Something was VERY different about this visit though. First, I saw these little birds that ,Joni called finches, inside this big cage - much bigger than my crate and they were just making all kinds of chirping noises. And then, I saw these furry four legged creatures walking around on the patio looking at me through the glass
Blaze and Moonbeam are two of ICAN's newest pups in training! Click here to read about how each of their first few days at the Indiana Women's Prison went!
The puppies are finally here - all 12 of them! Beautiful Golden Retrievers just like my mom, Jamie! They are so cute and fluffy, in fact, they remind me of cotton balls and they are as curious with their noses as I am! And they wobble around a lot too because their feet are still pretty short!
Going from a tenth grade education to earning a bachelor's degree, I have realized and cannot stress enough how important a formal education is. But, of all the education classes and programs I have completed, I can tell you that the ICAN program has been the most rewarding to me.
All I've ever known since I was 20 is the penitentiary. I had never truly challenged myself. Prison doesn't in of itself, rehabilitate people. One can, as I had, do the absolute bare minimum.
I came to prison broken, with the lowest of self-esteem and full of shame. Now, I am more confident, trustworthy and most of all I feel good about myself. Today, because of ICAN and these dogs, I am ready to go home and be part of the real world.
ICAN took me down a new road that I did not see coming - it filled my life with a light I never knew existed. As I trained dogs and help others gain a tremendous amount of confidence, my self-esteem grew and I now know I am worth something. The clients trust me to help change their lives and their children's lives, which has given me a sense of purpose.
I would not change my experience with ICAN for the world. I learned more about dogs than I could ever have imagined. But more than that, I learned more about myself than I could ever have imagined.
Through my ICAN-related activities and teaching at IWP, I've gotten to know many of the handlers. As they've told me, ICAN is a way for them to give back, make things right, a second change, and a do-over.
As Director of Training, I provide my knowledge of training and behavior, and I am an example of both sides of the mission statement. I work with the handler's directly and they know I have been where they are. They see there is success after incarceration and that the bad choices of the past do not have to define our future.
I feel my story reflects the advantages of the ICAN program on the offender's life. ICAN's benefits extend beyond prison, and into the hardest part of a felony conviction, which is not prison life, but returning to society afterwards. This would have been impossible without the skills and training I received from the ICAN program.
More than a dozen service dogs received free eye exams Monday (May 11) courtesy of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Ophthalmology Service, which again participated in the annual American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)/StokesRx National Service Animal Eye Exam event.
Three years ago if someone had told me that I'd be spending my days in an office where dog hair is as plentiful as paper clips, I'd have just laughed. The thought that I'd be comfortable going in and out of a maximum security prison and working side by side with inmates on a regular basis had definitely never crossed my mind.
Right now I wish I could go outside and lay in one of those round blue baby pools or better yet, be floating on a raft at my friend, Joanie's, pool!
These boys seemed like the 'cool kids' and in middle school that means everything. So we walked up to the playground, and I reached down to take Harmony off her leash. Immediately, she ran up the slide, over the bridge, to the very top of the playground equipment. Yeahsen just stood smiling, and the boys stopped rough-housing and came over to talk to us. "Wow, that is such a cool dog!'
Makana is an amazing animal and a wonderful addition to our family. He is very well trained and he loves doing his job. He guides and protects Joseph, he comforts and loves Joseph unconditionally, and he is always right beside Joseph moving together as one.
I decided to start off by just sticking my paws in the water to get a little comfortable. Woof! This isn't too bad. I'm still standing and nothing bad has happened to me yet...I think I can do this!
Puppy see, Puppy do! Why is it that every morning I am always standing side by side with my handler doing the same waking up exercises as she is?
Hi there - I'm Tuck! I'm a Gemini and was born to some really cool dogs, Alpine and Kash. Both of them are Golden Retrievers, just like me, and they say I am taking after my dad because I have big paws and my fur is white as snow. My dad is also famous. He does this really cool thing called TV commercials where he runs and jumps on things called mattresses. He's so famous that he paw-signs autographs all day long. One day he came to Indiana for a visit and that's where he met mom. He fell dog-eyes in love and that's how I came to be!