RPSM.Org: What it Means to Me – A Series #2

I was introduced to RPSM.org five years ago when my family adopted Barkley LeRoy and Penelope Louise, “Penny.” My experience was chronicled in my blog post, Writing Their Stories, on March 23, 2016.

The Blogging Owl has been granted permission from Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan to promote their new series, “What it Means to Me.”

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

This is the second post in series of reflections from the inmate trainers in their own words on what it meant to them to train a dog rescued by Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan.

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

Founded in 2007, RPSM has made a serious effort to effectively aid in the reduction of euthanasia rates at many animal shelters. In 2008, the RPSM Correctional Companion Program began. In a partnership with the Coldwater Prison Complex, RPSM endeavors to find homes for dogs in shelters that would otherwise be euthanized. Dogs selected for the Companion Program are carefully screened for temperament, trainability, and adaptability. They are fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered prior to enrollment in the program. Once they arrive at the complex, they are assigned to specially trained inmates who are responsible for their training and day to day care. Upon completion of the program, the dogs are ready to receive a canine good citizen certificate (CGC) and available for adoption in an approved home.

RPSM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are 100% donation driven. Any donations to RPSM are always 100% tax deductible. A weekly or monthly donation to RPSM provides a consistent & dependable income to fund our ongoing efforts. Non-monetary items such as flea and tick preventative, heart worm preventative, dog shampoo, fund raiser items, and more are always welcomed.

Rpsm

A Maltese named Quartz/Finnegan

To me, RPSM is a place that has taken love to a whole new level. The love and compassion that I see in the RPSM reps for these dogs cannot be compared to any other place. They are a living example as to how to treat dogs. RPSM means a lot to me because I care about the dogs also and to know that there is a place that loves dogs and understand that they are living creatures with a lot of love to give, does my heart good.

My outlook on rescue dogs was, they must have done something wrong or they are out of control. Because of RPSM my outlook has changed. I see now that these dogs are not out of control and didn’t do anything they wasn’t shown how to do. Most of the dogs have been mistreated and abandoned, some have been left for dead. I have so much compassion for these dogs now, because RPSM has been the front runner on compassion in my eyes. Because of their leadership in caring for dogs that nobody wanted I understand that every dog has something to offer.

I’m from a place where all I grew up around was pit bulls, Rots and boxers, and they were all big. So, I believed that the best dogs were only the big dogs, so when I became a dog trainer these are the only kinda dogs I wanted. Then I got a dog named Bandit. When I first got Bandit, he was very skittish to the point we couldn’t even walk him because he was always looking behind him. He would get so scared of the loud noises that he would sometime pee and tuck his tail and run to a safe place. He didn’t like to meet anybody new or go into common-areas where a lot of people was, he would shut down. A dog like this tried our patience, but we remembered that Bandit had been abused. So, we took our time with his fear issues and became one of the more confident dogs and got adopted and is living happily with his family.

I’m a pretty, big guy and I work out a lot, so I love the big macho dogs. When I got a little dog named Quartz/Finnegan this was a Maltese and weighed in at 19 pounds soaking wet. When I first got him I was feeling a little uneasy because of the size of the dog. But when I got him and let my guard down, he was so lovable that I fell in love with him and he used to get so excited to see me, wagging his tail and trying to jump up.

Changing lives, changing hearts

He made me feel loved. He would sleep in the bed with me and always wake me up with kisses. He was my best friend. I’m not ashamed to admit that when Quarts/Finnegan left me I cried like a baby. I couldn’t believe that I was crying like that over a dog. I missed him instantly. He had got sick while he was with me and I gave him all his meds and the baths he needed. The funny thing was, he really trusted me because I was the only one who he would allow to give him his meds.

Quartz/Finnegan changed my heart to allow me to love all dogs no matter their size or breed. That’s my little buddy and I miss him very much. But he is doing well in his new home and he even has another dog to play with. Because of Quartz/Finnegan it doesn’t matter to me whether I work with a small dog or a great Dane, all dogs have love to give so I’m going to give it right back.

Written by Quartz/Finnigan’s Trainer

Ways Readers Can Help

The Prison Companion Program has given a second chance to over 500 dogs that would have otherwise be euthanized. We need your help to continue fulfilling our mission of saving these dogs that deserve a second chance! RPSM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization running solely on donations. Any donations to RPSM are deductible on your federal tax return. A weekly or monthly donation to RPSM provides a consistent & dependable income to fund our ongoing efforts of saving animals.

Please visit Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan’s website at www.rpsm.org for more ways you can donate and become involved in giving hope not only to the pets RPSM rescues but to all the lives these wonderful pets touch.

“ADOPT YOUR PAROLEE TODAY” CAR MAGNET

FullSizeRender

Purchase yours today to build awareness for the Correctional Companion Program and rescue efforts of Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan. Purchase Link: RPSM Vehicle Magnet for sale on Etsy!

RPSM.Org: What it Means to Me – A Series

I was introduced to RPSM.org five years ago when my family adopted Barkley LeRoy and Penelope Louise, “Penny.” My experience was chronicled in my blog post, Writing Their Stories, on March 23, 2016.

The Blogging Owl has been granted permission from Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan to promote their new series, “What it Means to Me.” 

