When I started working at Project POOCH, I noticed how difficult it was for me to train dogs. I really thought that this job wasn't for me. I learned more stuff from experienced guys and once I got the hang of it my dogs seemed to come and go very quickly. Being able to understand a dog's behavior and how they react to different things was very difficult for me at first, so I paid lots of attention and slowly started building a bond with the dogs.
After being at Project POOCH for two years, my training techniques are getting better and I have accomplished many adoptions . I'm always comfortable with the depth of emotion I have for the dogs. That is why I am patient in giving the dogs the affection and compassion they need.
Jun 8, 2010
By Susie Waki - Program Assistant
Thanks to the support of community volunteers, the youth are sometimes offered a chance to learn new and exciting ways to bond with their dogs. These special events are not only fun for the youth and dogs, but give the youth an opportunity to develop their problem solving skills, increase their listening skills and practice their social skills. In addition, positive experiences like these help the to youth develop the self confidence they will need to build healthy relationships in the future.
On a recent Saturday, volunteers from Cascade Sled Dog Club showed the human side of POOCH how to harness their dogs’ natural abilities and enjoy dog-powered sports. The youth guided their dogs through drills aimed at teaching both dogs and soon-to-be- mushers the skills and commands necessary to pull a sled scooter, or a person on skis. Both dogs and youth were receptive to the training, so everyone was ready to try his or her hands (or paws) at scootering by the end of the session. The young men put on special belts, helped their dogs into harnesses connected from a tow line to their belts, mounted scooters. and told their dogs to “Go!” Every dog/youth team made its way at least once around the POOCH kennel. They were encouraged by a lot of yelling and laughter from the volunteers and each other. It’s tough to say who had the most fun—the volunteers, the dogs, or the youth. There are definitely some promising mushers and sled dogs in POOCH!
May 18, 2010
A heartfelt letter from a grateful youth
By Ivan - Project POOCH Youth Graduate
Dear Project POOCH,
Hello to everyone at POOCH. I was just doing a homework assignment and was thinking of how much POOCH has helped me through the last few years and after my release, so I decided to write a letter of gratitude. I could not have written this letter if it wasn’t for POOCH. You got me this computer and I don’t have to use my brother’s computer every time I have an assignment. I would not have gone to college because of my financial status but thanks to Project POOCH’s support, I’m in college studying and learning hard. Also, I realized some of the most important skills like: patience, compassion, and responsibility. I need to have patience with some of my professors and the people I’m surrounded by. I need to have compassion for other people. And most importantly is responsibility. I use it every day with college, looking for work and managing my time so I can be productive. I am making sure the things I do are responsible so I don’t end up where I was.
It’s just nice to know that there are people that want me to do well and believe in me. That drives me to do better than just being good or average. Thank you again for everything you have done for me and for all things you are doing for others.