Lazarillo is he diminutive of Lazarus. The term is used to name the person or to animal that guides, directs or accompanies someone who needs help to get around (like a blind person). This use of the concept comes from the novel “Lazarillo de Tormes”, published in the century XVI.
In this epistolary style publication, the story of Lazarillo, who acted as a guide for a blind man. From then on, over the years, the notion of guide began to be associated with this work.
For instance: “When I was a boy, Claudio was Uncle Agustín’s guide on his morning walks”, “Since he lost his sight, the writer has his secretary as his guide”, “A guide dog is a blind person’s best friend”.
Of this distinguished literary work of Castilian, it should be noted another series of data of great interest:
• It is anonymous.
• Its full title is “The life of Lazarillo de Tormes and his fortunes and adversities”.
• It is considered as the work that comes to be the pioneer of what would later be called a picaresque novel. What he does is make a strong criticism of both the society of the moment and its institutions as well as the literature developed during the Renaissance.
• The Inquisition, the religious institution that was in charge of attacking heresy and witchcraft, banned the book because it considered that it contained ideas and thoughts that were defended by those related to Erasmus of Rotterdam, that is, Protestantism.
• After it was banned for a long time, the 19th century would have to come before it could be published again.
• “El Lazarillo de Tormes” has not only inspired other writers but also artists from other disciplines. A good example of this is that Francisco de Goya (1746 – 1828) made a painting entitled “Lazarillo de Tormes”.
• It has a second part, which was published in 1555 in Antwerp and which consists of a total of eighteen chapters.
It is common, even today, for the blind to have the support of a guide dog when traveling. These assistance dogs They are trained in specialized centers so that they can assist blind people, driving them on public roads and helping them at home.
Among the dogs that are usually trained to act as guides for people with vision problems are those of the Labrador Retriever breed, since they have a very calm and calm character, essential for the work they perform.
The guide dog or guide dog has the ability to warn dangers that certain architectural barriers may represent for their owner. That is why the blind person leads the dog on a leash and the animal is the one who directs the walk, avoiding obstacles that could cause the person to stumble or hit.
It should be noted that the guide dog is trained in what is known as clever disobedience, which gives it the ability to act contrary to its owner’s instructions when they can be harmful. If a blind man is standing in front of a ladder and orders the dog to move forward, the animal will realize the danger to its master and will refuse to comply with the order.