Project Pooch, Inc.

To provide opportunities for youth in corrections to learn patience, responsibility and compassion for all life through working with shelter dogs.
Jul 15, 2015

Going Home!

Going Home!
Going Home!

We wanted to share the awesome news about Jet, a handsome Black Lab, who was with us for 9 months.

Jet finally found his forever home!

During his time at Project POOCH, he and his youth trainer worked to master his basic commands like sit, stay, and come, and successfully pass his Canine Good Citizen test. Jet is a rambunctious and gorgeous dog with a personality as big as he is. It took his youth trainer a lot of work, perseverance, patience, consistency and trust-building to help focus Jet's energy. We couldn't believe this beautiful Black Lab was having such a hard time attracting a new family. It would probably be an understatement to say his energy was holding him back.

But that didn't stop his trainer from dedicating his time and energy to his buddy. Every day, Jet received the love, socialization, time, attention, and training he needed to keep him happy and healthy and ready for when that magic moment came.

Last month, that moment finally did.

The perfect human companion for him found him online and came to visit. And she was impressed!

As his new mom said: “He’s a fine canine!” A fine canine indeed… all 85 goofy, loving, and playful pounds of him!

Jet’s story is a reminder of how hard the youth work to successfully adopt out the dogs in their care. They never give up hope that a dog will find their forever home, just like we don’t give up hope on the youth building a better life.

Jet’s leaving was bittersweet for his trainer. After all, they spent 9 months together bonding, growing, learning, and being friends. Jet’s trainer is due to release soon. How fitting it is he was able to witness Jet—his pooch who’d waited the longest—go home.

We are so proud of his efforts and his patience. Thanks to his personal commitment and love for Jet, Jet is now happily enjoying life in a loving home!

From Jet's mom on the ride home:

“Jet had a great time riding in the car... slept most of the way, but when we slowed down, he checked out the scenery. Fantastic K9!!! Here's a pic of him in our car on the way home with his head out the window sniffing the air...  Pure delight!!!!"

 _______________________

We love happy endings and we know you do too! Each time a dog goes to their forever home or a youth achieves a milestone while in the program, or sends us an update on their life after release, we are reminded just how lucky we are to do the work we do and to have generous, kind, and caring folks who support us. Thank YOU!

P.S. Don't forget, today is a GlobalGiving Bonus Day where your donation could be matched at 50% if made before matching funds run out! Please consider making another life-changing gift today.

Jet, having a ball at Project POOCH!
Jet, having a ball at Project POOCH!

Links:

May 13, 2015

POOCH Youth finds success working with dogs

POOCH youth and dog forging a friendship
POOCH youth and dog forging a friendship

Often we share stories of success about POOCH doggie alums who’ve found their forever homes. This time we’d like to share a story about a POOCH youth’s success. This is, after all, our raison d’être! So, it’s with swelled chest and lots of pride we share the story of M. 

M. participated in Project POOCH from 2005-2006. It wasn’t the longest a youth has been in our program, but the impact—on dogs and on him—was overwhelming! Project POOCH recently sat down with this now very accomplished young man and learned how Project POOCH affected his life and the path he’s since followed. 

If there’s one word to describe M., it’s optimistic.

He has what seems to be a permanent smile on his face. Where he is today as opposed to where he was several years ago certainly gives him ample reason. 

During his time at Project POOCH, he worked with and helped adopt out six dogs: Cash, Zeus, Jasper, Max, Sophie, and Emma. It may be a few years since he was in our program, but it took him no time to rattle off these names. His experience and his time with these dogs clearly have left a lasting impression! 

His most memorable dog? Emma. She was a very scared dog because she’d been tied up for several months before ultimately finding her way to Project POOCH. The key to her success? Socialization. That’s what this really all boils down to: making friends, learning to trust, and learning to play well with others. M. said he liked that Project POOCH was helping dogs who were like him and the other youth—individuals who’d gotten lost along the way, had slipped through the cracks, and who were in danger of being forgotten by society altogether. He understood where dogs like Emma were coming from. And he related to their plight. 

The difference he knew he’d be making inspired him.

M. tried his hand at anything and everything that needed to be done at the kennel, from helping build walkways, to landscaping, electrical, and record keeping. He’s proud of the fact he helped build POOCH’s beautiful meditation garden, a place where the youth can take a moment and reflect in what is otherwise a hectic day. 

