Sunday, August 9, 2009

They're Off

The pups are off on their latest adventure. ICAN collected the gang Tuesday AM and checked them into Plainfield Correctional Facility. See an article from the local newspaper at
The pups are doing well in their new home, although some of the handlers are losing a bit of sleep caring for their new, and sometimes vocally demanding, charges. The pups will also have time out in the community with furlough volunteers, visits to a church daycare for time with children, and many other new experiences.

Every litter has their own "personality", and this litter was confident, social, and vocally demanding. They demonstrated many traits that are desirable for assistance dog work: low to moderate energy level, low reactivity (to sound, novelty, motion), and a strong social attraction to people. But the pups also had their own individual personalities: Dega, Dora, and Charlotte were the most vocally demanding. Bristol and Hunter were mellow. Racer was the busy boy. Lilly was the soft, sweet cuddler. Riley was the clever girl. Bella was often off doing her own thing.

Slowly, I am putting the house back together. The puppy pen, puppy pools, and puppy supplies are back in the storage shed. All the puppy bedding and soft toys have been laundered. The plants around the back porch are starting to regrow after being puppy chew toys.

Wishing all the pups much success and know that they will bring lots of joy to the many people they will meet along the way, including the inmate handlers who will be their primary teachers. And the inmate handlers will learn from the pups key lessons in life such as love, empathy, responsibility, patience, teamwork, giving back, and a sense of accomplishment. Whether the pups become assistance dogs, therapy dogs, or beloved family pets, I trust that ICAN will guide them down the path to their forever homes.

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