Mark, who has been filming all of the stages of Sugar’s journey as a breeder dog for Can Do Canines during the L litter and will continue filming the process of “puppy to assistance dog”, will be also adding some updates along the way of the puppies and what they are doing as they grow!
His assignments have taken him all over the world, and I consider it extremely fortunate that he has chosen to document the process of an assistance dog and that Sugar is part of the story!!!
He will be taking a variety of footage of the entire process which he did with Sugar during her pregnancy and after the puppies were born, and he sees it with the fresh eyes of someone who hasn’t witnessed this part of the assistance dog program! He will continue to film them along their journey and I can’t wait to see how they will change lives!
I think it’s fair to say that during his filming he also fell in love with these puppies! I’m thrilled, as this will add another fresh view of the process and gives followers the opportunity for first-hand reports of their progress!
Here is his update from yesterday: Enjoy!!!
Life of Sugar Update from Mark
January 13, 2017
We’ve known for some time that two puppies from Sugar’s L litter will be raised by the inmates at Stanley Correctional Institution in Stanley, Wisconsin.
As part of the filming project, I visited Stanley yesterday and met with the warden, Reed Richardson, his assistant, Lori Patrouille and Can Do Canine’s trainer, Dyan Larson.
I first have to say that in my many years as a cameraman for Dateline/NBC, I’ve filmed in a lot of correctional institutions. However, I’ve never been treated better anywhere than at Stanley. They have granted incredible access to tell the story of Sugar’s pups in prison and I know it’s going to be amazing! This is all thanks to Warden Richardson who was the driving force in getting Stanley to become a “dog prison”, one of only two in Wisconsin!
On my tour, I got to watch one of the weekly training sessions that Dyan leads. All 40 inmates of the Dog Unit are there, even if they don’t currently have a puppy of their own to train. As with all puppies trained at Stanley, the two yet to be chosen “L” pups will each be assigned to two inmates. I met both teams and they’re so excited to meet the “L”s and start the next phase of their journey. We don’t know the exact date when that will happen, but we’ll keep you posted.
The two inmates share a very small cell and the crate takes up easily 40% of the floor. However, as you can imagine, there are NO complaints! The pups in training will go to the inmate work areas, just like other puppy raisers take their dogs to work. At night, the cell doors are locked but if a puppy has to go to the bathroom, the inmate rings a buzzer and his door is unlocked remotely. The inmate and puppy then go to a secured area just outside the housing unit where the puppy does their business. I’ve always wondered how that works and now I know!
One of the sweetest things is the big bulletin board they have in the open area of the housing unit. Along with all the newsletters from Can Do and photos of the dogs they’re training, there was a big display of pictures that Holly took of Sugar and the pups when they were just days old. So, their excitement builds as the day gets closer to when they get to be introduced to their new additions at Stanley!