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'We are blessed'

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BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz

Inmates who receive boarding-in dogs keep a daily diary of the dog's progress. Each morning and night, they make notes of such things as new tricks learned, the dog's response to specific training methods and overall highlights.

When program customers pick up their dogs at the end of the month, they also pick up the diaries; they can refer to the notes to reinforce the training in the home, where dogs tend to revert to old behaviors.

The following excerpts are from a recent customer's diary.

(Please note: The dogs' names in the entries below have been changed to protect the dog owners' privacy. All entries appear exactly as the inmate wrote them.)

After training this morning (which went well), I took Max to the infermary to see a good friend of mine who's dying of cancer. We have a hospice program here and I can assure you Max brought tears to this man's eyes. He's a true animal lover, he always would stop to pet the dogs when he was healthy out walking around. The impact these dogs have on many many lives in here is truly not known.

Max has a play buddy. She's a 5 month old German Sheppard. Picture this if possible. 120 convicts, of all colors, standing around the fence in the big yard laughing and giving each other high 5's, while watching Max and Sally play. Max is faster and more agile than Sally and he loves to tease her. It's the best entertainment we've had in a very long time. The dogs touch our lives in so many ways. We are blessed to have the program.

6 grown men got up out of a sound sleep this morning to say good bys to Max. It was 6:45 AM. Max has touched many of mens hearts in this prison and he will not be soon forgotten. God Bless you and yours, and I thank you for allowing Max into my life for this period of time.

Dale Maynard

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