Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What changes they bring

March 7, 2014

Interest in the Leader Dogs for the Blind prison puppy-raising program is spreading. Two COs from the Ojibwa Correctional Facility came to observe our training session at Baraga. ARUS Tammy told them, "We knew it would make a difference, but we didn't realize it would be that quick." She added that there had been no grievances, complaints or tickets in two months. "When Copo came into the building, everything changed," she said.

FLD Copo must be one special pup.

Two weeks after our March visit, one of FLD Copo's raisers was faced with a decision. Ryan got news that he was finally accepted into a program that he had been hoping to get into, but that meant he would be transferred to a facility downstate. He had to choose between that program and the puppy-raising program.

A comment on this blog's "Baraga Correctional Facility" page stated that Ryan used "a cognitive decision making skill to weigh the pros and cons of taking the transfer." Ryan loved FLD Copo and enjoyed being part of the puppy-raising team. But Ryan has a son, a son he will likely be able to see when he is moved downstate.

ARUS Tammy said Ryan has changed. She said when he first came into the puppy-raising program some of the other raisers weren't excited to work with him. Now all the teams say they will miss him. "It has been amazing," she said. "I know he will leave prison and not come back because of the skills he learned in the Leader Dogs prison puppy raiser program."

A man dressed in the prison blue with orange striped uniform is sitting down and bending over a small black lab puppy that is in his lap. The man has his face almost touching the puppies head, the man is cradling the puppy's head with his right hand. The puppy's front paws rest across the man's right leg. The man has a tatoo on his right wrist.
Ryan and FLD Copo share a snuggle.


  1. These dogs change the lives of so many people, they trully are special. Cathy J from Florida

    1. Thanks for your comment, Cathy!

    2. They do Cathy!