Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Notes from prison

Note: I originally posted this on Tumblr the day Montana came home from boarding at the prison program, but almost a week later I still haven't gotten over how tragically sweet it is, so I'm reposting it here. Enjoy.

In the prison program, the dogs stay with the same handler the whole time. They sleep in their cells and they’re with them 24/7. The handlers keep extensive daily journals of the dog’s progress. When we first adopted Montana we loved reading her journal and learning more about her. This time when we got her back from boarding, reading the journal was equally enjoyable but in a different way—it was funny to see her handler observing things that we already know about our dog. And it was also very touching to see how much the handler obviously cared about the dog.

Some of my favorite notes:

  • “While Montana and I were on our walk, she kept looking around, and at first, I couldn’t figure out why. Then it hit me… she’s scoping the area for bunnies!”

  • “Montana trotted away and put her twitching nose to the ground. She had all kinds of fun cruising around sniffing all the new, interesting smells. I got her attention. Once she looked at me, I gave her the ‘come’ command, and to my surprise, she did!! She came right to me! I was so proud of her!!”

  • “This morning was my first group training session with Montana and her first training session since she’s been back. Montana did very well! I was very glad to see that she still knows all of her obedience skills very well. You did a wonderful job keeping up with her training! My job is going to be pretty easy.”

  • “I love just hanging out with her and spending time with her. She is so much fun to be around. You can’t help but be happy around her.”

  • “Because of her cough, she gets the ‘princess bed’ with four blankets folded up just her size so it’s nice and comfy for her. She always kicks the other dogs off her princess bed, and she lays on it every chance she gets.”

  • “Since she’s going home tomorrow I want her to look her best, so she got a bath today. She wasn’t very pleased with it, and she almost had a fit when I brought out the blow dryer.”

  • “I’ve loved working with Montana. She’s one of the sweetest, most intelligent, and best behaved dogs I’ve ever had. Thank you for letting her come to visit, and tell her I love her and not to forget to write and send pictures. (She may need your help on that one.) I’ll miss you Montana!”

20 comments:

  1. Holy crap, that is just too sweet and cute! Nice to know she was super well cared for.

    - Mon

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  2. You know what I love about that journal. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in saying my impression of prisoners isn't good. I mean, you've committed a crime to land yourself in jail in the first place. And TV doesn't do prisoners much justice - they all come across dumb. The contents of this journal are very astute. Observant. They show a person with a heart on the other side. Thank you for sharing; it's making me re-evaluate my thoughts.

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  3. So sweet! Montana kicks other dogs off her princess bed? Blanca would totally do that too ...

    I wish I got those kind of notes when I have to leave Blanca at the kennel. So nice you have a place to take her to that she is comfy and familiar with

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  4. That is SO SWEET! Looks like you picked a great place for her to stay while you were away.

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  5. This makes me want to go out and work to give every prison a dog-caring program. I mean--this journal is awesome.

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  6. That is amazingly sweet. I have to confess, I thought it was a bit of a nutty concept when you first wrote about it, but wow! Great idea.

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  7. This brought tears to my eyes. Animals make us realize how human we all really are - prisoners or not.

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  8. This brought tears to my eyes, too. And I'm not really a dog person, sorry. I agree with Nilsa, my opinion of prisoners was pretty low. But this was super sweet. The obvious care and concern. Wanting Montana to look her best. Thanking you for letting her come visit. So touching.

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  9. This was so great to read! I don't understand sometimes how people's hearts don't melt around animals, and reading this definitely reinforces how having an animal in your life can only be positive!

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  10. That is so sweet! It sounds like she got a lot of love... kinda makes the high price of the program seem more worth it, right?

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  11. Oh, how I loved that! Thanks for sharing :)

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  12. What a wonderful gift to have! That is soooo sweet. Montana sounds like one of the best doggies in the world. You guys are so lucky to have her!

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  13. How adorable. Does she have the same handler from the prison program and when she's boarded?

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  14. I loved this the first time and certainly don't mind reading it again!

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