On December 10th, 2015, the Indiana Women's Prison proudly hosted graduation of seven ICAN dogs. Moravia, Montauk, Johari, Jaeger, Journey, and Jammer Jr, along with all of the wonderful handlers, proudly held their heads high as they walked the ceremonial procession into the winter wonderland that honored their beloved father, Jammer. Madiba (Madi), a fellow littermate of this group, was raised in Colorado and trained by Barb Calhoun.
The celebration was attended by more than 200 guests including family members of both the clients and the handlers, friends, previous clients, volunteers, ICAN supporters, Department of Corrections Staff, and many others who believe in the powers of paws and the miracles that happen at both ends of the leash.
Each of the handlers spoke about their experiences with the clients during Team Training. They shared the gamut of emotions including the highs of meeting their dog's forever person and watching the transfer of the bond, to the lows of having to say goodbye to the source of their happiness for the past several months. Darbi shared that although life has dealt her some challenges, with Jaeger by her side she knows that she can remain independent and conquer all that is ahead of her.
Attendees watched the powerful video, ICAN Bring Hope, as photos taken during Team Training played on a large screen. These photos helped attendees understand all of the time, effort, fun, and emotions it takes to make the partnerships a success. The evening closed with all of the handlers joining together and dancing with the graduating dogs to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree".
Please visit ICAN Graduation Info page to see when ICAN's 2019 Graduations will be taking place.
View some of the photos from the Graduation Ceremony below! (Photos by Liz Kaye Photography)