Hello once again.
Let me begin this post by sending a thank you to Bruce Fischer and everyone at Injustice Anywhere. The internet radio interview earlier this month was amazing. We greatly appreciate the fact that Injustice Anywhere chose to profile our story and that they ultimately decided to endorse my case. Thank you. I would also like to send out a very special thank you to Lisa, our web administrator and advocate. She was awesome! On behalf of me and my whole family, we love you Lisa. Although she was very nervous, she did a sensational job during the interview. She is my hero and best friend. Lisa, you are amazing.
And then there is my mom and daughter…as difficult as it can be for me to be reminded of how all of this has affected my family, I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have ALL of their love and support. All of my family, friends, and other supporters give me strength to get through each day. To Amber…I am sorry. I am sorry for all you have had to endure. I am sorry that through no fault of your own, you have gone without so much. In spite of all the difficulties and obstacles you have had to face throughout your childhood, you have become a beautiful, smart, sensitive and strong young woman. You have CHOSEN to be happy and to have hope. I am so proud of you. I love you.
In my last post I promised updates on Lily, the Black Lab I have been blessed to have an opportunity to train as a NEADS service dog. She is great and very smart. She knows all 54 commands necessary to become a service dog. I am looking forward to her being placed with a client that needs her. She is scheduled to graduate sometime next month. I am sure Lily will change, as well as enrich someone’s life. This past weekend Amber and I took a picture with Lily in the prison’s visitation center. Lily will stay with us in our hearts.
I would like to tell you all about one of the best, most rewarding parts of the NEADS Prison Partnership Program. Every few months there is a dog graduation. Once a service dog has completed their training and has been placed with a client, the clients come into the prison to meet the men that trained their dogs. This past week I had the privilege to attend the most recent graduation ceremony here at the prison. I had the honor to meet three disabled veterans, diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The three soldiers came to the facility with their newly placed dogs to meet us and thank us personally for training their dogs. Each of them explained how their dog will change their lives, and what having a service dog means to them. It was amazing. For us, the trainers, the graduation brings the whole process full circle. It can be very difficult for us to be given a new puppy who knows nothing, training her and take care of her for up to 18 months, then ultimately having to watch her leave to be placed with a client. Getting to meet the person who has gotten her…seeing their smile and love for their new service dog, makes it all worth while.
Thank you once again to everyone for their love and support. Everyday brings us One Day Closer…