Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Bear Bear's" furlough

May 15, 2014

Future Leader Dog puppies being raised in prison are exposed to crowds, people of different races, loud noises, rolling carts, walking on different surfaces, waiting in food lines, settling in chow halls, basketball and volleyball games, men working out with weights, men in uniforms, commercial washing machines, offices, vacuums, mops, etc.

Life on the inside, at least from an outsider's perspective, seems at once chaotic and regimented. Announcements blare over the P.A. system randomly. Men mill about, but when "count" comes around the halls are empty. Perhaps it is this mix of pandemonium and regulations that help Future Leader Dog puppies roll with whatever comes their way.

The Baraga teams were disappointed that Tammy wasn't going to leave FLD Harper with them over night. We were taking FLD Bear up to Houghton on furlough, but Tammy wanted the time with Harper to herself. The happy golden was returning to Leader Dogs for the Blind on May 18. Harper made friends wherever he went. Everyone had to say good-bye.

When Bear first exited the Leader Dog van in downtown Houghton he was started by logging trucks and busy traffic zooming by, but he quickly decided all the ruckus was no big deal. After his initial "what's that!?" nothing bothered him. The pup had lots of work in stores, along a bike path, up and down stairs, in a hotel, dinner at a brewery and more. Bear was a very good boy! (And Tammy wore me out.)

A black lab puppy is sitting on the sidewalk in front of a store's clothing display window, next to a wooden statue of a black bear. The bear is sitting on a tree stump and is wearing a red plaid shirt. The puppy is wearing a blue Future Leader Dog bandana.
FLD Bear poses beside his namesake on the main drag of Houghton. Bear Bear was a nickname I used with him when he stayed with us before coming to Baraga. (And don't worry, his leash was being held by Tammy's friend who was standing behind the statue.)

A golden retriever puppy is sitting in front of a storefront window and a large wooden statue of a moose. The moose is sitting on a tree stump. The puppy is wearing the baby-blue wokring jacket - a Future Leader Dog.
FLD Harper hams it up by a moose! (Harper's leash was held too.)

A black lab puppy wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana is standing and facing the camera. His leash is attached to something out of view to the left. In the background is a metal bridge over some water.
FLD Bear does not seem impressed by the Houghton-Hancock Bridge (aka the Portage Lake Bridge) in Houghton.

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