Week 41
"This week we moved to a new cell.  Guardian seemed to be a little stressed out for a night, but he recovered nicely.  He also went on a field trip this week and it was said he did very well.  His barking seem to be out of excitement rather than meanness.  When he gets excited he seems to black out because he doesn't listen. but as soon as he calms down, he's a perfect gentleman.  We believe Guardian is ready for a good home with someone who understands him."  

Week 40
Guardian’s handlers continued to work on him being calmer when he hears noises.  This pup tends to bark during those times.  He also is relearning how to relax around the other dogs without getting too excited.  His handlers try treats, but “Guardian pays them no never mind.”  We know you’ll find your comfort zone once again, sweet boy, and in turn, your real forever home.

Week 39
Guardian has done good this week.  We worked on a lot of things, and he listens very well to his commands."  In fact, this pup got gold stars for his sit, stay, down, paw, bow, leave it and watch me commands!  Not only that, he is barking at people less!  Hopefully, a new family will love you as much as we do, Guardian!

Week 38
"This week Guardian showed a lot of improvement with not barking as much.  Every day he starts to get better.  He learned some new tricks too.  He is a very loving and  playful dog that need a great home. To me and the other handlers he is just a 92 pound baby."

Week 37
In the past three weeks, Guardian learned some new tricks such as bawl, spin, and sit pretty. In fact his handlers awarded him gold stars for these accomplishments!  In addition, “we've been working a lot on his mouthing and barking. Guardian shows a lot of improvement except when he is excited. He's been doing much better with the Corrections Officers too.”  Keep improving and learning new things, little boy!

Week 36
Guardian received gold stars from his handler this week for doing very well with his basic skill and tricks.  “He is also coming along in his efforts to stop barking at the Corrections Officers.   We found out that when he's off the leash he goes right up to the C.O.s without barking at all.  I believe he will always have guard dog instincts, so he needs a family to understand that and appreciate that side of him.”

Week 35
“This week we've been working on all Guardian’s commands.  He seems to be improving with stopping barking at Corrections Officer. We tell the C.O.s to stand still and he goes right up and licks their hands.  We'll keep working on that every day.”

Week 34
Guardian worked a lot on not barking at the Corrections Officers this week.  “We've been having the C.O.s feed him treats and do tricks.  He really is doing better.  That seems to be his biggest fault so that’s what we've been working the most on.”  Although Guardian can still get distracted during his training, he received gold stars for several commands, including giving kisses and shaking his handlers’ hands!  You’re doing great sweet boy!

Week 33
This week, Guardian’s handlers focused on getting him to stop the barking at people.  “We've been doing what we're supposed to, and are using a couple of techniques, but saying "NO" seems to be working the best.”  Guardian excelled again with his commands, and he can’t wait to show them off to people he can call his forever family!

Week 32
This week, Guardian received gold stars from his handlers for several commands, including stand, kiss and shake!  Their main focus was his barking at people in uniform because that is the only barrier they see to his adoption.  They are happy to report that “he seems to be getting better.”  Guardian also went on a special field trip this week. “He seemed to be excited like he knows a good home is coming soon.”  Paws crossed that’s true, sweetheart!

Week 31 
Guardian's handlers report that they worked a lot on his with me walking "and he did very well.  His rough playing is getting much better, and he's less mouthy too.  His recall is outstanding.  A lot of Corrections Officers have been asking about him and saying he's doing so well with his training. He's a very good dog and he deserves to have a great home." 

Week 30
Guardian’s handlers worked with him all week with distractions, and “he’s doing a little better with that and also with his barking at people. We have been taking him outside and working with him every day.  He has his sit, stay leave it, down, stand, come out, paw and touch commands down pat!!!”  Congratulations for another good report, Guardian!   

