Tagged: The Dog Program

Willy: The Blue Heeler

 

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After 6 months I finally got another dog. And this one is awesome! His name is Willy. He is a Blue Heeler (aka: Australian Cattle Dog).

The only thing I know about Willy is that he’s a DOC drop-out. That means he was training to become a drug sniffing dog, but didn’t make the cut. As for ”why” he didn’t make the cut, I have no idea, because Willy is highly intelligent and learns super quick.

I’ve had Willy for about two weeks and he already knows more than some dogs learn in ten weeks!

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Steven Jennings

155 Days of Good Time Restored

 

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Remember my NA series and all those NA Meetings I attended? Well they just now paid off in the form of good time. My release date has been adjusted from 8-9-32 to 3-7-32. I haven’t done the math, but according to DOC, that’s 155 days!

Upon receiving this good news I was also informed that I will be getting back an additional 90 days at my next review in August. All I gotta do is remain infraction free, stay in The Dog Program, and receive positive evaluations.

It feels good to be going the other way. To be earning good time rather than loosing it. To be living in harmony rather than conflict. To be progressing rather than regressing. To be making friends rather than enemies. To be focusing on the positive rather than the negative.

For almost 23 years my environment hasn’t changed. PRISON! It’s still full of misfits and misconduct. But what has changed is my attitude, perspective, outlook, and priorities. During my quest to seek knowledge and understanding I’ve learned that the mind is like a garden. Either you can intelligently Cultivate it, or neglect it and let it run wild. That’s why its crucial for me to constantly cultivate my mind by weeding out all the wrong, useless, destructive, impure thoughts. And nurturing my mind with right, useful, constructive, positive thoughts.

By constantly pursuing this process of mind evolution, I am starting to reap the rewards. Such as: I found my beautiful soulmate in Suzie, I made it to The Honor Unit, I got accepted into the dog program, I’ve met new people and have devolved new friendships, I’m no longer getting in fights or hurting people, and I’m earning back good time. Just to name a few.

For years I allowed my mind to run wild. The results were devastating! For more on the devastation you can read my ebook titled, STONE CITY : LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY.

I was oblivious to the fact that a deeper level of consciousness existed. I was mindlessly wandering through life, and inappropriately reacting to everything life threw at me. With a neglected mind, I didn’t stand a chance. But with a new and improved cultivated mind, I have so much hope and excitement for today and the rest of my life.

If you had the power to be happier, to change your environment, and to have better relationships with friends and family, would you use that power?

Of course you would!
So why don’t you?
The power is within you.

Take the first step and read : “AS A MAN THINKETH” by James Allen. This book will teach you LAWS OF THOUGHT that cannot error. By reading this quick little 55 page book, you’ll be taking a crucial step towards intelligently cultivating your mind. I hope you feel inspired.

 

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Steven Jennings

The Two Day Shakedown

 

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On Thursday December 1st, DOC spent $18K to shakedown two units. DOC brought extra guards in by the buss load! Literally.

The first unit they hit was G UNIT. The dog program is in that unit. So at about 10 am, a guard brought me Sam from G UNIT. Sam is a two year old Husky/Shepard mix. We spent the day playing and getting to know each other.

Sam is an awesome dog, and he’s looking for a forever home. For more information on how to adopt, please read: Adopting A Dog.

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Me and Sam

I was expecting to give Sam back at 3:30pm. But to my surprise, he spent the night with my celly (Jesse Bailey) and I. The next morning, we got raided! Sam went back to G UNIT, and all of H3 (my unit), went to the gym. There we sat for 9 hours while our cells were getting TORE UP!

Some cells got hit harder than others. I was actually surprised that my cell didn’t get hit that hard. Everything was moved around, but they didn’t dump everything on the floor like they did others.

These shakedowns are to be expected. I mean after all, this is prison. But the interview tactics was out of line! As we all sat in the gym, DOC conducted interviews with everyone. Or should I say, they interrogated everyone.

As soon as I walked in the little office, the lead investigator looked at me from above his glasses and simply said, “Sit down!”

I said, “Yes sir” and sat.