Today, M. is following a path Project POOCH clearly helped set him on. He’s a dog trainer. Not only that, he’s a trainers’ trainer. He attributes Project POOCH for helping him achieve the success he has enjoyed so far. According to him, Joan Dalton handed him the job application, gave him a Safeway card so he could buy food, bought him clothes for his interview, and set him off to a brighter future. A brighter future he has built indeed! 

M.’s advice?

  • “Give people the opportunity you would ask for if you were in the same situation.”
  • “Learn as much as you can and say yes to opportunities to learn, grow, and better yourself.”
  • “Stay positive.” 

The youth learn many new things during their time with Project POOCH.

They learn the values of patience, compassion, responsibility, and respect for all life. They also gain real life work experience—training dogs, understanding dog behavior, customer service through working with potential adopters, computer skills, record keeping, and how to be reliable, hardworking employees. 

M. took what he learned at Project POOCH and directly applied it to his post release career, one at which he is excelling. M. said it took him half the normal time to complete the trainer’s course because he’d already learned so much at Project POOCH. This is indeed the fulfillment of our mission—youth learning skills at Project POOCH that help them find a job and succeed in life. And in M.’s case, continue to work with the very animals who taught him patience, compassion, and trust: dogs in need of training so they too can have a better life. 

We are indeed proud of M.’s success and you should be too! After all, it’s because of your support, youth like M. have stories with a happy ending! 

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We hope on the upcoming Bonus Day on May 13th, you’ll consider making another life-changing donation to our project, Change the Lives of Troubled Youth & Shelter Dogs, between 6 am and 9 pm Pacific Time so together we can create even more happy endings…. for youth and dogs. ALL gifts will be matched on this special Bonus Day!

Links:

Mar 18, 2015

A POOCH dog gives back

Superhero Fenway on one of many hikes with his mom
Superhero Fenway on one of many hikes with his mom

As you know, at Project POOCH, Inc., we teach the youth in the program patience, kindness, respect, and compassion for all life. That lesson is not lost on the dogs whose lives they save. One such dog is also making a life-saving difference for pups whose lives hang in the balance…. 

Fenway is a beloved POOCH alum who visits Project POOCH often. He’s a delightfully energetic and happy dog who hikes with his mom regularly, though he never seems to tire no matter how many miles they log! 

Fenway’s future wasn’t always so bright…    

                 …until he was found by Project POOCH. 

When our executive director first found Fenway, he was cowering, head down in a corner at an area shelter. She learned he’d been a stray, wandering the streets of a town in Oregon. He was having difficulty being adopted because he was shut down and depressed, but she saw the love and soulfulness in his eyes and knew he’d be a great candidate for our program. 

Fenway's confidence grows...

During his stay with us, as he gained his confidence, we realized he was a happy, high energy dog who had difficulty calming down and focusing—behaviors that require patience and time to overcome. The youth worked with Fenway, teaching him his basic commands, helping him to be more focused and calm, and ultimately taking him through the successful completion of his Canine Good Citizen Certification! 

We knew, once his mom, a longtime POOCH volunteer, met him, it would be love at first sight! What a great team they make! 

Fenway becomes a superhero...

Together, they serve as wonderful ambassadors in the community. So, when his mom told us Fenway had become a doggie blood donor for a local emergency animal hospital, we were not all that surprised, and we were very proud. He’s using everything he learned at Project POOCH about being a well-mannered, loving and trusting pooch, and giving back to other dogs in need. It takes a calm and patient dog to sit for the 30 minutes necessary to donate blood! 

There are over a dozen blood group systems recognized for dogs. That makes each doggie blood donor like Fenway even more critical to the success of the hospital’s life-saving efforts. 

For the next two years, Fenway and his mom will be making regular visits to donate blood. His life was saved by the staff and youth at Project POOCH, and now he is paying it forward by saving the lives of other pooches. 

Fenway is definitely a superhero in our book! 

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When you support Project POOCH, your gift goes so much farther than the brick and mortar of our facility. Every day the youth make choices that reflect the lessons of compassion and respect they’ve been taught. Every day, they make the choice to make the world a better, safer, more humane place, and help dogs like Fenway do the same. THANK YOU for showing compassion to these youth and dogs who are striving to build better and brighter futures. 

We hope you’ll consider making another life-saving gift to our project, Change the Lives of Troubled Youth & Shelter Dogs, on Wednesday, March 18th, between 6 am and 9 pm Pacific Time during GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day. Gifts will be matched at 30% until the $60,000 in matching funds run out.

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