Week 29
This week Guardian’s handlers focused on stopping him from barking at the people and the Corrections Officers on the block.  “This seems to be his biggest issue.”  The rest of Guardian’s training is going well.  “His stay and come commands are becoming great!  While working on his stay this week, he sat for 11 minutes while I was 30 feet from him.  He is also good at sit, down, shake and touch, as well as not pulling while walking.”  Keep smiling and honing your skills, sweet Guardian!

Week 28 
Guardian concentrated on his tendency to bark and calming his play this week.  As for the barking, “it depends on his mood and people’s posture.  He does not care for loud talking either.  His play has really gotten calmer too.”  Guardian also received kudos from his handlers for all of his basic tricks and his commands!  “He really is a great dog for someone who has the time to spend with him.”

Week 27
Guardian’s handlers worked on different things to help him stay focus while training this week.  “During dayroom when there are a lot of people around, we would have different people ask him to do different things while there are people all around him. He's was very good, and we think it's helping him a lot.  We are going to keep doing this, because we think it will help out during training time too.”  HOPE Volunteer Jason took Guardian on a field trip this week.  This pup had fun hanging out with Jason and his family, and also seeing his old friends at the Adopt-A-Thon sponsored by Benny’s Pet Depot!  One volunteer is never amazed that Guardian still has a smile on his face after all he’s been through.  We’re rooting for you, sweet boy!

Week 26
“Guardian is doing very well with his commands. His play is still a little rough, but he is getting better.  He did bark at one or two people this week.  I think he feels threatened by the C.O.s or people in uniform.  We have been working a lot on calming him down when he’s around people.  Other than that he is a very loving dog.  I see great improvement in him.”

Week 25
“Guardian is a very good dog.”  In fact, he got gold stars from his handlers for “working on all things! A lot of people have been asking about him and wanting to see him do his commands, so Guardian has been very active this week.  He's also been playing a lot with other dogs and his toys.”  We’re happy to hear you’re settling in more and more each week, you gentle “giant!”

Week 24
Guardian seemed to be more comfortable being back at the big house because he didn’t bark at anyone this week. The rust is coming off of his commands, because he received gold stars for his sit, stay, down, leave it, come, no and touching commands!  This pup can sometimes get a little exuberant during play time, but his handlers are reinforcing that he has to play nice.  It’s working, because “he is playing with the other dogs, but I think Colby is his favorite.  He seems to be losing weight too, so we’ll keep him on his diet.”   A good report, Guardian!

Week 23
Guardian’s handlers report that he still knows his commands.  Although he’s a bit rusty, he is “coming around quickly.” In fact, he received gold stars for his sit, down, shake, and come skills this week!  “Guardian seems to be adjusting to being back here just fine.  He seems to get nervous around some people, but gets over it quick once they pet him.  A lot of the staff members have come by to see him and say he looks good.  He also is really good with the other dogs that are calm.”   Welcome back, sweet boy!

Update 9/11/13
Even though we try our best to make sure each dog is placed in the right home, sometimes changes in a home environment cause a dog to be returned. That is what happened with our boy Guardian. Although we are sad that he will no longer be living in a home, we welcome him back with open arms. He was always a favorite at the prion and mong the volunteers. He will be given refresher training on the basics and maybe be taught a few new tricks. Don't worry sweet Guardian, we will care for you until your new family finds you.

Week 22
Guardian had a great time racing with his handlers this week. “He loves the large orange ball which he can push around and around with his nose.  He loves to be put in a sit/stay while we put the ball 20 feet away.  We walk back to him, give him the ‘OKAY!’ then race him to the ball.  He usually beats us to it, and barrels into it.”  Guardian also learned how to “spin” in both directions this week.  “Tell him to spin, and gesture which direction, and there he goes.  He learned this after a few sessions.  He is so smart and puppy-like.  Guardian is just great all-around, and we are confident that he will be a blessing to whoever adopts him.”  

