Our Blog

May 19, 2015

These Dogs Change All of Our Lives

by Deb, ICAN Handler

Deb walking in with Treble for ICAN's Graduation Ceremony.

My name is Deb and I am 52 years old. I have been involved in the ICAN program just over two years and have trained three dogs. ICAN has been a blessing to me since coming to IWP. Being an ICAN handler has been a learning experience as well as a life changing experience. I have been trusted with the responsibility of caring for these dogs. Not only to feed, walk, and exercise the dog, but to train them so they can make a difference in someone's life, like they have done for me.

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.

These dogs change "all" of our lives. For clients, they will give them more freedom, independence, courage, strength, love, joy, and purpose. They have already given me those same experiences, many in which I will never forget. I hope to someday continue my work with training dogs and touching people's lives.

Team training is where the magic happens and we see where our hard work pays off. Watching the clients grow each day with their dogs is the best experience ever. Treble (Treb), who I am blessed to hand over, is a successor dog for Julie. Julie's first service dog, Daisy Mae, passed away of cancer in January 2012. Julie thought no other dog could fill Daisy's shoes, but then comes along Treble making her way into part of the family. She already is getting things for Julie before she even asks or when things hit the floor. They go for walks alone, Treble picks up her toys before bed and most of all, gives Julie's mom, Kathy, the peace she needs when she leaves Julie alone.
Thank you ICAN and God Bless Us All.
– Deb

Deb was released from Indiana Women's Prison in Spring of 2015.  Today, her dedication from being in the ICAN program, is now changing lives and unleashing abilities for others.

Deb with Treble and his new forever friend, Julie at graduation.

Read about Treble's first handler, Randall, Here.