by ICAN Handler Dustin M, Pendleton Correctional Facility/Indiana Reformatory
"Though our dogs aren't our whole lives, they make our lives whole." – Dustin M.
Hello, my name is Dustin. The way I see it, everything happens for one purpose or another. When I was a child I wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor when I grew up. I never thought that a dog would change my life so drastically that I would want to make a career out of training dogs for service. A dog did change my life, his name is Ogie.
At such a young age, Ogie is already so intelligent. He has taught me that the slower and more consistent you are, the faster your dog will learn. Ogie is my first dog with ICAN and I see such potential in him. However, it's a two way street. He helps me see potential in myself as well. I can honestly say he has touched my life, and that is something you simply cannot train.
I've been incarcerated for four years and ICAN came into my life a little over a year and a half ago. I received Ogie only two weeks ago and he has brought me much light into this place of darkness. Ogie has humbled me and put countless smiles on my face. There is an old saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will come. Little did I know, I am the student and Ogie the teacher. He has taught me patience and more importantly the value of life. Even though I am where I am, I've never been happier in my life and I owe that gratitude to Mr. Ogie.
When I look down at Ogie I cannot help but to smile, because I know that his road of changing lives does not end with me. I think about the things he's done for me and how he has changed me as an individual. I've had him for 14 days, so imagine what he will do when he spends the rest of his life with a deserving client.
Thank you Ogie, I love you.