A belated Valentine’s Day story that will make you smile

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

 

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

Here’s a belated Valentine’s Day story that will melt your heart — or at the very least, make you smile. And God knows we can all use some good news these days.

With a little help from their friends, some service dogs in training delivered Valentine’s Day gifts to businesses throughout Indianapolis yesterday. Their mission was part of a fundraiser called Puppy Love Valentine 2017, with proceeds benefiting  the Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN).

As Denise Sierp, ICAN’s director of outreach and development told Good Morning America (GMA),The first reaction we get is they think their husband, or whoever gave the Valentine, actually gave them the puppy. Then everybody in the office starts coming out and everybody gets excited.”

In some cases, people are so thrilled that they drop what they’re doing and take time to play with the dogs, Sierp said. Sometimes they even “get on the floor with the dogs and they roll around,” when that happens it is “pure joy,” she added.

A gift that keeps on giving

In addition to getting a chance to play with some truly awesome and adorable dogs, recipients get gift bags containing “cookies, artwork designed by dogs, a heart-shaped candle holder, handmade scarf and greeting cards featuring the ICAN service dogs.”

The prison inmates in the ICAN program who are responsible for training the service dogs also make a lot of the items in the gift bags, GMA reported.

According to Sierp, ICAN’s founder, Dr. Sally Irvin, started the program because she thought it could benefit everyone involved. And it has.

“She saw that it rehabilitated the inmates and provided them with loyalty and trust, which is huge,” Sierp told GMA. “They find freedom in training the dogs within the prison’s four walls.”

Since its humble beginnings 15 years ago, the ICAN program that gives inmates a second chance by allowing them to train the service dogs, has expanded considerably. According to GMA, it now has approximately 50 dogs “in training on a continual basis at the three local prisons, including a women’s prison.”

The easiest and most positive way to turn something around is to give to give back. — Andrew Cole, assistant superintendent of reentry at Pendleton Correctional Facility

As the person in charge of ICAN’s service dog program at a maximum security prison, Andrew Cole has witnessed just how much the program means to the inmates there.

“What we challenge everybody here on is that the easiest and most positive way to turn something around is to give back,” Cole told GMA. “This is selflessness on the ultimate level.”

There is a great deal of pride and satisfaction in knowing that each trained at the facility will have a positive impact on someone’s life for years to come, Cole added.  And at no time is that more evident than at the ICAN “graduation” programs held when the dogs have completed their training.

“It’s an amazing experience to witness and the handlers take pride in that,” Cole said. “We’ve seen handlers who get attached to the dogs but at the same time when the dog leaves they know the dog is going to help somebody lead their life easier for the rest of their life.”

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Voicing support for law enforcement

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of times knows that I am unashamed and unapologetic when it comes to my support for law enforcement.

I simply cannot, do not, and will never buy into the politically correct, liberal, media-driven narrative that most American cops are violent, racist, subhuman creatures who are running amok with impunity.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

Having said that, my support is not unconditional, nor is it given blindly. As a former crime reporter, I am fully aware of the abuses perpetrated by some police officers. As I have said before — and will no doubt say again — any police officer who engages in racism or otherwise abuses their authority should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Apparently I am not alone.

Earlier this month I came across an article about an Indiana man who is also voicing his support for law enforcement. His name is Craig B. Moore, and he recently wrote a song called Thin Blue Line.

Proceeds from downloads on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon will be used to benefit the families of slain law enforcement officers and fund regional law enforcement programs. Specifically, the money will go to the Indiana Chapter of C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors), the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and the Rush County Sheriff’s Department.

The proceeds designated for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and Rush County Sheriff’s Department will be used for each agency’s K-9 program.

Moore’s goal is to raise $10,000 for the organizations.

As he told an Indiana TV station, “I hope that this reaches a lot of people and helps provide some sort of comfort to them.” Moore also said he wants the police to know how most Americans feel about them.  He explained that he wrote the song in order to  “provide the message that they’re our heroes, they’re out there to protect all of us day and night and they work hard to do that.”

Moore got the idea for the song after his brother-in-law — who works for the Rush County Sheriff’s Department — wrote to him this summer. According to Moore’s brother-in-law, Joshua Brinson, the letter was basically a “one page kind of an essay based on a fallen officers funeral and what goes through with all of that.”

Brinson reportedly wrote the letter after five officers were killed in Dallas over the summer.

He then sent it to Moore.

“It affects all of us that wears the uniform, but more importantly, it affects the families and that’s kind of how I looked at that,” said Brinson.

To say it’s been a rough year for American law enforcement is a bit of an understatement. There’s been too much sadness, too much loss, too much fear, too much mistrust, and too much ignorant rhetoric.

And in a year when the people who have screamed the loudest and engaged in the most hateful rhetoric have dominated the news, it’s nice to hear that someone has actually raised his voice for a good cause.

Thanks, Craig.