Dog Story: Several months ago, I found myself in prison. Yes, literally, a prison. Well, an animal shelter on the grounds of a prison. And no, I’m not a criminal. The Dixon Correction Institute in Louisiana, established a permanent and emergency temporary shelter (called Pen Pal’s Inc.) on the grounds of the prison after Hurricane Katrina left over 50,000 animals abandoned when owners fled to safety. I came to prison in poor condition, sores between my toes, along my back and belly, infected ears and mammary glands. Additionally, the inmates learned that even though I was in poor condition, I had cared for my eight Brittany-Lab mixed puppies making sure that they were fed, shelters, and loved, as much as I could possibly do in my condition. My selfless sacrifice reminded the inmates of Pope Francis, who had apparently been in the U.S. visiting at the time of my arrival to prison, and thus he became my namesake. Unfortunately, due to limited funds, Pen Pal’s weren’t able to treat my heartworms and reached out to American Brittany Rescue for further medical treatment. While I miss those ‘tough’ guys in prison, I am enjoying my life in Mississippi and learning to live in a home. From the streets, to prison, and now in a home, I had a lot of learning to do, such as housetraining, commands, walking on a leash, and learning social interaction with humans. At first, I just thought my foster parents were making funny faces at me, but I am starting to catch on that their faces and my behavior coordinate. For example, I could tell my foster parents weren’t happy when I escaped from my crate and (allegedly) decided to have fun with a pillow. I was found guilty, and said my Hail Marys. Pope Francis wouldn’t have escaped, so I am trying to be more like him. My foster mom decided to delay my heartworm treatment, so I could settle in and she wanted to let me be me. I felt free for the first time! I love to run and play. My favorite toy is a tennis ball that has a squeaker in it. I will walk around the house with it in my mouth and squeak and squeak. I place my ball in my bowl while I eat so I don’t lose it. Playing fetch is so much fun and I love to swim too. With all this energy, my foster mom believes that I am probably about 2 years old, maybe a little older, but not much. Now that I have begun heartworm treatment, I am not allowed to run and play. The treatment requires confinement. If you would like to help with the cost of my heartworm treatment, please consider being my Brittany Buddy. Although the treatment is hard and expensive, my foster mom keeps telling me that the treatment will make me healthier and after treatment I can find my forever home. I hope to be ready for adoption in February 2016. I am really great with other dogs and tolerate cats too. Because of my prison history, I am concerned about my food and still sometimes eat like I’m still in the pen, so I am learning food manners. My foster mom thinks I will be great with kids, but I need more time to feel safe and fed, so stayed tuned. Before I go, I want to thank all the good Samaritans that provided shelter, medicine, and love to me. My life is forever changed because of kindness. Orange (and white) is the new black. Update 1-7-16: Heartworm Treatment Update: Frances needed some oral medication prior to her heartworm treatment injections, so she won’t be available in February. It looks more like March or early April.