Week 21
This week, Guardian’s handlers were able to tire him out in the dog yard with the big orange ball.  One of them would “run around the shack with the ball.  Guardian would give chase, but he was too tired to keep up. Then I’d go a bit too fast and come up behind him.  When he heard me, he would put in one last effort, turn around and run me down.  He did this with ease, because I was also pooped.”  Guardian was the HOPE Ambassador at the Spring Adopt-A-Thon sponsored by Benny’s Pet Depot over the weekend.  True to his handlers’ words last week, Guardian loved all of the attention, pets and oohs and aahs that he received from the people who came to visit him.  His sunny smile made you forget about the rain.  This pup really enjoyed seeing his friends from Canine Rescue of Central PA, Inc. (they took care of him before he entered the program).  Their booth was behind the HOPE booth, and Guardian would sit and watch his friends as they went about their day.  It was if he remembered that they gave him the first love he knew in his life.  Guardian is such a sweetheart and as his handlers say, “an awesome all-around dog.”

Week 20
Guardian worked on some agility commands like crawl, spin, heel and with me this week.  Since he was such a good boy during training, he got to the softball field for some fun.  “Guardian had a blast pushing the orange ball around.  He plays until he drops.”  This pup attended an outing a Dickinson School of Law to give the students some puppy therapy during finals week.  Guardian’s handlers were happy to hear that “he did fabulously meeting/greeting both the people and the other dogs” he encountered.  Guardian also was introduced to Tonka this week, and “has done well greeting him.  They’ve had a few successful brief greetings through the dog runs.  He kind of jumps a little if Tonka barks, but he looks ready to play!  Guardian’s ego is getting too big with all of the compliments he’s been getting, such as his nice color, but head and his friendliness.  It was good week.  Thank you.”

Week 19
Guardian’s handlers report that he “had a grand time in the softball field this week.  He has enough room to truly go mad with his big orange ball.  We raced, ran the bases and played in a sand pile.”  Even with all of that exercise, Guardian still had sufficient energy to “bawl his eyes out when he heard the HOPE ladies.  He is awesome at just about everything.”

Week 18
“Guardian had an interesting week.  We stimulated his mind by hiding treats mixed in with his dog food throughout the blankets in his crate.  He loves his dog food so much that he almost treats it like a treat.  Many people admire Guardian’s pretty colored eyes and super friendly demeanor.  He does have a loud bark and big mouth, but he doesn’t bite.  He ‘points’ at the door when someone is about to approach it.  He doesn’t miss a beat.  If we don’t acknowledge the person, he’ll give a big ‘WOOF.’   Guardian is a loving puppy who will love and protect his new family.  He is AWESOME all-around!”

Week 17
Guardian’s handlers report that he is doing quite well with his training. In fact, they gave him excellent marks on his report card for “great stays with distraction, his roll-over skills and his incredible vertical touches.” They also tell us that “poor Guardian has an itchy ear, or at least that’s what he wants us to think. It may merely be a ruse to rub up against us like a cat. Either way, his standard greeting is not to smash his face into the legs of all he sees.” Guardian attended an event at PetValu in Enola on Sunday, and he was a perfect gentleman! He’s a solid boy, who can look intimidating, but he’s a love muffin through and through! He loved all of the hugs and pets that he got, including one from a small girl. She just put her head on Guardian’s and he melted into her. One of the HOPE volunteers who had never met him before, was thrilled to get a special Guardian kiss on the cheek! New parolee Xena (now Kote), her canine sister Isis and her human parents came by to say hello. Guardian seemed pleased to see his former packmate! This boy is so sweet, and always has a smile on his face. Now he needs family members to smile at every day. Could that be you? 

Week 16
Guardian’s handlers worked on his long-distance comes and heeling commands this week, and are seeing progress in both areas. They took their pup to the softball field to play, train and chase geese away. “The geese got one look at Guardian, and flew over the fence to safety.” His handlers “raced him across the field to the deflated volley ball. Guardian usually won. We then played ‘keep away’ with his red Kongball. He batted it around the softball diamond sand until we got close enough to get it, then he pounced on it and ran off. We had a lot of fun. Guardian is a real score for whoever adopts him!

