veterinarian is never easy and he rarely gets acknowledgement for his good deeds, he always has a positive outlook on life. His optimistic personality, intelligence, and experience make it easy for the farmers of the Yorkshire Dales to trust James Herriot to cure their beloved animals. His honesty and dedication to his work is another reason why strangers welcome him into their homes and allow him to be the healer of their unhealthy animals. No matter what case he is involved in or who the patient may be, James Herriot always demonstrates the qualities of a true healer. The suffering of the sick or injured creatures allows the genuine and loving qualities of James Herriot as a healer to shine through.

Similar to James Herriot, the instructors and teachers of the blind acted as true healers. During the late nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century, blind individuals enhanced their independence, self-confidence, and dignity through education and the use of guide dogs in both Europe and the United States. Although the visually impaired faced many obstacles in the nineteenth century, they overcame their challenges and were successful in living an ordinary life. This new life was made possible with the development of the technological advancements and devices such as Braille and Moon, which allowed children in both Europe and the United States to receive an education. There were several schools including the Perkins School for the Blind and the Seeing Eye, which specialized in strengthening their students’ education and independence. The Seeing Eye, founded in 1929 by Dorothy Eustis and Morris Frank, became the first training school in the United States, which created a successful partnership between a blind person and a Seeing Eye dog through genetics, breeding, student services and training programs. The visually impaired were well educated and traveled the world with confidence and independence with their new companions by their side.

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