Russo is being sponsored by Lucky Dog Rehab and CPAA.  He’s joining HOPE on 01/14/2022.  He is a 2-3 year old Great Dane/Cane Corso mix and is 86lbs.  He’s prefers female dogs, and can be selective with male dogs.  He currently needs some help learning to walk nicely on a leash, but already knows a few basic cues.  Even though his previous home neglected him, he still LOVES people, including kids, and loves to cuddle!

06/17/2022 Hey people, what’s up? It’s your boy, Russo.  I’ve got something I need to relay to you all.  When I was sentenced to prison, I only got 6-13 weeks.  I’ve done all my programs.  I haven’t gotten into any trouble.  I’ve gone through some Behavior Modification Training.  I will make someone a GREAT companion!  All I need is a home plan.  I’ve thought a few times that I would have had one by now, but they’ve all fallen through.  I am so much more than when I came to prison, I’m a different dog!  All I need is a chance to prove it.  With my dad and HOPE as my guides, I’ve worked really hard to change my ways and I’ve learned lots of new things.

When I came to the prison I really only knew sit.  Now I know over 40 different cues!  I learn fast and I will be dedicated to my future family!  All you have to do is give me a chance to show you.  I’ve been here for 22 weeks now, and I’m hoping that my future family is reading this and wanting to adopt me soon!

06/10/2022  What’s up peeps?  It’s me, Russo!  I had a great week!  I finished round one of my heartworm treatment and am feeling great!  I even got to go on an outing to Benny’s Pet Depot with some of my HOPE friends for a meet and greet event with the public.   It was fun, but I was so glad to see my dad when I got back!   We had some guests on the cell block this week and I did some tricks for them, but then I laid down on the cement floor because it felt so nice and cool.  I really don’t like this hot weather!  That’s all from me for this week.  See ya next week!

06/03/2022   Russo had a very chill week.  It has been very hot and Russo LOVES the air conditioning.  If there is a spot of shade when we are outside, he will find it and lay right down.  He seems to like to lay in the dirt as opposed to the grass, probably because it is cooler.  We’re hoping to get a doggie pool soon.  If we do, I know Russo will be the first one in!

05/27/2022    Russo is clearly one of the BEST dogs.  He NEEDS his forever home!  Come on, people!

This week, Russo decided to sleep on the floor next to my bed in his stack of blankets.  However, around 11 pm, I felt my blanket being pulled off and when I opened my eyes, it was Russo, slowly pulling my blanket off onto HIS bed, hoping he would not wake me up!  So, I decided to share my blanket with him, and he went right back to sleep.

Russo does so many things that make me smile and laugh.  He is truly a GREAT DOG!

05/20/2022  Hi everyone!  It’s me, Russo.  Not much to tell you this week.  I’m still on cell restriction due to my ongoing Heartworm treatment.  I still get to go outside to potty and lay in the sun and shade, but I don’t get to play with my doggie friends the way I want to.  My dad plays with me in the cell, but I sure do miss being able to run and play outside.  I got a new football, which I love, but I can’t run and chase after it like I want to.

I did get to meet Courage and that went well.  I’m doing great with all my commands and training, too.  But I sure will be glad when this Heartworm treatment is over!!

I am still waiting for my forever home and the chance to give someone tons of kisses!

05/13/2022  Hi everyone!  My heartworm treatment is going well, but it’s not much fun.  I’m not allowed to be very active, so I can’t play with my friends.  It’s a real bummer.  But I have to tell you something that happened yesterday.  I did my dad and the HOPE program proud!  Some very important visitors came to the cell block, and I showed off for them.  I was so good and did allot of my tricks for them.  Would you like to know what I did?  Of course you would!!  I looked my dad right in the eye and said “let’s do this!”  He told me “front” and I did.  Then “heel” and “give me five.”  Next was “sit,” then “paw,” then “sit pretty,” then “give me ten,” then “down,” then give “paw.”  Then I played dead even though I wasn’t.  Then I rolled over and sat.  Then I stood and touched, then target, and then to end it, dad told me “up,” patted his chest, and I gave him a hug.  Hey, I told you I showed off!  Everyone was so proud of me!  I got lots of pets and love!


