Rebooting an inmate’s life

This is no conundrum: a direct contrast to yesterday.

The benefits of having a dog or two (or nine) are boundless and have been documented for thousands of years. Indeed, a quick web search revealed that Alexander Pope, the 18th-century English poet, is the attributed author of the quote, “Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.”

Nevertheless, it was still a joy to come across the documentary film Dogs On The Inside.

Filmed in a Massachusetts prison, DOGS ON THE INSIDE follows the birth of a relationship between abandoned rescue dogs and prison inmates as they work together toward a second chance at a better life. Giving a voice to a forgotten dog and a forgotten man, the film is a life-affirming testament to the power of second chances.

The film was released in February 2014, and here is the trailer.

In general, it seems to have gathered good reviews with this one from Amazon being typical of what I have seen.

I had tears in my eyes during several segments of this film. Such a lovely connection between the rescue workers and the dogs. Then, the inmates and the dogs. And, finally, the photos of their forever homes and families. Bravo to all at Don’t Throw Us Away. People like you, who work to save and rehab these animals, are amazing.

You are also recommended to read the review that is on the Ecorazzi website. Here’s a flavour of that review:

Two parties neglected and forgotten become the powerful emotional center of an uplifting new documentary, Dogs on the Inside.

We’re taken to Massachusetts, where there exists a unique, mutually-beneficial rehabilitation program that finds rescue dogs paired with prison inmates.

This documentary, from directors Brean Cunningham and Douglas Seirup, follows a handful of inmates at a correctional facility involved in Don’t Throw Us Away, a program that partners them with neglected dogs. For the animal, benefits include exercise, attention, and care while shelters remain crowded. For the prisoners, they have a chance to form connections and work towards parole.

It’s fascinating throughout watching both sides – scared dogs and (emotionally) guarded inmates – warm to one another, seemingly leaving their past behind.

That’s at the heart of this illuminating, heartwarming film: second chances. Early on, it’s easy to see the parallels between these two groups – with the comparisons handled tactfully throughout a film that never strays from its simple, honest goal. Dogs never preaches or calls for political or social change; it more so asks the viewer to be willing to forgive and welcome in those which have been cast aside. When an inmate says, ‘they come from a bad life, they haven’t seen love in while,’ he isn’t necessarily talking just about the dog.

Let me close with this heart-stirring photograph that was included in the above review.


So much to learn from our precious, gorgeous dogs!

15 thoughts on “Rebooting an inmate’s life

  1. I guess, with eight million people under “judicial supervision” or in prison, the world’s largest such population in relative numbers (but for the Seychelles, another heaven for the hyper rich), the USA treats millions like dogs, and they can only benefit with meeting more of their kind…

    A president of the USA noticed that, if you needed a friend as president, you should get a dog. While a real philosopher can only say: with friends like that, who needs cockroaches? That’s why Nietzsche had Zarathustra living in a cave for decades, with an eagle and a serpent.


      1. Not just a waste, an order of force. Being moral is looking at evil, and that means focusing on the ugly, diabolical, complicated details where evil lurks. In the light only fake goodness, splendor of generous emotions. But you know this.


  2. Wonderful post Paul and that trailer alone brought tears.. All our world needs is LOVE… and our four-legged friends sure know how to give it.. Yes.. We can ALL Learn so much from Dogs .. ❤


    1. A very warm welcome to this place, and loved hearing that from you. Any stories about the program that you could share with our readers would be wonderful. See the Get Involved link to the right of the Home Page. Once again, thank you for leaving your reply.

      Liked by 1 person

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