*as of 8/6/2019
Hey there! My name is Bravo. I was born on August 4, 2018. When I was eight weeks old I took a long road trip from Arizona to California. Upon my arrival I entered my new home, Soledad’s most finest, CTF Men’s Prison. I love it here, I love all the people, I love all my dog friends - all 6 of them to be exact, and I love all the learning I get to do here. So far I find snuggling, wrestling with Country, he is closest to my age, and learning new things to be amongst my favorite activities. My most advanced skills I know so far are opening doors and caring items for my people. My handlers think I am the smartest dog in this place, but shhh don’t let my friends know. Although I am enjoying life right now, I am anxiously awaiting my future promotion to Service Dog.
From Bravo's Handlers
"Having Bravo means that I am willing to give my very best, so that he, a very young impressionable puppy, can become his very best. Bravo means to me, that together, our love and trust will help everyone along the road be more excited about life just as I am today. He's helping me be more consistent and willing to seek guidance and be kinder in life by being more thoughtful in my responsibilities and being accountable in my daily choices. He's helping me be a better person." - Antonio
"Bravo is more than just a dog. He's my kid, my friend and my life-line to the outside. He's a source of love and connection to the outside. He's a source of love and kinship that helps me feel connected to society. Bravo allows me to work on my selflessness, compassion and patience...which I know I could not get any other way while being locked up. He, NLK9s, and this program have been a huge blessing in my life. Bravo has helped open back up my heart, think outside myself, feel normal, and develop a nurturing bond that's brought joy and purpose back to my life. I have no doubt in my mind that Bravo has helped accelerate my rehabilitation and my ability to grow overall. I still can't believe I have a dog in prison! Crazy!" - Eric
"For me, NLK9s has saved me from me and taught me how to grieve not alone, grieving is a part of life that I avoided at all cost, mainly my soul. I walled it off, so I didn't feel ANYTHING. This program saved me from me and maybe saved my life." -Dave H.
See Bravo's Progress Below
I went to my first piano recital this month. I got all the attention. After they would finish playing, they would clap and say Bravo! Bravo! This month, I got a new puppy raiser. She is so nice and I always look forward to our weekends at home with my new family. I've been learning what it means to go get help- I give a big hug and lots of kisses. I'm getting really good at running in baseball, bases like first, second, third, and home plate. I know each one. I've got a new addition to our family. He don't have a name yet, so I'm calling him Mini Me. Mini Me is a black lab like me! What's up little bro? I can't wait to open some presents at Christmas. I'm going boogie boarding an go to a 49er game against the Chiefs.
November 2019 Update
Woof, it's Bravo again! I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium this past month! How cool is that? We saw some BIG sharks and had a lot of fun. Bonding with my puppy parent family is the best. Right now, I'm learning "get help." It's hard work, but I'm so close. My family at CTF is growing! There are a lot of new brother and sister puppies. Maybe next month I will get to go fishing and catch some fish. That or jump in the ocean for a swim. Whatever adventure, I'm ready for it!
September 2019 Update
This is Bravo! This month I spent a lot of time with my puppy parent, going places, like the beach. I have been living the good life of being of service and bringing smiles. I love my puppy parent family! I learned how to take off socks consistently. Helping out in anyway I can is the best. I had my 1-year old birthday party too! Growing up is one step closer to becoming a service dog in the future. Next month I look forward to going to the dog park again and meeting some new friends. Also, I can't wait to go back to the beach, jump in paws first, and maybe get on a boogie board. How fun would that be?
August 2019 Update
Hey there! I’m so excited to share what I’ve been up to. I went to Avila Beach with my puppy parent family. It was a tail-wagging good time! They said I was so well-behaved. Meeting new people, enjoying their company, and playing are my favorite activities. Getting down to business, I’ve been working hard to learn new things. I learned to put objects away and a little about impulse control. I’m a champ at “back up” and “more or less.” There’s more planned next month, so stay tuned!
July 2019 Update
Hey everybody, it’s Bravo! Get ready for a June update! Everybody says I’m doing a great job at being patient when waiting for my handler. I got to practice my skills when I visited the library! I’m also learning to open and close doors so that one day I can help my veteran or first responder. Next month I can’t wait to go for a swim at the beach with my puppy parent family! My dream is to try surfing. We’ll see about that.
