Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Raising thinkers

Chippewa
October 23, 2014

Before getting the teams up to work, Deb has lots to share. She reports on the kennel project that is under construction at Leader Dogs for the Blind; she talks about the breeding program and what happens to the puppies when they return to Rochester Hills; she describes guide work and what it means when the blind or visually impaired handler cannot support the decisions the dog has to make.

"We need forward-thinking, independent-thinking dogs," she said.

Many of the men express interest in continuing to raise puppies once they get out. Deb leads a discussion about what raising a puppy on the outside entails, how they will have to deal with veterinarian and food expenses, and transportation when picking up and returning a puppy.

The men nod their heads when she suggests they take time to get their lives in order first. These inmate raisers are thinking, too.

Three men sit on stools and are leaning forward and looking at the two black lab puppies and one chocolate lab puppy  lying on the floor between their legs. The man on the left is wearing a long sleeve white shirt and peach sweat pants, his hands are massaging the black lab's shoulders. The puppy is looking at the camera. The man in the middle is wearing the blue prison uniform and is reaching down to the black lab puppy at his feet with his left hand, which is holding an antler. His right arm is resting on his right knee. The african american man on the right is wearing the blue prison uniform and is bent over with his left forearm on his left knee. He is reaching down with his right hand and holding the left front paw of a small black lab at his feet. The labe is lying on her right side facing the camear.
Three puppies and their raisers share a moment. Ro, on the right, is handling FLD GeeGee's front paw. GeeGee is Ro's second puppy; he raised FLD Sammy, who, at the time of this post. is in training at Leader Dog. Ro says that even though he thinks Sammy was the best, GeeGee has stolen his heart.

Time to work. Deb has a fun exercise planned. She recreates an outside puppy outing she and FLD Jedi attended at Detroit Metro Airport. The puppies will practice sit or down/stays, recalls, handling, and settling.

We set two chairs at one end of the room to simulate a metal detector. One at a time, each inmate raiser puts his puppy in a sit or down stay in the middle of the room. Here he removes his shoes and the puppy's collar and leash. 

A man dressed in maroon sweats is standing in the middel of a room, he is taking his shoes off. In front of him is sitting a golden retriever puppy. The puppy is facing him and wearing the blue Future Leader Dog puppy. On the floor by the man's shoes is the puppy's leash. In the background three other men are sitting on stools and facing the man that is standing.
Abe removes his shoes while FLD Andie holds a sit/stay.

The raiser leaves the puppy to walk through the chair-metal-detector, then turns and calls his puppy to come. 

A yellow lab/golden retriever puppy wearing the blue Future Leader Dog jacket is walking away from the camera toward two light blue plastic chairs. Just beyond the chairs is a man wearing a white t-shirt and maroon pants. The man is facing the  puppy and looking down at him. In the background are three men and three women sitting or standing and watching the puppy.
FLD Henry comes readily to Matt, who is waiting on the other side of the "metal detector."

Another inmate, posing as a NSA agent, pats them both down. Once cleared, the inmate puts his shoes and the puppy's collar and leash back on and is shuffled into the corner to wait.

Two men in the foregrond are running their hands on a black lab puppy. The man on the left of the puppy is kneeling on the tile floor, he is wearing a white t-shirt and blue prison pants and a blue ball cap. the man on the right of the puppy is wearing a green sweatshirt and the blue prison pants, he is bent over at the waits over the puppy. There are two men and one woman along the wall on the far left side, standing with puppies, and three men and two women in the far background.
"NSA agent" Eric checks out FLD Dylan while Dave, the pup's handler, rehooks his leash.
A low shot of two men patting down a black lab puppy. The man on the left is standing and leaning over the puppy, he is wearing a white t-shirt and blue prison pants; you cannot see his head but his arm is covered with tatooes. The man on the right is kneeling on his right knee and his left hand is feeling the puppy's throat. He is wearing a white t-shirt and blue prison pants and a blue ball cap. There is a man in the background standing against the wall with a german shepherd on his left side.
FLD Ashley gets checked over.
A man is standing on the left with his arms stretched out, facing a group of men (and one woman) and their puppies. Several of the men are bending over to settle their puppies, they are in a tight corner of a room, with a glass wall and door on the left and a white brick wall on the right.
"NSA agent' Eric keeps the group sequestered in the corner.

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