Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dog Bed 11

This dog bed, number 11, the biggest one yet, went to my friend Cheri Carbone, Danville and Boyle County's dog trainer extraordinaire! I have been so fortunate to get to know Cheri over the past year and have learned so much from her.

Cheri does all things dog here locally, and it is a treat just to watch her around dogs. She is not only extremely knowledgeable and experienced, but she is truly a natural. She makes it all look so easy. The dogs just want to do the right thing around her.
Over the past year, I have been working as a volunteer with the Danville Boyle County Humane Society's Mutts with Manners program, at Northpoint Training Center a local medium security prison, where dogs are trained by prisoners. It is a wonderful and greatly successful program due, in large degree to Cheri's efforts.

We take five dogs at any given time, selected by Cheri from among those scheduled for euthanization. These dogs stay at the prison with the handlers, two to each dog, in the dormitory where all the handlers and dogs live together. The prisoners who work with the dogs are selected by the prison administration. The dogs remain at the prison with their handlers until they are fully trained and ready for adoption, usually 5 to 7 weeks. During that time, the handlers work and live with them full time, socializing them, teaching them basic obedience and often some tricks as well. By the time the dogs leave they have passed their Canine Good Citizen tests, and the dogs who were on death's door step are as attractive and adoptable as the best shelter dogs ever.

It is wonderful for the prisoners, who have something meaningful and practical to do, and it is amazing to see how every single one of those dogs who would have been put down becomes a wonderful, well-behaved, lovable pet. There is not a single one of them I would not love to live with.

Cheri also owns, trains, and boards dogs at her house, so I gave her this dog bed to use for all the dogs who are at her home.

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