05/06/2022  Russo got his stitches out from his surgery and seems as good as new.  Both of the lesions were cancerous, but the vet got clear margins so no cancer was remaining–Russo has a great prognosis!  He started heartworm treatment today, which is all oral medications until July.  Then in July and August, Russo will received three injections to also kill the worms.  The bad part about the treatment is that Russo will not be able to run and play for the next several months, only slow walks outside. So we’ve prepared with a lot of toys and treats for him to chew on to keep him busy.

Russo continues to love Nova ad Pixie.  I know he will miss playing with them during his treatment.  It would be great if a foster home would step up to keep Russo during his heartworm treatment.  A much quieter environment would be much better for Russo.  Plus, he is such a GREAT dog!  I can’t believe no one has adopted hm yet!

04/29/2022 Russo is recovering well from his surgery and is feeling better every day.  Thankfully, he seems to be back to his old self!  This week we’ve been working on training in the day room when he saw one of the COs making rounds and securing doors.  Russo decided he could do a better job, so we went along with the CO!  They walked to every cell and Russo would stick his head in and if it was empty he’d back out and look at the CO like, “this is empty, go ahead and shut this one.”  I was laughing, other inmates were laughing and asking what I was teaching him.  This was all Russo!  When we went to the other side of block they were playing Bingo and when someone yelled, “BINGO!” Russo started barking at him like, “keep the noise down” and everyone was laughing.  He’s such a big ham!

We learned that Russo does like to guard high value things, like a rawhide chew.  We ended up taking it away and giving him his ball and other toys, which he’s completely fine with, but that chew was too special for him!

Russo also attended the Denim, Diamonds & Dogs Gala for HOPE Friday evening.  He was a little nervous with all the people and the music but eventually got comfortable!  He’s COMPLETELY ready for a home of his own!!!

04/22/2022  Russo had surgery today to remove some lumps and bumps!  Since last week Russo was doing really well, even with the addition of Courage.  Russo just looks at him like “who the heck are you?”  He also got to play a lot with Nova since the weather is finally getting nice!  Russo was playing fetch in the one yard, and Nova was in the other yard with her handler when these sparrows landed on the fence and then the birds starting fighting.  At first Nova and Russo just watched, but once Nova started barking at them, Russo joined in too because he seems to follow Nova’s lead!  The best part about it was that Russo never dropped his ball once!!!  He really likes his orange ball!

Russo also went around on visits around the prison.  He’s such a curious boy because in every office he had to investigate every nook and cranny!  Russo is so ready for a home where he can relax all day, play fetch with his person and orange ball and never have a care in the world!

04/15/2022  Hi everyone!  I had a great week!  I went on a field trip with my dad and two of the counselors to visit one of the other cell blocks.  I showed everyone how well-behaved I am and even showed them some of the tricks I can do.  Then, later in the week, some really important people came to visit the cell block where my dad and I live.  Pixie and I got to come out to say hello to everyone.  We were really well-behaved.  I made my dad so proud.  I did something a little ornery this week–I stole Pixie’s orange ball.  I couldn’t help it–it reminded me of the orange football that I used to have that Luna stole from me.  Pixie left it outside so I claimed it.  It’s like having my old football back!  Now, it’s my favorite toy.  Turn about is fair play, right?!

04/08/2022  Are you as sick of this wet weather as I am?  All this wet stuff is hampering my ability to play in the play yard.  It’s so darn wet out there I can’t stand it.  My dad and I did not go on any long walks while it was raining, and I really missed the long walks.  I did get to play in the yard with my big blue ball before the rain started.  I love chasing the ball around the yard and throwing it in the air with my nose.  The new girl on the block, Pixie, traded me in for my arch nemesis, Kane, so now I just ignore her when she walks by me.  Well, at least I still have Nova.  :0)  Hopefully, the sun will come back soon and I’ll have more to report next week.  Have a great weekend everyone!

04/01/2022   I’m feeling a little sad this week.  One of my uncles has disappeared.  I’m pretty sure he left the prison for good.  I overheard my dad saying that he got paroled.  I saw him packing up his stuff, so I made sure to say good-bye before he left.  I covered his face in kisses to let him know how much I’ll miss him.  He used to take me outside when my dad was at work.  I sure hope that I am the next one to break out of this joint.  I am SO READY to find my forever home!  If you knew me, you’d definitely apply to adopt me!  Is there anyone willing to get to know me and accept all the love I have to give?

