Thursday, February 20, 2014

A caveat

Baraga Correctional Facility
January 9, 2014

FLD Bear was thirsty. When you spend as much time monitoring a puppy as I did with Bear the last 10 days, you learn to "read" his signals. Of course, it only made sense. Bear had just spent about five hours in his crate traveling across the UP in the Leader Dogs for the Blind van, was then welcomed by seemingly everyone at the facility and was now being handled by his new inmate puppy-raising team.

Heck, even I was thirsty by now!

But FLD Bear's new handler didn't understand why Bear was being squirmy. He had taken him out to "park" but still the pup wouldn't settle.

I said, "Do you have a bowl? I think he is thirsty."

In a shot, the inmate handed Bear's leash to his teammate and went off to get a water dish. He returned with a shiny stainless steel bowl and asked, "How much water should I put in it?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "Fill it up."

Turns out that FLD Bear wasn't the only thirsty puppy.

A black lab puppy and a larger german shepherd puppy are vying to get a drink from a stainless steel bowl on the floor. The two pups are held on leashs by two inmates dressed in the prison uniform - blue shirts and pants with orange stripes on the shoulders and legs. In the background are two more inmates sitting down smiling and watching.
FLD Bear gets his head under FLD Jedi and is first to the bowl of water.

A close up shot of the black lab and german shepherd puppy drinking water out of a stainless steel bowl. Both are wearing blue bandanas. The black lab's head is dripping with water and there is water splashed out of the bowl.
The two pups make quick work of the water, and not too neatly!

"Can you guess what's going to happen next?" I asked.

"He'll need to park," the inmate raisers answered in chorus. "Yep," I said. "Bear is a real good peer."

Sometime later, and not too much later, FLD Bear started to pull toward the door. He whined. His handler asked Tammy if he should take the pup out to park.

Too late!

A close shot at floor level of a small black lab puppy sitting between the feet of his handler. The handler has blue pants with an orange stripon the side and is wearing black shoes. He is stepping on the brown leash of the pup, who is wearing a blue bandana with a white trianble patch with red letters that say Future Leader Dog and a black paw print. The pup is looking over his right shoulder and one could say his expression looks "guilty." Beneath him is a puddle of pee!
FLD Bear tried to tell his handler he needed to go out, but he just couldn't hold it any longer.

The handler grabbed him up and ran outside. "He peed again!" he said after coming back in from the cold. But FLD Bear wasn't done. A clean up crew had three more puddles to sop up before the afternoon training session was over. 

"Patti warned you," Deb said.

Two men dressed in the prison uniform of blue shirts and blue pants with orange stripes on the shoulders and legs are squatting behind a small black lab puppy. The man on the left is handing the leash to the man on the right. The puppy is sitting down but turning to face the second man. The puppy is wearing a blue bandana.
"He needs to go out again!"


  1. Oh, puppy fun comes in all varieties; including pee. LOL As one "outside' puppy raiser said, "your puppy will always humble you," as she mopped up a puddle on the mall floor. :D

    1. Hahahahaha! That happens to all of us puppy raisers one time or another!