Week 15
Guardian’s handlers report that they “finally discovered that they can wear this pup out. Through hours of play, training and exercise both individually and us working together, Guardian was tired. He slept the rest of the day, and so did we.” Margie took Guardian on a field trip this week. She reported back to his handlers that he sniffed other dogs, was very responsive to voice commands and met a lot of people. Now, we have to find that person or people to call you their own, Guardian! 

Week 14
Guardian’s handlers tell us that he’s “becoming a pro” at his long distance and long-time stay commands! He even stays in a down position when his pal Volunteer Margie is on the block, although ‘he normally starts making dinosaur noises, wanting to go out to see her.” This pup also got great comments from his handlers for taking his treats more gently and lifting his paws to get cleaned when he comes in from outdoors. Of course, Guardian loves to play! “This week, he did some running around the block. He loves to run, but even more when there’s a toy involved, like the big orange ball. We attach two leashes together, and he pushes the ball with his nose all over the place. When it gets stuck somewhere, he’ll use his front paws to ‘walk’ it back out. After about 45 minutes, he’ll collapse from exhaustion and want to relax. He really is an awesome all-around dog!”

Week 13
Guardian’s handlers report that “he is getting better all around. Although he is occasionally stubborn, he’s very obedient most of the time. He is very intelligent and learns quickly. His latest trick is heel.” This pup and Rascal spent several hours parallel walking this week, with minimal problems. Of course, Guardian loves to play games with one of his handlers. “We have invented yet another game out of our limited resources. I put four deflated balls, each at four points on a run around the block. We race from one to the next and get thoroughly exhausted.” Here’s to a yard of your own to run around in soon, Guardian!

Week 12
Guardian got gold stars for getting better at not mouthing or barking at strangers at the door this week! As you know if you’ve been following this pup’s journey through the program, he loves to play with his deflated soccer balls. One of his handlers came up with a new game for him this week. It’s called “hold the briefcase and we play it with some frequency. The soccer ball is the briefcase and I’m usually the one holding it while he chases me around until I’m as tired as a caribou on the tundra. It’s a good thing my briefcase doesn’t hold contain any sensitive documents, because he steals it from me far too easily.” You’re a silly boy, Guardian!

Week 11
Guardian’s handlers combined his training with play this week. “He got to go to the dog yard to run, play and learn, all while off-leash. He did very well with his heeling, around, whole-yard distance stays, fetch and out commands, all when playing tug of war (his favorite game). Guardian showed his “guard dog” tendencies when the trash cart passed by the yard. “He ran to the fence line barking, although not aggressively. It was a good ‘leave it’ opportunity.” After releasing some of his energy, Guardian had “positive interaction with the other inmates, staff and CO’s by sitting politely and not jumping on them.” He also got gold stars for his improvement to get along with his pack mates. This pup’s favorite toy is a large orange ball made of hard plastic. “He kicks it around like a soccer ball, or uses the side of his muzzle to guide it around. Best of all, he’ll get his nose under it and launch it straight up in the air. Unfortunately, the texture of the ball scratched his nose, so he’ll have to moderate his play with it for now.” Keep being the fun-loving dog we know and love.

Week 10 
Guardian loves to play tug with the deflated soccer balls scattered about the yard.  Since one of his handlers isn’t overly fond of the game, he came up with a new one that “we could both play for hours, had we the stamina.  I set the ball down and have Guardian follow me across the yard.  When I say ‘ready, set, go!’ the two of us see who can reach the ball first.  Sometimes, there are corners or obstacles, but Guardian usually wins.  I need to get my speed up to compete with him.”  When he wasn’t playing his new game, this pup spent some of his time this week playing and interacting with Rascal.  His handlers say of Guardian that “he is a wonderful dog all around.”