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

Founded in 2007, RPSM has made a serious effort to effectively aid in the reduction of euthanasia rates at many animal shelters. In 2008, the RPSM Correctional Companion Program began. In a partnership with the Coldwater Prison Complex, RPSM endeavors to find homes for dogs in shelters that would otherwise be euthanized. Dogs selected for the Companion Program are carefully screened for temperament, trainability, and adaptability. They are fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered prior to enrollment in the program. Once they arrive at the complex, they are assigned to specially trained inmates who are responsible for their training and day to day care. Upon completion of the program, the dogs are ready to receive a canine good citizen certificate (CGC) and available for adoption in an approved home.

RPSM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are 100% donation driven. Any donations to RPSM are always 100% tax deductible. A weekly or monthly donation to RPSM provides a consistent & dependable income to fund our ongoing efforts. Non-monetary items such as flea and tick preventative, heart worm preventative, dog shampoo, fund raiser items, and more are always welcomed.

Rpsm

 

This is the first post in series of reflections from the inmate trainers in their own words on what it meant to them to train a dog rescued by Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan.

A Rescue named Herman

To me, RPSM means a group of people who care for the health and fate of animals. It means people who make a difference. It means protection, care, foster, placement, and new additions to and for families.

The rescue dogs have made a profound impact on my life and I see the impact they make on others, even if only for the moments they spend petting a dog. The smiles and the looks that seem to turn on a light behind the eyes these dogs come in contact with. The calming effect was priceless. Despite all they have gone through, they can still show tender attachment of affection displaying the warm and fuzzy opposed to the cold and prickly.

Hands down, the best success story of a dog would be a dog I came to know and love named Herman. Herman went through more than any dog in several lifetimes. He was used for fighting. He came here with many bite marks and scars. His mouth was badly infected and he had to have plastic surgery. When RPSM brought him to me it was plain to see that none of this took away the joy this dog possessed and his demeanor was that of a dog who had forgiven cruelty that he had been subjected to.

Training Herman was fun because he loved learning new things and people. He had a certain type of magnetism about him. He had a fan base around here. People just wanted to pet this big guy. Before Herman left us, he knew his commands, plus doing, some by reading words from cards and in addition he also did some commands from them being spelled to him. Herman is a very smart dog. I could write a book on this guy, however, I will keep it short. Herman would come up to me and laid his big head on my lap and then try to crawl in my bed. I couldn’t allow him on the bed so after play time I would go to his sleeping area and take naps with him as he would nestle close to me. We had a good bond being a part of the same pack.

A tragedy occurred in my family, the loss of my daughter. Herman was there for me in ways that I can’t describe on paper. I was able to talk to him and he was a very good listener without judgement or criticism. In a grief stricken state he even licked a tear or two from my face as if to say, “It’s going to be okay, I’m here for you.” His show of affection brought a much needed smile to my tear stained face. Without his knowing he helped me through a very rough patch in my life. I can honestly say that he taught me more than I ever taught him. We were therapeutic for one another.

It is my wish that he is receiving the love that I know he gives. I know where ever he is at he’s being his fun loving self-bringing about smiles and laughter to those who lend attention to this amazing dog with so much life. Knowing he has removed some rough edges within me.

Herman, I wish you well old friend 🙂

Written by Herman’s Trainer

Ways Readers Can Help

The Prison Companion Program has given a second chance to over 500 dogs that would have otherwise be euthanized. We need your help to continue fulfilling our mission of saving these dogs that deserve a second chance! RPSM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization running solely on donations. Any donations to RPSM are deductible on your federal tax return. A weekly or monthly donation to RPSM provides a consistent & dependable income to fund our ongoing efforts of saving animals.

Please visit Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan’s website at www.rpsm.org for more ways you can donate and become involved in giving hope not only to the pets RPSM rescues but to all the lives these wonderful pets touch.

Penny and Barkley

Penny and Barkley wish to thank Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan and their trainers at the Coldwater Correctional Facility. Penny and Barkley were adopted together on May 5, 2012.

 

In honor of Maddie

The unimaginable pain is losing a child. I hope I never experience such a loss. How do I comfort someone who is suffering the loss of their child?  No words are adequate.

Madison Paige is the daughter of a family friend who tragically lost his daughter this past week. As he and others shared her photos on Facebook, I saw a beautiful smile and a loving spirit. She brought such joy! Now through her gift of organ donation, “Maddie” lives and loves on in others who now share her beautiful smile and loving spirit.

Maddie is a Watering Can of the highest measure. In honor of this beautiful child, Maddie, please consider registering as an organ donor.

Madison Paige

Organ Donation

It is easy to become registered as an Organ Donor. I became registered as an Organ Donor when I renewed my driver license at the Michigan Secretary of State office.

Read more about organ donation here:

Organ Donation

Living Organ Donation

The Mayo Clinic – Facts about Organ Donation

What is a Watering Can?

A Watering Can is a person who helps others thrive. I believe our purpose here on earth is to be of service to others.God has given each one of us gifts to help others thrive. I began The Watering Can campaign in January 2015 as personal initiative to serve others and motivate others to do the same.

The Watering Can

“The Watering Can – Helping All of God’s Creatures Thrive.”

The Watering Can is my personal initiative to serve others in need, to be a service resource, and to provide service development for those who want to become their own watering can in their community and beyond.

The Watering Can is a life of service built on the belief that each person and all God’s creatures have intrinsic value deserving of love and a quality life without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, breed or species.

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” Thomas Merton

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