John's Journal...

Buster Brown Was a Dog for All Seasons – Deer, Ducks and Divorce

Dogs for the Handicapped

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you're about to drown, Buster Brown, an 11-year-old chocolate LabradorClick to enlarge retriever, can save your life. If your wife finally throws you out, Buster Brown can get you a new wife. If you shoot the biggest buck of your life and the deer runs off, Buster Browncan find the deer for you. If you down a beautiful mallard drake that falls into some high cattails 1/4-mile from your blind, not only can Buster Brown locate your duck, he'll bring it back to you. If while sitting at home watching TV, you feel the need for a cold drink, Buster Brown will go get you a cool one from the refrigerator.

Jeff Terry told me, "A Labrador retriever exists to please his master. If you throw a stick, the dog brings it back, and you praise him for it, look in his eyes. You can tell he wants to perform the task again just to make you happy. I believe you can train Labrador retrievers to perform almost any task a person needs doing. People use Labs as seeing-eye dogs, for protection, as drug dogs and to help the handicapped. A Labrador can pick up on human moods and read those moods. He also can alert to seizures for people who have epilepsy, even before Click to enlargethey realize they may have the seizure." Some states have allowed prison inmates to train Labradors to help the handicapped. This program is often sponsored by dog food companies and other businesses to pay for the kennels and Click to enlargethe care and feeding of the dogs. Since the prisoners have time on their hands, they can perform a meaningful service to the community and the disadvantaged and help repay their debt to society.

The program has many meaningful and helpful benefits for both the prisoners and the physically and mentally challenged. These dogs can retrieve objects in the house, alert for danger, pick up items dropped, lead the blind, alert the person and the people around him to the onset of seizures and allow these people to lead more independent lives. The prisoners will have meaningful jobs that benefit society while they are incarcerated, help to repay their debt to society and make the world a better place for their efforts. Then when the dogs are trained and placed in families, the families can write the prisoner and tell him how the dog is doing, providing a support network of positive reinforcement for the prisoners.

Check back each day this week for more about "Buster Brown Was a Dog for All Seasons - Deer, Ducks and Divorce"

Day 1: Meeting Buster Brown
Day 2: Buster Brown on Deer
Day 3: Buster Brown on Ducks and Life Saving
Day 4: Buster Brown on Women and Finding a Wife
Day 5: Dogs for the Handicapped


Entry 431, Day 5