June 2019 Update
Hey guys, it's Bravo! This month I got to travel to Monterey Bay and hang out on the wharf. It was super chill and relaxing. I also was in a Relay for Life walk and I got a shout out over the loud speaker! When I've been at the house with my puppy raiser, she jokes that I act like her shadow because I follow her everywhere. I just love her so much that I like to be right next to her. This month I also got to learn about being gentle because I got to meet a real live baby bunny! I'm going to get a bunch of new little brothers and sisters soon, so this was good practice. I also have heard whispers that I might be going to a doggy water park next month, so you all should come back and I can tell you all about it!
May 2019 Update
Hi everyone! It’s Bravo. I have a bunch of stuff to tell you guys! This month I got to go to the dog park, church and an air show. It was really fun to go to so many different places and my puppy raiser said that I did really well. I also have been working on my “Like me”s and I even learned a bit of baseball! I got to run around all the bases. Next month I’m going to get to learn “Brace”. I’m also really excited to help out with the egg hunt for Easter! Well, that’s all for now, I’ll talk to you guys later!
March 2019 Update
Hi everyone!, Bravo barking at you! I’m 6 and ½ months old now, and I am learning so much stuff. I’m working on how to walk behind my person to create a safe space, and also how to do “left side”/“right side”. I’ve been practicing being helpful too! I can carry objects around for longer periods of time and retrieve them if dropped. But do you know what the best part of this month was? I went to the movies and saw Lego Movie 2, and made my first trip to Costco! It was so exciting and I was very well behaved! Bark at you later!
February 2019 Update
Hey guys, Bravo here! This month I've gotten to hang out a lot with my puppy raiser. We went to a bunch of places and I met so many new people. I went to a brewery and I got to go to the beach for the first time! My friend Ashley went too, so we got to play together. They took me to the World Champion San Francisco Giants Stadium too, and I made sure to be on my best behavior! I've also been working on all my skills to become a service dog. I'm a pro at "speak" and I have been learning how to remove clothing, help stand up, get my leash, and identify name tags as well! I got to show off all the things I know at Toby and Sonny's graduation. I can't wait to see what I am going to learn next! Bye for now!
January 2019 Update
Hi everyone! I can’t believe I’m already 5 months old! Since I have been growing up and I finally have all my shots, I can go out into the real world now. It was only my second time out and I went to AT&T Park. I watched the Giants play baseball! Well, actually I pretty much slept the whole time, but it’s not as much fun when you aren’t allowed to chase the ball! I also went to some stores and the NLK9’s were there with me and my weekend mom. They said I was doing awesome! I’m loving my school and really am learning a lot from all my Uncles. I am learning how to open doors and how to speak Spanish. They said next month we were going to try this new thing they called turning on the light switch. It sounds so interesting to me, I can’t wait! Since I am the only black lab in the program right now I get special nicknames that no one else gets to have. So far my favorite is black ninja! That’s all for now, but you should check in with me next month to hear what else I have been up to!
P.S. Tell Santa we at CTF like puppy toys. I hope I get to meet him when he comes…
December 2018 Update
Hi Friends!! Happy Holidays! I have been having so much fun learning new things! My handlers tell me they think I was born for this job. I don’t know what that means, but I do feel like nothing else in the world could make me happier than getting to put all my skills into use. Then I’ll be able to help someone out in my future! Currently, I am carrying my lunch from the dining hall all the way to our bedroom (which I hear is like a half mile). I like to help with carrying just about anything, but Rob and Tony say I have to wait a little bit longer before I can handle the heavy things. I am a confident puppy though, I love the jumping and playing on the wobble board and the balance beam! My favorite times are when all my friends are learning with me! We usually do these things called “Like Me’s” together, which is where we get to copy each other. Those games are really fun! I think I’m starting to really get the hang of it. These guys Rob and Tony sure are great! I never have to do things I feel comfortable with, and they say I’m awesome and give me lots of love and treats. I love this school! Thanks everyone for your support, I heard I wouldn’t be here without you! So BIG thank you.
November 2018 Update
October 2018 Update