Tuesday, June 10, 2014

WANTED: Stairs

April 10, 2014

Unit 8 at the Baraga Correctional Facility is stair-less. RUM Steve assured us some time ago that the construction department at the prison would build a set of stairs for the puppies. "They just won't be next to the fence," he joked.

At last, on a mild and sunny April day, the puppies have stairs. And, as promised, they are not near the fence!

A group of 16 men and six dogs post on a newly built wooden staircase. The stairs are on either side of a platform with railings. It is a bright sunny day in the prison yard, there is still snow on the ground in the background.
The Future Leader Dog teams of Baraga and the new stairs.
A man dressed in the prison blue uniform is coming down a set of wooden steps that are outside on cement. He is bending over at the waist. He has a leather leash in his left hand and his right hand is hanging down at his side. He is wearing white tennis shoes. A small black lab puppy is at his left side and his coming down the steps with him, his nose is sniffing the step just below the one his is on.
Harvey helps FLD Copo negotiate the wooden steps.
A man dressed in the prison blue uniform with an orange stripe down the pantleg is mostly out of view of hte camera. You can see his right leg and arm, his arm has tatoos. The man is taking one step up a wooden staircase, you can see four steps. He is presenting his right hand to a small german shepherd puppy, who is sitting at the base of the stairs, looking up at the man's hand, which likely holds a bit of kibble. It is very sunny.
FLD Dax gets a little help on his first time up.
The man dressed in the prison uniform has made it across the platform and is about to descend the steps on the other side. He is standing on the first step but the german shepherd puppy is still on the platform. The man is looking down at the puppy, who is reaching toward a woman standing off to the side of the stairs. The woman, wearing a green t-shirt, purple zipped sweatshrit (which is open) and blue jeans and sunglasses, is reaching her left hand to the puppy, in a "touch" movement to help the puppy move forward. You can see snow in the background on the ground.
Tammy offers a "touch" to FLD Dax to help him make the decision to descend the stairs. Chad waits patiently and calmly.

Finally, our training session is over. Well, almost. Tammy has the men release their puppies into play. And practice calling them out of play. Fun!

Six men are standing near a brick wallked builidng. In front of them on the cement are six puppies playing. A black lab and golden retriever are on the left side in front, another black lab, a german shepherd, another golden, and a yellow lab are grouped together on the right.
Doggy play-time!
A yellow lab puppy is on its back on the cement with its legs in the air. A black lab puppy is jumping over the yellow lab, his right front paw is smashing the yellow lab's face. The black lab's ears are flying!
FLD Copo appears to have the upper paw on FLD Axel.
A man dressed in the prison blue uniform with an orange stripe down his should and short sleeve, is kneeling on sunny cement looking down at a black lab puppy. The man is bald and is wearing glasses and his arms are tatooed. He is looking down at the puppy and holding a baby blue Future Leader Dog jacket in his left hand. He is reaching toward the lab with his right hand. The lab is facing to the right. There are legs of other men visible in the background on both sides of the kneeling man and directly behind him. There are stark shadows of the men's legs across the cement. The lab is wearing a blue collar.
FLD Copo comes nicely out of play when called.
A man with glasses wearing a dark pea coat and khakis is walking to the left of the picture. A second man is squatting on the cement, he is wearing a black baseball cap and dark jacket and blue jeans. He is lookig down at a black lab puppy that is standing in front of him with its head low by his left leg. The man is touching the puppy's body with his hands. The puppy has a leash dragging behind him.
Even the COs get into the action by calling off FLD Bear.

The man with khakis and a dark jacekt is carrying two large bags of Purina dog food on each shoulder, walking away from the back of a white Leader Dogs for the Blind van. It is very sunny with a blue sky.
RUM Steve hauls dog food (and poop bags) from the Leader Dogs for the Blind before we take off.  "I like a full closet," he says about the poop bags. That's funny, I think, last month he said they had enough to last them 10 years! But I don't say anything...I don't want to mess with this guy, whose demeanor reminds me a bit of Gibbs from NCIS. I don't need a slap upside the back of my head!


  1. Yay for puppies on stairs...and not being by the fence. LOL
    You can never have enough poop bags...they disappear quicker than you think...or than he thought I suppose. :)

  2. I am so calling Steve- Gibbs....bahaahahahaahhaa...yes stairs are nice.

  3. In the first group photo on the stairs, Axel sure looks like his sister Kayla - just without the nose blaze. Awesome job on the stairs too!! Did the guys make them?

    1. Yes, the guys who work in maintenance made them, including one of Axel's puppy raisers, Steve.