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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.16 33 knees and act like I was crying," Carl says, explaining how he'd create possible situ- ations the dog could encounter with the girl. He's now training Brixx, who used to submissively pee whenever somebody tried to pet him. Brixx is going to a home with a girl who has cerebral palsy. "I have to teach him to stand strong for when she feels like she's gonna fall," he says. How does he do that? Carl sighs heavily. "Lots of patience. Lots of patience," he says. "It's not easy. Sometimes it's stressful, but it pays off to see that family with that dog and know how much he changes them." He also likes that he's giving the dogs a second chance at life. "Kind of like me," he says. "I didn't have any education. Now I'm three classes away from getting my associate in science." e four inmates I interview mention wanting to continue this kind of work when they get released. Doug Hall has two years left of a 25-year sentence for robbery in the first degree and manslaughter in the second. He was the driver at a drug deal gone awry. "I got charged with complicity," he says. "I wish I never did that. is pro- gram right here helps me to stay away from nonsense, to better myself." e 38-year- old has been in the program since 2012 and has trained about 50 dogs. He keeps a baggie of treats near as he repeats "sit" to Dunkin every few seconds. "is really is a skill, a trade, and I could take it out there and do so much good with it," he says. "I had an attitude problem toward staff for a long time," 38-year-old Michael Johnson says. Brown-haired Apollo sits obediently at his feet. "is has softened me a bit." He has seven years left on his 20-year sentence. He started the program 17 months ago. "I laid around and didn't have a purpose, just waiting to get out," he says. "I've done the typical stuff like be a janitor, sweep floors. is breaks up the monotony, and it's pretty rewarding." e inmates take their dogs outside to the courtyard of the visitor's area that's dotted with chairs and tables. All four dogs are on leashes, but two of them play, tackling each other on a patch of grass. e program recently added an agility course for the dogs in one of the yards. "is is like a resort for the dogs," Joey Johnson says. "ey have it made here. Not that it's the same as a family setting in a home, but they have it made here." 502py.com/jamii