He asked, “Are there drugs in the unit?”

I said, “I’m sure there is. This is prison.”

He asked, “Who has them?”

I said, “I don’t know. I’m not in that scene.”

He said, “Don’t lie to me. You live in that unit and you know where its at!”

I said, “Sir, I understand your position and objective. But I can’t tell you what I don’t know.”

He responded, “So if you knew, you’d tell me?”

That’s when I got philosophical with him. I said, “What’s done in the darkness will eventually be brought to light. Guys that come in here and tell, eventually get exposed. And that in itself presents a whole host of problems that often turns out worse than a guy sitting in his cell getting high.”

He says nothing as he jots down notes on his pad.

I continue, “So with all due respect, let’s just focus on me and what I’m doing.”

That’s when he says, “You’re getting high. I’m ordering that extra attention be paid to your cell. I’m also ordering that you get tested for drug use.”

I’m thinking, man, this dude is hardcore! I feel myself taking offense. Then all of a sudden, The Four Agreements pop into my head. I remember the second agreement: DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.

At that moment I start to relax and realize this guy is just doing his job and he views me as a number. He doesn’t care about me or my journey. He’s just doing his job and I just so happen to be within his line of work. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

So I offer him some unsolicited insight. I tell him, “I don’t use drugs anymore. I’m about to get EFV’s with my wife, and I’m in The Dog Program.”

He quickly snaps back, “That doesn’t mean anything!”

I quietly say, “To me it does.”

Then he asks, “Who do you run with?”

I reply, “No one. But I associate with all types of people.”

“Does that include the White Boys?” he asks.

It would be so easy to be a smart-allic to this guy, and at times I’m tempted. But I stay composed and answer his questions as he attempts to put his own twist on things.

I say, “Yes. And it includes my Black friends, my Native American friends, my Asian friends, and my Mexican friends.”

As he’s interrogating me, he’s looking at a computer screen, reading some type of inaccurate information on me. At least I assume it’s inaccurate, based on his line of questioning.

He asks me, “Do you sit with all these different races in the chow hall?”

I tell him, “Yes.”

He asks me, “How do the White Boys feel about that?”

I tell him, “I’ve never went around asking, but I assume it’s just like anything else in life…some hate it, some like it, and some don’t care.”

Then he asks me, “Have you ever been affiliated with the Skinheads?”

“No.”

Have you ever been affiliated with the AF (Arian Family)?

“No.”

“Have you ever attended any Asatru meetings or European events?”

“Nope. But I have attended Native American Pow Wows and Cinco De Mayo celebrations.”

“Let me see your tattoos,” he demands.

“I don’t have any,” I say.

He says, “Either you willingly show me your tattoos or else I’ll strip search you, then write you up you for lying to staff.”

“If I had tattoos I’d gladly show you. But I don’t have any.”

Silence filled the room.

His entire line of questioning was an attempt to tie me to STG (security threat groups) and make me out to be a racist. (please read: Prison Ink: The Art of Hate)

As silence filled the room, he continued to read from the computer. So I took it upon myself to give him some more unsolicited insight on myself.

I said, “I know I’ve done wrong in the past. I’m ashamed and remorseful for all that. Today I’m a rehabilitated man. I treat all people with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, religion, or crime. I don’t use drugs or alcohol and I always try my best to do the right thing.”

He continues to read and says nothing.

Then to my surprise, he took off his glasses, looked me in the eye, and said, ”Thank you for your time Mr. Jennings. And good luck to you in the future. We’re done here.”

I was shocked! WTF just happened?

As I stood up, he stood up. Then he extended his hand. I felt uncomfortable shaking it. Because this is where all the snitches conduct their business. And this is the man they conduct their business with. But I have a clear conscious. I’m not a snitch. And I haven’t done anything wrong. So I shook his hand and said, ”Thank you sir” as I walked out the door.

For more on this crazy day, please read my celly’s perspective in a post he wrote on Stone City Blog called: SHAKEDOWN (the drug raid)

And oh, just so you know, they never did UA me.
Or strip search me.
Or pay special attention to my cell.

