Tuesday, December 30, 2014

All flavors

September 12, 2014

"Puppies are awake, but quiet," I report as Tammy turns the Leader Dog van west. We plan the afternoon's training session as we drive. September's topics are STAY, TRAFFIC, and STAIRS. Of course, traffic is out.

As an American Kennel Club (AKC) evaluator, Tammy can "test" some of the older puppies for the AKC Canine Good Citizen program. She plans to have all the teams participate (good training), with the assistant raisers marking the scores she gives. We'll do FLDs Axel and Bear's In-For-Training (IFT) assessments at the same time; everything except traffic.

Poor FLD Chewy gets carsick during the long drive. We stop in Ishpeming to clean out his crate and park FLDs Hershel and Henry. Although we arrive at the Baraga Correctional Facility about 1:30 p.m., we don't actually get into Unit 8 until after 2:00. Evidently, chocolate labs are popular in the UP and some MDOC employees want to meet the little guy before we present him to his raiser.

"Now we have all flavors," RUM Steve says as he picks up Hershel. Eight puppies now - two yellow labs, three black labs, one German Shepherd, one golden retriever, and a tiny chocolate lab to round out the mix.

When we get down to Unit 8, we hand off FLDs Chewy and Henry to the inmates. I race in ahead of Tammy to be sure I capture the delivery of FLD Hershel.

An african american man dressing in prison blue pants and a white long sleeved t-shirt is sitting in the foreground on the right, facing the camera. His hands are clasped in his lap. On the left is a group of inmates sitting at metal lunch tables. There are two puppies visible sitting in front of their raisers. In the background, two women are coming in through the lunch room door. The first woman, wearing blue jeans and a grey shirts, is carrying a small chocoalte lab puppy.
Raiser Brown patiently awaits his new charge. The room fills with "Awwwwwws" as Tammy shows off Hershel to the other teams.

A clsoer shot of the man sitting in the chair. He is looking at the camera with a half-smile on his face. The woman wearing the grey sweatshirt is standing behind him to the left and and smiling. She is about to hand the small chocolate lab puppy over the man's left shoulder. The puppy is already looking at the man.
Tammy loves this part of her volunteer job - handing off a new puppy!

This is a head shot of the man and the chocolate lab being set on his left shoulder. The man is smiling broader now, and his eyes are sneaking a peak at the puppy. The puppy's front paws are resting on the man's shoulder, still being held by the woman.
The meeting - a bit tentative?

Another head shot of the man, who is now REALLY smiling! He is reaching up to hold the chocolate lab puppy with both of his hands, his left hand over the top of the puppy and his right hand supporting the puppy's chest. The puppy appears to be sliding down the front of the man's chest.
Tentative? I think not. FLD Hershel, meet Brown!

Two african american men are standing in front of a metal  wall, both are wearing white long sleeved t-shirts. The man on the left is cradling the small chocolate lab puppy in his arms, the puppy is on his back and the puppy's leash is lying across his body. Both men are smiling at the camera.
Team FLD Hershel. Brown and Phil, one of his two assistant raisers, pose for a team picture. The third team member was not present.

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