Anyone who has read DOG GONE has probably figured out that I love dogs. At least I hope this is obvious.
Anyway, the other day, I was settled in my favorite bookstore café, working on a new novel, totally immersed in my writing. Until this beautiful black Labrador Retriever and her person came strolling down an aisle beside me. Like most labs, this girl was grinning with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth, loving life. Adorable. The bright yellow doggie vest draped over her back announced that she was in training, which explained why she was allowed to be in the bookstore.
Like most Labradors that I know, the minute this dog caught me grinning like an idiot at her, she trotted toward me, tail wagging in overdrive. Guess who was no longer interested in her work in progress.
Thankfully, the very, very nice lady handler introduced Ms. Lovable Black Lab as Maggie, and gave me permission to pet Maggie. As it turns out, Maggie is part of a program called Puppies Behind Bars. She is being raised and trained by an inmate to be an explosive detection dog for law enforcement. Puppies Behind Bars also trains inmates to raise pups to become service dogs for the disabled, including veterans. On certain days, volunteers such as the very, very nice lady handler, take the dogs out into the world for extended training beyond what the inmates can do, given their incarceration. As I’m sure you can imagine, both the dogs and the inmates benefit from this program. Be still my heart.
If you love dogs, or just want to check out a really heart-warming website and organization, take a peek: www.puppiesbehindbars
Now, that's puppy love. : )