Though this blog is was originally intended as a resource for offenders in Massachusetts, much of what I write about is applicable to sex offenders in every other state and many countries around the world, especially in Western Europe. Even other non-sex offenders trying to navigate prison, probation and parole, or employment and education opportunities can glean relevant information from this blog and apply it to help overcome their own struggles.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Compassionate Companion

First, I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts.  I've been flaking out a bit and have been delibrately avoiding the my blog, Twitter and Facebook.

As some of you know, I have done my 10 years on probation  and the time after my release from probation (August 2011) with my labrador retrievers by my side.  I'm sorry to report that 3 weeks ago I had to put  my old boy Champ down at 13 years 3 months.  He and his littermate Daisy (2010) were the constants in my life throughout my joys and struggles the past decade+.  Champ and Daisy live on in 4 other dogs they helped nuture, showing them how to enjoy being a dog and to understand the human environment in which they live.

 I know many of you also enjoy the companionship a pet can bring into ones life.  For us sex offenders (and I'm sure many other ex-cons), being with a beloved pet draws us away and buffers us from whatever ostracism or ill follows us around town or into our homes and helps us focus on the "now", something easily distracted from when you are constantly reminded about your past and the future that awaits you.  My labs were my greatest protectors, spiritually and physically.

Of course, having a pet is not always practical, feasible, or allowed (yes probation/parole can bar you from having a pet).  I was fortunate to have a family that supported the financial care of my dogs when I couldn't, for instance.  However, if you are able to make the commitment and incorporate a dog (or cat) into your life on whatever level after prison, during probation, etc..., it may be the most wonderful choice you could make.  Their ability to rehabilitate the soul is staggering.