Saturday, November 22, 2014

Back to Baraga

August 14, 2014

Flexibility is a good trait to have when you are a puppy counselor. Our August trip to the UP prisons began with the long drive to Baraga again, instead of starting at the Chippewa Correctional Facility like we usually do. Tammy wanted to head to Baraga first because we would be taking three puppies from Chippewa back to Leader Dogs for the Blind. No need to drag FLDs Sammy, August and Ekco across the UP and back.

A small yellow lab/golden retriever mix puppy is lying in a cubby hole of an end table. He is clearly asleep.The end table is wood with one drawer above the cubby and is situated between two hotel beds.
FLD Henry, my sixth and newest Leader Dog puppy, finds a safe place to take a nap in our hotel room. I picked up the yellow lab/golden retriever mix puppy from Leader Dog on July 25. This was his debut trip to the UP prisons.

As usual, Tammy and I planned the training session during our drive. Each month Leader Dog has topics for all puppy counselors to cover with their puppy-raiser groups, inside or outside. Our topics for August were obedience "stand" and "recall," grooming, and stairs. 

The plan was to start the teams off with the relaxation protocol, followed by a series of three recall games, grooming (including ear cleaning), and ladder and bowl exercises designed to help develop confidence on stairs. When we arrived, the men were anxious to show us the demonstration they presented to Deb Donnelly in July when she came in our place.

Fine with us, their demo was tight and impressive.

A man wearing blue prison pants with a white t-shirt is leaning forward with his right arm stretched out in front of a black lab's nose. The man is looking down at the dog. The lab is standing at the man's left side and is looking at the man's open right palm. The lab is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. There are two other men standing behind the first man watching the man and dog. They are wearing blue prison pants and white t-shirts. The man on the left is african american and is wearing glasses, the man on the right is wearing a blue baseballc am and has his hands in his pickets. The are outside in bright sunlight, casting long shadows to the right, and in front of a white brick wall.
Ricky asks FLD Bear to "touch" as P (with FLD Gage) and Black observe.

Two men stand facing left with their puppies at their left side, both are wearing blue prison pants and white t-shirts. The man on the far left has his hands crossed in front of him; his yellow lab puppy is lying on the cement next to him, and wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. The man on the right, closest to the camera is holding his right arm at his waist and looking down at his german shepherd puppy, which is sitting on his left side. The german shepherd is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana and is looking at the man's right hand. The man's left hand is at his side holding the dog's leash. The men are in bright sunshine outside of a white brick building. A man is standing in a doorway in the far distance behind the man on the right.
Beano (left), with FLD Axel, stands in line with Chad and FLD Dax. The teams lined up on opposite sides of the yard facing each other.

A line of four men are walking from right to left with puppies at their left side. All men are wearing the blue prison pants with white t-shirts. The man closest to the camera (on the right) is looking down at his yellow lab; the lab is looking up at him. The next two men in line have black labs and the last man has a german shepherd. The men are walking on pavement in bright sunshine in front of a white brick building. There is a dumpster in the background near the building on the left.
The teams loose-leash walk their puppies. The teams opposite will pass by them.

A amall golden retriever puppy is sitting on pavement next to a man's legs, which are clothed in blue prison pants and black shoes. The man's body is not in view, his right hand is reacing to the puppy's mouth, obviously giving the puppy a treat. The puppy is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. The pair are on pavement in bright sunshine.
FLD Gage, sitting in excellent heel position, demonstrates the soft and proper way to receive a treat.

At least 21 men dressed in blue prison pants and white -shirts stand next to and on a wooden staircase that is standing on pavement next to a white brick building. There is a sign attached to the staircase in the middle that reads "Training the Future" with the Leader Dogs for the Blind logo. Eight puppies are either sitting next to a man or being held by a man. The stairs are outside in bright sunshine.
"Training the Future." The inmate puppy-raising teams of the Baraga Correctional Facility.


  1. What a great demonstration of growth in both puppies and handlers. Awesome job guys.