I confess, I click a lot of animal video links when I’m strolling through Facebook and Wimp. Usually they are simply cute or funny. Yesterday I found one that was truly inspiring.
Prisoners and puppies for the blind? The pilot program was a big risk. Give a puppy to an inmate serving life and ask him to train the dog in basic service work? Hmmm. You don’t become imprisoned for life because you exude love and compassion in your life. Puppies are vulnerable, no less in a place with a reputation for having a very violent undercurrent. But the outcome was far better than anyone expected. And for everyone involved.
- Prisoners connect to their ability to care and have compassion.
- The dogs receive a very high degree of one-on-one, consistent training.
- The community connects with the prisoners, bringing them a connection to the outside world, as well as a sense of dignity.
- Blind owners receive exceptionally well-trained partner helping them navigate their world.
I applaud the partnership between Leader Dogs for the Blind, prisons and the sponsoring organizations. It takes a great deal of trust and collaboration to create a program like this and to be open to the humanity that can be cultivated, even in the most unlikely of places, a high security prison.
Watch and be inspired. And yes, you might need a tissue.