Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Red carpet treatment

Baraga
January 9, 2014

RUM Steve meets Deb and Tammy and I in the parking lot of the Baraga Correctional Facility. "There are some people here eager to meet Bear and Axel," he says. I hand over FLD Bear. "If you set him down he'll park," I say. Like a good little Future Leader Dog, Bear parks immediately. Winter potty training is great - with snow everywhere the pups do not discriminate where they park.

An outside shot in a parking lot (a red truck is in the background on the right) of a man with a buzz cut and glasses, wearing a black coat, is holding a small black lab puppy in his arms. The man is looking at the puppy with a huge smile on his face. A short brown haired woman is in the background behind him.
Steve holds FLD Bear while Deb parks FLD Axel. We're here!

FLD Axel, at the end of Deb's leash, parks too. I miss this photo: Axel looks up at Steve and sits up in the cutest "beg " position, his big front paws curled against his chest. "Pick me up too!" he seems to say. "My paws are cold!" These little guys can't regulate their body temperatures very well against the sub-zero cold.

When we enter a small man door to the visitor entrance, I feel like a celebrity walking the red carpet into the Oscars. More than 20 people are lined up and clapping. Flashes from the camera of a L'anse Sentinel reporter capture our arrival. It doesn't take long to realize that these people aren't excited to see us; it is all about the puppies. FLDs Axel and Bear are passed around the room long enough that they have to go out and park again.

A group of about 20 people pose in fornt of a windowed wall. One on the left side is holding a small yellow lab puppy, one to the right / middle side is holding a small black lab puppy.
Happy Baraga staff pose with FLDs Axel and Bear.
A closer shot of the people, with six men and one women. The man in the middle is holding the little yellow lab puppy, who is giving a big yawn. Everyone is smiling!
FLD Axel might be done with all the attention.

Eventually the commotion and people disperse and we can attend to the business of clearing us for entry into the unit. Yes, I can bring my camera in. Yes, we can bring in the paperwork and supplies for the puppies. Yes, we can bring in FLDs Harper and Jedi. No, we cannot bring anything else in.

A guard leads a new prisoner in for processing into the facility. The man's ankles and wrists are shackled with chains wrapped around his waist. As he shuffles by he glances over at the puppies. Warden Mackie points him out to us and says, "Look at that. They usually come in here with hard faces."

A short woman with short brown hair is standing on the left side. Next to her is a man in a suit, he is the warden. Next to him is another man with a mustache and a black leather jacket. On the far right side is the out-of-focus face of a small black lab. Photo bomb!
Photo bomb! FLD Bear sticks his head into the picture, much to everyone's amusement. (Deb Donnelly is on the left side, standing next to Warden Mackie.)


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