by Gerald, ICAN Handler
Prison forces one to live close to the bone. To protect myself in this harsh environment, I erected sturdy walls. My building materials were anger, self-interest, hate, fear, and ignorance. For years, I was comfortable within myself – it was often easier than dealing with the stir.
In July of 2012, I met Melody, a beautiful yellow Lab/Golden mix puppy, and was placed in charge of her training and care. I found myself in a quandry – my task would be impossible from behind my walls!
It was slow, difficult work, but as I helped Melody along the path to becoming an ICAN service dog, she also helped me to deconstruct my psychic prison.
I am freer than I have been in years, and I owe this to the people and pups of the ICAN program. They really do change lives at both ends of the leash.
-Gerald, ICAN Handler, Correctional Industrial Facility
Gerald's dog, Melody, recently graduated and was placed as a Mobility Assistance dog for a young woman living with paralysis.
Gerald and Cooper enjoying a day of dog art!