Our Blog

May 30, 2018

Jessie & Curt


Jessie will be placed as a Facility dog for Curt at ICAN's upcoming June 14th, 2018 Graduation. Curt is a Physical Therapist at Community Health Network. Jessie will work alongside Curt and his team with patients recovering from an illness or accident. Here is Curt's perspective on receiving Jessie.


I am very excited to have the opportunity to work alongside Jessie in our clinic. Our clinic has had the awesome opportunity to have a former ICAN graduate, Lex, as our facility dog for the past 10 years, but as he reaches his 13th birthday we feel he needs some back up in our clinic. At our neuro-specialty clinic we have the unique opportunity to help those who are recovering from situations that are highly emotional.

Curt and Lex taking a break!

Having a facility dog present has been so beneficial because their presence helps keep patients calm, helps them express emotions, and facilitates a higher level of healing. I decided to be the clinics next ICAN handler so that Lex's owner can continue to bring him to work and focus on his needs. Also I have been wanting to get a dog for a few years since moving to Indianapolis, but due to my work schedule it would not be fair to leave the dog at home alone. Having the ability to bring my dog to work each day was the perfect solution. The first time I saw Jessie, I was ecstatic. She was a little ball of joy and took to the clinic very easily, and when I heard that I would be getting her my emotions were over the moon!

Curt and Jessie – what a perfect match!

I expect Jessie to be another great component to the clinic and for the time that Lex is still working she will be handling the more energetic situations. Many patients want to learn how to walk their dog safely and how to care for their pet after a medical incident, which Jessie will be able to assist with. Also with our pediatric population she will be useful to help keep the kids engaged and motivated. From my experience the facility dog is the main thing people remember from our clinic. As therapists we may help them walk again or teach them how to care for themselves but whenever they visit its always to see the dog again. The emotional connection patients share with our dogs is special and I expect Jessie to enhance many future patient's lives.


I have been Jessie's handler since May of 2017 at the Indiana Women's Prison and in the ICAN training program for over a year. Jessie has been a pleasure to have; she is special to me and we have overcome some obstacles together. We have been a match made in heaven and she has been a compassionate and loyal friend to me.  I came into the program ready to have a life changing experience and Jessie made that happen. We had to learn together. We have struggled at times but we have made it through those struggles.

ICAN has made such a big impact in my life. It has changed who I am. I can give back to the community in a very caring and positive way. Jessie has changed my life and soon she will change a lot of other lives out there. Thank you ICAN for allowing me to be a part of this. – Anissa


Photos by Liz Kaye Photography


(Top Row: Jessie and the Indiana Women's Prison handlers teaching a class to ICAN furloughers Bottom Row: Left to right – Jessie, Thunder and Mama Dezzie; Dezzie as a pup)


Please join us on June 14th to witness full circle when Jessie's handler, Anissa, does the passing of the vest over to Curt. The graduation takes place on Thursday, June 14th at the Indiana Women's Prison. It begins at 7pm and arrival time must be done between 6:15 and 6:45pm to allow time for security clearance. There is no cost to attend, however, you must be 18 years or older and pre-registered.

To learn more and see photos from other ICAN Graduations, please visit ICAN Graduation.

DEADLINE TO REGISTER is JUNE 6th. PLEASE REGISTER by clicking hereRegistration for June Graduation.