Week 9 
This week, Guardian worked on his social life with the other dogs.  He parallel walked with Xena and Duke, and even got a few sniffs in during the exercise.  His handlers are keeping the experiences “short and positive” by keeping him relaxed a few feet from his pack mates.  They hope to add Angel into Guardian’s circle of friends soon.  Concerning the humans in his life, his handlers put him in a sit/stay as people approach him to get attention and pets.  “Sometimes, it’s easier said than done, but he’s showing much progress.”  In fact, Guardian’s handlers awarded him gold stars for the strides he made for sitting for polite petting!  This pup has a sore paw, so his handlers are taking it easy on him by limiting his fun time inside for now.   The good news is that Guardian is a champ when it comes to having his paws cleaned. He doesn’t let a little boo-boo deter his wanting to “play, play, play (tug was his game of choice this week).”  Keep accepting others into your life, sweet boy!

Week 8 
“Guardian lives up to his name.  He is a gentle giant but he does a fantastic (however false) impression of a vicious beast.  He defends the cell with barks and when Guardian is playing, he sounds as if he were about to eat you (but he never does.)”  This pup does very well at anything his handlers set his mind to.  They worked on Guardian’s “quiet” and “out” commands as well as his, his patience, focus and manners this week.   Their message to those who are reading this journal is “for anyone who wants both a loving friend and loyal protector, Guardian is waiting for you.”

Week 7 
Guardian spent some time out in the dog yard this week.  “He had a lot of fun, and wanted to play fetch or simply hang out with us.”  His handlers concentrated on his “out” command (which is coming along much better), and Guardian’s “come” and “stay” skills are becoming more reliable as well! This pup’s bark can seem to be admittedly intimidating, but “it’s really him either wanting attention or to play/during play.”  As we learned last week, Guardian is a fan of one of his handler’s bunks.  “He loves laying at the foot of my bed.  He mainly only does it when I’m up there too.  He asks me to jump up by sitting and giving off seriously sad puppy eyes.  It’s really funny!  After I tell him it’s okay, he jumps up and cuddles with me. He also knows the ‘off’ command if he doesn’t have permission to be on the bed.”  Guardian’s handlers sum up his personality as “he’s just a big friendly dog!”

Week 6 
Guardian’s handlers report that he’s “better at his loose-leash walking, basic commands and staying near us off-leash.”  Although he can be a bit mouthy when he plays, his handlers are working with him on this issue.  It shouldn’t take long for him to learn that’s not acceptable behavior because “he is very intelligent and takes to anything we teach him very quickly.”  One of Guardian’s handlers also tells us with some amusement that “for such a fun-loving dog, he is a connoisseur at resting his neck. Besides being a fan of [his cellie’s] bed whether he is on it or not, Guardian is on the alert for any opportunity to try a new pillow.  If you kneel near him, he’ll set his chin on your calf. If he doesn’t feel like laying down, he’ll still set his weary head on any local soft surface.”  We HOPE you find plenty of pillows to rest your cute head on in your forever home soon, Guardian!

Week 5 
Guardian’s handlers worked on his “around and swing” moves this week, and commented that “he seems to be great at agility.”  This pup also met Duke and “they seem okay with each other.  We think Guardian is fine with other dogs as long as they are non-aggressive as well.”  This fun-loving pooch also got to spend some time playing football in the dog yard.  “He chased whoever had the ball and liked to be chased if he had it, egging the chaser on if necessary.  He is a playful puppy and will make a wonderful family member for someone!”