 

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Steven Jennings

Coping With Prison Life

 

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A lot has been going on. I do my best to remain positive and stay upbeat. But I must admit, sometimes it’s super hard. Back in August I was on a softball team that was argumentive, disorganized, and dysfunctional. So I quit.

Soon after I quit, I hear a knock on my cell door. It’s the coach. “Why’d you quit?” he demands! Right away I see he’s hostile and emotional.

I tell him, “Because it’s too stressful and I’m not having any fun. Guys are arguing with each other and we’re loosing too many games.”

He says, “Well then f*ck you! I’m done f*cking with you!” Then he slammed my door.

I immediately get an adrenaline rush. I almost open my door and call him back. But I don’t. I accept it and let him walk away. Because the last time I entertained such irrationality, I ended up knocking out the dude. And that cost me my EFV’s for 5 years. (see: How I Lost My EFV’s For 5 Years)

Today I’m a changed man. I’ve learned from my past. I try my best to avoid conflict.

So what could I have done to avoid this entire situation? It’s actually quite simple. I should’ve finished out the softball season with a positive, optimistic attitude. Regardless of our record and all the negativity.

I’m getting pretty good at avoiding physical confrontations. However, I need to work on avoiding confrontational situations all together. This has proven to be very tricky. I can be minding my own business, doing my own thing, and then suddenly find myself in an undesired situation.

So shortly after this whole softball fiasco, the Sergeant calls me in his office. He tells me that my celly, Dicky, is requesting that I be moved out.

Dicky is disabled and bound to a wheelchair, therefore we are in an ADA cell. These cells are bigger and have wider doors for wheelchair access. Which means Dicky always has top priority to live in these spacious ADA cells. So if he wants a celly gone, it’s always the celly who gets the boot, never him.

I’m genuinely surprised by this news the Sergeant it telling me. Dicky and I get along fine. So I ask the sergeant, “Why?”

Basically, Dicky said I’m too clean. I clean the cell too much. And that I organize his area when it gets too messy. Which I do. But Dicky and I have had discussions about this. And he said its all good!

So as the Sergeant is telling me all this, I’m confused. None of this is making any sense. REALLY! I’m getting the boot for being too clean and organized. What’s really going on?

Well it didn’t take long to figure it out. As soon as I moved out, Dicky moved in one of his dope fiend buddies. Dicky is an addict himself. He’s a pharmaceutical junky. He goes to pill line multiple times everyday. He keeps hundreds of pills hoarded in his cell constantly. But I guess the legal drugs aren’t enough.

Since I got kicked out, Dicky has been going downhill fast. Some dude ran up on him and in front of everyone and said, “Listen you punk ass bitch, that sh*t you gave me was bunk and I’m not paying you a f*cking dime!”

Wow! In front of God and everybody. Dicky was now exposed. Shortly after that, someone must’ve went and told. Because they suspended his visits. Tore up his cell. Took apart his wheelchair (looking for drugs). And subjected him to a piss test. Dicky refused the UA because he was dirty. Refusing a UA is a Major Infraction. Dicky is now out of the dog program.

It all makes sense now. Dicky kicked me out of the cell because he wanted to get high and sell drugs. And he knows I’m not down with any of that. So he reverted back to his lying manipulative ways to get what he wants. (see: Living With A Compulsive Liar)

When the Sergeant first told me I was getting kicked out of my cell, I was upset and stressed. But now I’m very thankful. It took me over 6 years to get in The Dog Program. By living with Dicky, he jeopardized my livelihood with his sneaky manipulative misconduct.

In a piece I wrote called, Stone Catchers: I Quit!!!, I talk about overcoming these exact type of challenges.

I know what I need to do. Now it’s all about having the strength, courage, and intelligence to successfully cope with any and all situations that come my way.

 

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

 

I quit softball. I temporarily quit Stone Catchers. And sometimes I feel like giving up and smashing out some of these fools. It’s time I quit quitting. Giving up is NOT an option. Violence Is Never The Answer.

MY PRAYER: Please God, continue to give me the strength to endure and overcome. Guide me, guard me, and protect me as I continue my journey. Amen!