03/25/2022   What I week I’ve had!  I got a new girlfriend–her name is Pixie!  Pixie joined HOPE last week, and boy is she a looker!  Man, was Nova mad at me when she caught me playing with Pixie.   That’s okay, though, because I made it up to her.  I’m such a player!  Hey, the ladies adore me, what can I say?!   Now I have two ladies to juggle, and on top of that, my dad has been working my tail off.  I’ve learned three, yes, three, new “tricks” on top of my busy schedule.  I’ve learned how to roll over, play dead, and weave through my dad’s legs.  This is on top of learning to ignore my arch nemesis, Kane!  My dad and I are working on some other stuff, but I don’t have it mastered quite yet, so I’ll keep those in my back pocket until I do.  Well, it’s almost playtime, so I’m going to sign off for now.  I’ll see you all next week!  By the way, I am really getting tired of prison life, so I am hoping someone out there will see what a wonderful dog I am and adopt me really soon!

03/18/2022  I hope you all are enjoying the warmer weather like I am!  I have been outside a lot playing with Nova, playing fetch, taking long walks, and just chilling in the shade and mud.  I hate to admit it, but I love mud baths.  I love to roll around in the cool mud and cover myself from head to toe.  Then, I love the nice, warm baths my dad gives me to get me all cleaned up!   This week, I learned how to give a “High 5.”  It’s kinda cool.  Other than that, things are status quo.  I really love my dad, but I am ready to break out of these prison walls and find my forever home.  I need to spread my wings and fly!  Just think of all the cool things we could do together if you’d just give me a chance.  I promise, I’m worth it!

03/11/2022  Hi everyone!  I honestly didn’t think I would be writing to you this week because I really thought I was going to get adopted!  They say that everything happens for a reason, so I guess it was not meant to be.  I just know someone is out there that wants all my love!  My dad thought I was getting adopted too, so he write a 12-page letter to my potential adopters.  But now that I’m still here, that letter will be even longer when I do find my forever home because I’ve learned a few more tricks!  I’ll share two fo them with you, as for the others, you’ll have to adopt me and find out!  I learned to roll over and crawl.  I totally look like a real soldier when i have my tactical harness on and I low crawl cross the floor!  This week Nova and I played a game of “pig,” like “horse” in basketball.  She beat me.  I’m pretty sure she cheated, though.  I was  pretty tired that day.  All excuses aside, she beat me fair and square.  I am going to keep practicing, and I’ll get her next time.  Besides, she’s my girlfriend and everyone knows the secret to a happy marriage is don’t anger your woman!  Well, it’s time for my supper–see you next week!

03/04/2022  I have some news to report.  It may be interpreted as bad; it may be interpreted as good.  It’s all a matter of perception.  We all thought Russo was going to get adopted by a wonderful family, but they changed their mind, through no fault of Russo’s.  Now that may considered to be bad news, BUT it can also be considered good news because now, Russo is available for someone else to adopt and love! Russo is the best dog, and so smart!  When he first came to the prison, he only knew how to sit and shake.  Now, after just seven weeks, he knows over 30 commands!  He is such a fast learner!  I’m so proud of him.  Russo has been and continues to be a pure joy to work with.  Don’t be intimidated by Russo’s size (91 lbs.)–he is very well-mannered and gentle.  He doesn’t jump up on you unless you ask him to.  Then he will put his paws on your chest or shoulders and give you a big hug!  Russo just wants to be loved.  NOW, you can have that opportunity!  Will YOU give Russo a chance to show you what a loving companion he is?

02/25/2022  Russo continues to do so well with his obedience training.  He is definitely ready for his forever home!  He did something this week than he had never done before–he buried one of his toys in the exercise yard!  Thankfully, I saw him do it so I was able to retrieve the toy.  I took it inside and washed it off then gave it back to him.  He then proceeded to totally rip it apart!  He made me laugh!  Russo is a GREAT dog and ready for his happily ever after!

