I recently came across a quote that read in part “Babies and dogs are the only beings evolved enough to love unconditionally.” Perhaps that is true…However, none of us can deny the uncompromising love and loyalty we receive from “man’s best friend.”
I’ve always been a dog lover. So when the opportunity arose to work in partnership with a local non profit dog rescue – “W.A.G.” (Welfare 4 Animals Guild) here at the prison, I hurried up and submitted my application.
Every dog you see in the photos with me, I successfully trained. Many of these dogs were rescued from kill shelters. These dogs were literally on death row and scheduled to be euthanized. Many had problem behaviors and were considered unadoptable. Others were abused, neglected strays, or were otherwise given up for various reasons. If not for W.A.G. and the training these dogs received, those dogs may not be living the happy lives they do today.
As for me, this is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I’ve been training dogs for over three years now and feel like I’ve gone through a college course. I’ve obtained so much knowledge and experience. I specialize in everything from basic obedience training (sit, lay down, loose leash walking, recall, tricks, etc.) to more complex training such as B.A.T., socialization, separation anxiety and scent training.
I love what I do and I enjoy the process of taking a troubled dog and teaching it through positive reinforcement, the tools it needs to be successful. It’s amazing to not only witness the growth and development of these animals within this setting, but also to be apart of it. There’s not many beautiful or positive things behind bars. But the dog program is truly a rose that grew from concrete.