 

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Steven Jennings

Dogs Help Children Develop Strong Immune Systems

 

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Did you know that children who live with dogs are more likely to be healthier than those who don’t. Children with dogs get more exercise than children who live without dogs? They also spend more time laughing and being happy.

But wait, it gets better!

According to numerous studies, children with dogs in the home had fewer infectious respiratory problems, fewer ear infections, and were less likely to require antibiotics. As the children grew, they developed better immune systems throughout their childhoods.

Researchers also found that the effect was greater if the dog spent less than six hours in the house. The theory is : the longer dogs are outside, the more dirt and bacteria they bring inside. This creates ”bacterial diversity”.

Bacterial diversity helps the child’s immune system to mature faster and effectively fight off infectious agents. Researchers also claim that living with dogs may prevent children from developing asthma. Who knows if this stuff is actually true? But it kinda makes sense. Head researcher Dr. Susan Lynch says:

 

“Exposing the gastrointestinal track to pet dust and other microbes early in life prepares it to respond appropriately to a variety of invaders.”

 

Think about it…if you protect your child in an immaculate house that’s free of germs and bacteria, then one day expose your child to the outside world, and he/she gets super sick…that’s your fault!!! Especially now that you are armed with this knowledge. And since you read this from the internet, you know it’s true.

Peep this fact: “Early childhood is a critical period for developing protection against allergies and asthma.”

So all you new mothers and mothers-to-be, I strongly suggest you expose your babies to filthy bacteria ridden dogs.

Adopt a dog, and raise a healthy child.

Your welcome,
Steven

 

Dogs Can Make Children Healthier

 

Rolo Arrives

 

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I got a new dog named, Rolo. He’s a 1 year old, 17 pound, young, energetic, highly intelligent, Jack Russell Rat Terrier. He has zero name recognition and doesn’t know any commands. They say he was a stray that got picked up off the streets.

The first thing I taught him was: HEEL and SIT. This is important for his safety as we travel through the unit and through big steel doors. Before I give a command, I say his name. Within 48 hours he knew his name and was performing beautifully.

Now it’s all about letting Rolo get comfortable in his new environment before I move on to other obedience training. Right now we’re getting to know each other. This is crucial before the real training begins.

This dog is great!

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Steven Jennings

Yahoo Leaves

 

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I had him for 76 glorious days. In that time, I witnessed an impressive transformation. He went from a dog that didn’t even know his name, or any basic commands, to a dog that obeys all his commands and even learned a couple new tricks.

At 3pm a Sargent came to my cell and told me to take Yahoo to Master Control at 8pm. Since he didn’t get adopted, he’s going back to PAWS (a local animal shelter). That gave me 5 hours to say goodbye. I enjoyed every second of it.

During count, I layed on the floor with him, using his body as a pillow. My hands massaged his neck and ears nonstop. I skipped going to the chow hall for dinner and ate with Yahoo instead. Tonight we had my Spectacular Brown Rice creation. I mixed a generous amount into his normal dog food. He loved it!

At 6pm I took him out to the yard to say goodbye to all who grew to love him. He got a lot of attention and love.

Then from 7-8pm Dicky and I hung out in the cell with Yahoo. We brushed him, gave him treats and spoiled him. He could definitely sense something was different.

At 8pm, Dicky grabbed the leash with Yahoo and I pushed him in his wheelchair as all three of us headed to Master Control. That’s where we met the Head Trainer. She told us we did a good job and thanked us.

My last goodbye consisted of a kiss on his nose followed by, “That was from my momma.” Then another kiss on the nose followed by, “That was from Suzie.” Then I pinched both his cheeks, kissed both sides of his nose and said, “And that’s from me!”

I handed over the leash and watched him disappear through two gates that lead to freedom. I got a little more emotional than I expected. Even though I mentally prepared myself, and I knew this moment would come, nothing can replicate or prepare me for the actual event of saying goodbye.

Yahoo was an absolute joy and pleasure to work with. He will forever live in my heart.

Now I’m ready for the next dog…bring it on!

 

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Steven Jennings