Friday, April 18, 2008

Puppy Love

As a dedicated dog lover—I bring my King Charles spaniel to the office, I am especially outraged by irresponsible breeders who run puppy mills. Lisa Ling had an eye-opening expose on a recent Oprah that you can view on If you want a pet, you should consider a rescue dog. The American Kennel Club website ( has lots of information.

Another dogs-in-the-news story affected me deeply—but this time in a good way. It was about Puppies Behind Bars – an organization that uses inmates at New York prisons to raise puppies that will be trained as service companions for the disabled. The inmates keep the dogs in their cells, and what they learn about trust, teamwork, responsibility—and unconditional love—changes their lives.

The puppies go on weekend furloughs with volunteers to learn about things they can’t experience in prison (like doorbells) and some regularly visit the elderly housebound to become familiar with equipment they might need as service canines. If they qualify, the dogs go for advanced training; otherwise, they’re placed with blind children. To be amazed by this great program, go to

Can you tell I love animals? Here’s my own best friend and office pal, Sammy.