Field Trip Alert (as told by HOPE volunteer Margie) - 
Guardian got out for his first field trip on Saturday.  He was really excited to go and pulled quite a bit leaving the prison.  We drove on over to an open field at the college.  The thought of putting the big boy on a long lead gave me some anxiety.  I had a picture in my head of Guardian running, gaining momentum and me at the other end of the leash - it was ugly!!  We tried it though and luckily Guardian was more interested in staying near me than wandering off.  In fact most of the time he was right by my side, occasionally giving a nudge.  Even when he did his exploring he frequently checked in. We practiced some recalls and he was more than responsive.  This was the only time I had to be careful - when I'd call Guardian, he'd come running and sometimes he'd be slow to put on the brakes.  He clipped me a couple of times (I think it was on purpose - his version of a fun game), but no one got hurt.  Once we were done with the long lead, we walked thru campus to meet people.  There were some people who kept their eyes straight ahead as we passed by (admittedly, Guardian's look can be intimidating), but others were happy to meet him. He was the perfect gentleman,and it seems Guardian has a special knack for charming the ladies.  Back at the prison, Guardian showed off some beautiful loose leash walking skills as we made our way back to the block, stopping for some pets along the way from a couple of CO's.  This boy is going to make a great best friend for someone.

Week 4 
Guardian spent the week working on his patience exercises.  As a result, his waiting to exit his crate and cell, leave its watch me, stays and waiting patiently to eat are getting much better!  Guardian also worked on his heeling and loose leash walking this week.  “He is great when outside, but inside with all of the different smells he encounters, he seems to get a sensory overload and wants to go everywhere at once (unless I have some treats). The watch me and leave it commands work in this situation as well.  Guardian’s handler decided to let him sleep on his bunk one night this week.  “He did fine.  He stretched out and rested his head on my shin.  Eventually, he returned to his crate in the middle of the night.  It was another good week with Guardian.  Thank you.”

Week 3 
Guardian’s handler says that “playing tug of war was a common theme this week once he got his Christmas toy from [volunteer] Margie.  He is making good progress on his ‘out’ command and is pretty gentle when playing the game.”  His handler also used Guardian’s love of a large red rubber ball to hone his “fetch and out” skills.  In addition, this pup got gold stars on his report card this week for being more reliable with his down, stay, touch and wait commands!  Guardian is “very sociable.”  He is very excited to meet most of the people on the block.  He’ll accept a pet from one or two of them, and then will run off to see who else he can charm into petting him.   His handler says that “he really is a cool dog!”

Week 2 
Guardian’s handler tells us that this pup is “beginning to warm up to his new situation.  He loves meeting new people in a calm environment.  He is also doing well smelling and being close to Kelsey and Angel.  Guardian is still testing the waters with Jackie and Thunder, but their handlers know that with time, there will be progress.  His handler reports that progress has already been made on his leash-pulling (when there are no distractions, of course!)  His sits/stays are also more reliable, and he can hold a “watch me for about 4-5 seconds so far!  Guardian is very hungry, and is getting his fill of food.  He is learning that he does not have to rush when it’s meal time.” This pup is also forming a bond with his handler.  “One day, I was standing in the dog run with him, and he ran between my legs and nudged my thigh, like how a cat does for affection.  He is a really loving dog.”  What a great report for your first full week in the program, Guardian!

Week 1 
Guardian’s handlers had him for less than a week when they wrote their first report.  They tell us that he was “pretty anxious and nervous at first.  They gave him a gentle bath and let him adjust to his new environment at his own pace.  “It basically took 3 days for him to show his playful, affectionate, relaxed self.  He still has plenty of room to grow, both physically and mentally!”  Guardian’s handlers have been slowly introducing him to the strangers in his life. “We’ve been having some people give him a few pets and/or treats.  So far, so good.  Everyone has been helping out Guardian and us along the way!  “He is a beautiful puppy, and so far pretty mellow.  We look forward to our time with him in the program.”

UPDATE 12-10-12
Guardian has had a tough life. He lived as a junkyard dog, outdoors, with no one to look out for him for the first year and a half of his life. Once rescued, it was discovered that he'd been living with a painful eye condition so that was quickly taken care of. Despite all of that, Guardian is a loving, wodnerful dog. He is sometimes leery of strangers, but he'll have plenty of time while at the jail to work on building up his self-confidence and learning to trust his new friends. Guardian is a handsome, two year old American Bulldog/Pit Bull mix who is available for adoption through CPAA.  Stay tuned for next week's update.