A Doggy Valentine

I’m in the weeds with The Occupation Of Which We Do Not Speak today, but since it’s apparently inappropriate to refuse to notice a certain observance on February 14 (though admittedly less inappropriate than what I say when I do notice) permit me to share a happy news story.

Sparky the dachshund was born deaf, a defect which apparently qualified him for early euthanasia. The pup found his way into the Missouri Department of Corrections’ “Puppies for Parole” program (located at the prison in Licking, Missouri – seriously, I couldn’t make this up). The program teaches prison inmates to train dogs with “behavioral or other issues that would make them difficult to adopt” and then attempts to find homes for the retrained dogs. (In theory, this apparently makes the inmates easier for society to adopt. Or, more likely, vice versa.)

Inmates trained Sparky to recognize sign language rather than verbal commands and found him a home with the Missouri School for the Deaf. The children apparently love having a deaf dog, and have taught him additional sign language commands since his arrival.

A second deaf dog is currently being trained and will join Sparky when he finishes his sentence graduates from the program.

Why share this story on Valentine’s Day? Because it proves that love appears in unexpected places, transforms even the unlovable, and is available to everyone and everything that is willing to give it a chance.

That, and I wanted to do something different. If I see another cupid, I’m pulling out the Raid.

2 thoughts on “A Doggy Valentine

  • February 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I love this story! Sounds like a great program for the dogs as well as the inmates. Thanks for pointing out a different kind of love today. Of course, I’m betting there are lots of “different” kinds of love in Licking, Missouri. Thank you for not sharing them all.

    • February 15, 2011 at 12:35 am

      Thanks Piper! It sounded like a fantastic program to me, too. I’m all for win-win scenarios, especially the ones that involve people or pets in need. Thanks for stopping by, too!

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