What I learned from the Teacher's Pet Program:
(here are excerpts from the Children's Village kids journals- 2011 / spelling as written)

"What I got out of the program was being able to commit to something...and that my dog brings the best out of me." G.D. 

"I lerned [sic] how to stay calm when I can't get something right and that dogs are pepole to and have family and feelings...First I just wanted to get out of the unit but now I don't want it to end :(. This was the best program I have ever had. I liked everything about it but most of all was the dogs that I like." T.G.

"It was not what I expected. The people were nicer, the dogs where cuddleyer and generally more fun. I got a new understanding on life for shelter dogs and a new found passion for activism...What I liked best was the opportunity to help a dog have a better chance at a happy life... My dog taught me better patience and a sence of meaning...I fell in love with the whole program." D.W. 

"From this program I learned how to train dogs and I learned how to be more social." S.H. 

"I loved the program. One of the best experiences of my life. Really brang out a different side of me...I learned alot about dogs. Puppy mills and pit bulls. got a lot of training skills and it made me respect dogs alot more." K.G.  

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Dear Rusty’s new family,

Rusty is a great dog!  I just want to inform you on the things that you should know about him.  Rusty has come along great.  The first time I met him I thought like this is gonna be the dog I like.  He was standing behind me like he wanted me to protect him from the camera and right then and there I liked Rusty.  

The first time training him was rough because I was trying to get him to sit and stuff, but he would not listen, only sit there and bark.  I was a lil frustrated with him at first, but it took time.  I trained him and he now sits and focuses when he’s called.  Sometimes he barks, but he fixes himself.  I taught him that when given a treat not to snatch it from your hand.  He knows paw too.  I tried to get him to give me right paw when I say ‘right paw’ and left paw when I say ‘left paw’.  He’s doing good with it and seems to like it.  

He’s a loveable dog and I hope you care for him as I did.  

Sincerely,

-N  (Rusty’s student trainer)
Macomb County JJC

P.S. He LOVES soft meaty treats.  Not a fan of the dry kind. 

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 [My advice] for your first day would be to pick out a good person to work with. When you are picking your dog, you should pick a dog that looks like it might be a difficult task training him/her. Training your dog helps you work on alot of things that you were not good at before you started this program. When training your dogs, first work on sit and walking, you also need to work on down and stay. Don't start on tricks first, let your dog master sit, stay, down and leash walking before doing tricks. It will help out so much during your dog's life after he/she is adopted and help you after the first week or two. You will learn a lot, I did! Be patient! Have fun!

K

Children's Village

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Thank you! The word thank you is used to express great gratitude. But I feel thank you is just not a strong enough word to use to express my gratitude. You guys, believe it or not, have done a lot for me. You taught me how to not give up no matter what, especially when I wanted to give up on Scooby. You've taught me patience; we all know how stubborn Scooby could get. But finally, you gave me something to enjoy, to look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday. I could be feeling down and you guys and the dogs would just put me in the best mood. I really really am going to miss you all very much. Please don't forget me because I shall never forget you!

Yours truly, 

P

 Children's Village

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Amy and all who volunteered :)
Your time and patience was deeply appreciated! You gave so much time and preparation to this program. I was very lucky to be a part of this enlightenment to the boys and of all of you. I was glad to be a part of a unique program to teach and enlighten these young men in their programs.

You gave so much to those who would have NEVER been able to experience in their world, without all of you. This would not have been a success! I have boys come to me and express they are sad that this is ending for them, but encouraging them to continue on their own, by asking how they can continue and help. You all taught them how to care and how to show compassion for animals as well as the planet we live on.

There may have been a few obstacles, but you all worked through them with your dedication and commitment. I praise all of you, I pray that program continues as you have changed thoughts and lives. Thank you! I learned too!

Peace,

M. G. (staff)

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 Dear Amy, Angela, Sarah, Ginny and Paul,

I am very thankful for the dog program you have hosted for us. This program helped me figure out a lot too. For example, I alays wanted to go to Michigan State, I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. Now I know. I want to become a vetrenarian to help all animals :) ! You ALL inspired me to do something great on top of all the dog training. Everytime I came to dog training in  abad mood, that mood would always get better thanks to you all, the environment and of course BUDDY! I never would've known so much about myself or dogs if I haven't done this program. So thank you all for everything!

Sincerely,

M.D. (student trainer)

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Poem written by  a student trainer:

Man's Best Friend...

I never thought a dog could ever mean so much to me
I never thought a dog could show me who I'm supposed to be
I never thougth a dog could ever help me when life's hard
I never thought a dog could show me how to fade my scars
And now I have to say good-bye, cause you've got to help someone else
Cause I have known you long enough to stand up for myself
You look at me with your brown eyes and then I understand
Why the sayings always been "dogs are man's best friend"

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A poem for Penelope … 
 More of the kindness
And sweet physical truth
Open up your blindness
To create my true youth
I am noble and affectionate
For your love I sing so high
With a new family
Our hearts will soon tie
I sit, stay and lay
For life is so great
Your love is all that I want
It will bring up the heart rate
So adopt me  ~
For when you see me
I will jump with glee
                                                                           Written by Miguel

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"I feel that these videos / assignments just put in perspective why I'm doing this [dog] program. I, before I came to this program, was rather unsure about what I wanted to be. However now I know I want to be a vet and thanks to this program, those videos and the "dog society," I am going to be a vet!" 

- M.D.
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"Watching this movie about the dogs made me feel like I was in their shoes. I was adopted also at the age of 5 so being SAVED by others makes me believe there is a God looking down on you. It's amazing to hear that dogs will risk their life for their owner. Out of all the animals in the world, this is one animal, I believe will do it."

- C.B.

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"I think harming dogs is bad. I can help by not participating in harming them and if I see someone doing it, I will try everything in my power to stop them. Another way is to keep coming to this dog program and training the dogs so that when they go with a family ,the family won't have to worry about making sure the dog is obedient because I (we) have already helped the dogs. I hope the dogs will find a good home and that they don't get hurt when they leave here. I'm happy I was chosing to participate here! This is the first step to stopping dog abuse!!"

- T
Proud parent of Scooby

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Dear Future Adopter,

I am glad that you are giving this dog a chance. I mean, the dog you are adopting isn't just a dog. In ways more than one, he or she is human-just like you, has feelings-just like you and is well deserving of a good home.

I pray that you will take great care of him or her because when you get that dog, their hearts go out to you and they depend on you to give them a little TLC. Honestly, I know you will. If you are an animal lover like me, you wouldn't want them living in a cage for the rest of their lives and again just to be put down.

Thank you for adopting and saving a dog's life. I promise not only will he or she give love and be playful, but I also promise you that they will be your companion and your friend and also a part of the family. 

Again, thank you and please take care, give treats and teach tricks. 

Sincerely,
-A (Teacher's Pet Student)