02/18/2022  Hi everyone!  Russo here!  I have had a great week!  I learned a new trick this week that no dog has ever learned in the history of the HOPE program!  I person I know and like will sit down at the table or on a crate and I go up to say hi.  My dad tells me to “back in the garage” and I turn around and walk backwards, put my butt between their legs, and sit down.  Then they rub my chest, and I love it!  I even give them my happy snarl!  But, it hasn’t been all fun this week, it’s been work too.  But, it doesn’t seem like work because my dad makes it so much fun!  We worked on “wait” and “stay.”  We also worked on trading treats and toys to help me with my resource guarding, and my dad said I did great!  My dad even let me jump up and give him a hug.  We also go for lots of walks, which I absolutely love.  I do miss my dad when he leaves for work, but I know he’s coming back now, which I didn’t know before.  I will wait to go outside until he comes back from work!   My dad says that I am ready for my forever home!  See ya next week!

02/11/2022  Hi everyone!  What’s up?  It’s your man, Russo, checking in.  I am doing great!  I am learning so much stuff that it’s hard to keep track of it all, and most of it I do without even thinking about it!  I am a “straight A” obedience student!  My dad started playing this new game with me where he will give a lot of different people treats, and I have to go say hi and find them.  I like that game but I wish EVERYONE had goodies to give me!  I’ve also showed my dad how much I love to play outside when it’s warmer, with my dad, one of my uncles, and the football.  My uncle let me get too close to the ball, and I tackled him and made him fumble.  LOL.  I like to jump up when we are playing, and I do it nicely when I give my dad a hug, which I do every day when he comes back from work.  Of course I give him kisses, too!  I am getting used to my dad going to work for a few hours each day and no longer bark when he is gone.  I know he’s coming back to me and when he returns, I show him how much I missed him.  Until next week. . .

02/04/2022  Hi people!  I’m back to tell you about my week!  It’s been cold and wet outside, and I don’t like the cold or getting my feet wet!  My dad had some doggie rain boots for my feet, but I really didn’t like them, so he has been covering my feet with socks when we go outside.   I spent some time this week playing with my girlfriend, Nova.  I really like her!  My dad tried to teach me a lot of new things this week.  He learned that I can be stubborn at times, but I did listen to what he was teaching me.  I really love interacting with the other handlers and playing with my toys.  Can’t wait till it’s warmer outside so I can romp and play in the grass with my toys and my dad!  See ya next week!

01/28/2022  HI!  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Russo and I am a three-year-old Great Dane/American Bulldog/Cane Corso mix.  What a combination, right?  I am 95 pounds of pure love!  I may look intimidating, and bark like I am if I’m protecting my dad or our house, but all I want is to be loved.  I love spending time with my dad and saying hello to people.  When I am around a lot of people, I like to carry my orange ball around in my mouth because it makes me feel safe, and if I do say so, makes me look so darn cute!  I love to go on walks with my dad, and he is teaching me not to pull on the leash so much.  I am getting better at that!  I even learned two commands when we walk.  If my dad says “Haw,” we turn to the left.  If he says “Gee,” we go right.  My dad is teaching me a whole bunch of other stuff, too.  We really have a great time together!  I don’t like it so much when he has to leave for work and puts me in my crate, so I bark. I don’t like being in the crate at all.  If dad just leaves me in his cell when he is gone, I am a really good boy.  I don’t chew or tear anything up and don’t have any accidents.  I just don’t like that darn crate!  I love to snuggle with my dad in bed.  I wait until he’s sleeping, then I steal his covers!  LOL.  All in all, I am adjusting well to the Big House.  My gal pal, Nova, arrived last week, and I was so glad to see her!  We were in boarding in the same kennel before we got here.  We can now play together again!  Well, I’m going to sign off.  I’m tried from today’s training.  I’m learning “Target,” which requires a lot of jumping up and down with my front paws.  I’ll write again next week!  WOOF!

01/21/2022  Russo has been in the prison just a week and has already made quite an impression.  He’s big and gorgeous!  He is learning very quickly, but gets his own ideas sometimes.  He loves to be by my side and is definitely a cuddlebug.  He already knew “sit” and “paw” when I got him, and he has already learned down, touch, look at me, heel, side, stay, and wait.  He is getting used to his new environment and watches everything around him.  He likes to bark at me if he feels that I am not giving him enough loving!  He likes to give kisses and hugs.  He also thinks that his food and your food are both his.  LOL.  He doesn’t like being in a crate, but we are working on that by crating him only for short periods, even when I am here, so he doesn’t see the crate as a big deal.  He much prefers female dogs, but prefers male humans.  He is a VERY cool dog, and I can’t wait to see how he grows in HOPE.



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