by Jane Davis
My two dogs, Hogan and Magic, were both therapy dogs who regularly came with me to the prison where I volunteered as part of an organization called HOPE-HOWSE, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support and educational services to prison inmates, gang members, and others. Upon hearing of Hogan's passing, and of Magic’s, a former prison inmate sent the following.
The first time I met Hogan, he was part of an entourage of HOPE-HOWSE volunteers who'd come to visit a bunch of incarcerated men at the Level II MURF of PNM, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hogan’s owner, Jane Davis, founder of HOPE-HOWSE, had brought him, and another dog, Magic, a female heeler mix, into the prison.
For many of the men present, myself included, it was the first time in years that we'd even been able to touch or pet an animal. That, in itself, was awesome. At the time, I had no idea that some years later I'd become very fond of both Hogan and Magic.
Upon serving my sentence, I chose to live in Santa Fe. With the help of many selfless supporters, largely HOPE-HOWSE members and volunteers, I was able to transition back into a normal life. It was not easy; prison takes a lot from you. On many of those days when no one would hire me, or I'd feel down, Hogan (and Magic) would cheer me up. I was fortunate enough to have been able to live with them until I found a place of my own.
During that time, I got to watch and learn from those two dogs. They were very different in character and temperament. Hogan was calm and quiet, unless riled for whatever reason, while Little Magic, as we called her, was a bundle of energy. She was a hunter, prankster, and spoiled rotten. If given the chance, she'd escape from the safety of her yard to roam and prowl the neighborhood. If urban, she'd dodge traffic and visit other yards. If rural, she'd be certain to hunt and kill rabbits, birds, and other unlucky rodents. To her credit, she would eat them, even if it meant going to the Gruda Veterinary Hospital to be treated for tularemia. Little Magic would also find shoes, and sometimes, other personal items and hide them outside.
Hogan was not interested in such antics. He was very protective. As a canine he was also quite capable of killing other animals, but only if they came into what he must have deemed his territorial space. Through the years, when Jane would have to travel, attend workshops, visit family members, or vacation, I had various opportunities to care for Hogan and Magic, as well as continue my bond with them.
Recently, I sadly heard about the inevitable passing of both these dogs — Hogan, this past weekend and, earlier this year, Magic. I will continue to miss both of them, and be thankful for their impact on my life.
Those of us who have the love in our hearts and the means in our lives to provide a safe sanctuary for any of God's creatures, should do so. As we endanger the planet with pollution, I wish concerned members of the human family, no matter their station, could save, rescue, and provide good homes to those other creatures we've endangered, annihilated, displaced, and mistreated.
Thanks to Hogan, Magic, and all others who've passed this way.
Jane Davis is the founder of HOPE-HOWSE Int'l.
Rashid can be reached through HOPE-HOWSE
This story was edited by Andrew Adleman