Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Puppies Behind Bars: A Heartwarming Story


Several months ago, as I tossed and turned, sleep evading me, I grew more and more frustrated. As a last ditch effort I strolled into the living room and turned on the TV, hoping to catch an infomercial which always lulled me to dreamland.

As I switched channels, a fascinating show in progress caught my eye and kept me riveted to the screen. Sleep? Who needed it anyway!

This fascinating program featured  a story about prison inmates learning  to socialize and train homeless dogs to prepare them to be suitable for adoption to loving families.

The prisoners lived with the dogs 24/7, bonding with them through feeding, grooming, teaching  basic commands and playtime. Some inmates were working with dogs that previously were considered unadoptable.

I was fascinated as I watched the unfolding story about the deep relationships which developed between the inmates and canines and the powerful commitment to the welfare of these formerly "unwanted" dogs which the inmates were willing to make.

The dogs' dilemma seemed to perhaps parallel the lives of the inmates and touched a very deep compassionate place in their hearts as they opened to their canine charges.

While the stories ended happily with the dogs finding forever homes, the inmates felt a huge sense of loss as the dogs were given to their adoptive "parents" in a closing ceremony at the end of the dog's training period.

The good news, however, was that the inmates received other dogs with which to "foster" and train. I wanted to find out more about the canine and prison inmate program.

Much to my delight, I came across an article, Puppies Behind Bars, yesterday. Featured on Petside, one of my favorite pet oriented hangouts on the Internet, once again I was riveted to my screen. The story discusses how  dogs are being specifically trained to become service dogs for the disabled and bomb detection canines for law enforcement. This is being done through  programs offered by seven prisons in NY, NJ and Ct.

I highly recommend that you go to Petside's web site to read their featured article about  this amazing program. Learn all about the training program and the types of dogs that are suited for this work. I know you will  find the Puppies Behind Bars video fascinating.


Personally I think that the program is a wonderful opportunity for inmates  to work closely with these dogs and ignite that compassionate and tender spot in their hearts. Perhaps it will give a whole new meaning to their lives knowing that they have had a hand in helping others. What was your reaction to the story? Please do share your thoughts with us after your visit to Petside.


Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

What a cool story.

By the way . . . we have a golden retriever, and her puppies (born years ago) looked just like the top photo.

What a wonderful memory.

* * * * * *

I hope you don't mind . . . I have tagged you for a meme. You don't have to play. if you don't want to, but it seemed like fun:

SUPER-SEVEN MEME, at Nickers and Ink


RP Cathouse said...

Animals do make a difference in people, ok most people. They bring out the best in us. They save us from ourselves and the daily task we have to do. They sooth the heart and soul if you let them.


Mrs Mom said...

Isn't that incredible? What a great way for critters to get help, and give help in return. (Hey, isn't Sheriff Joe doing something like that too? Love the way that man is working!)

What a rgeat spot in the day Jo- thanks for sharing that with us!

Joanne said...

I think that it is so fantastic that people in general are finally starting to appreciate the human-animal bond and the good that it does. Whether it is dogs, cats or horses animals do us so much good and can help people change for the better. The public library I work at is starting a program where kids can read to therapy dogs this summer to improve their reading skills. This is being done in many inner city schools to give the kids an incentive to read. It's amazing the good that the "bond" can accomplish. These animals are gifts.

Vicki said...

What a wonderful program, and a great story as well. It is so nice that these inmates are able to work with them. And I am sure it is very rewarding.

Anonymous said...

I recall seeing those programs last year when they first came out. I think it is a wonderful program for inmates and the dogs. It gives the inmates training for jobs in the outside world and gives the dogs a new chance of finding forever homes. I say Bravo, and everyone should check their TV schedules to see when these programs are going to be aired. I could watch them over and over again because it brings me warth and comfort knowing the impact it makes on the lives of the dogs and their trainers.

Sharon said...

This story made me cry! Good for everyone involved in this wonderful program.

Ahhhh...those dogs are the best....did you see their faces? So sweet.... I want one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rani said...

I think it's very interesting as well as fitting that these inmmates who many would call "animals" are being civilized BY animals.

It just goes to show you what unconditional love can do.