Photograph of Parole Project client Alex and his dog Pearlie.

Pearlie Gets Paw-Roled

Alex describes his last day in prison as, “bittersweet.” After 46 years of incarceration he was more than ready to leave his old life behind. When the big day came, Alex was both anxious and excited about what awaited him outside the prison gates. But he was also experiencing a sense of loss for the friends he was leaving behind; the men who had become like family to him over the years. When Alex said goodbye to his dog, Pearlie, it was hardest of all because he figured it was the last time they would see one another. Pearlie wasn’t technically his dog of course (there are no personal pets in prison) but the scruffy looking stray mutt seemed to believe Alex was her person. An experienced animal handler and horse trainer with a soft spot for animals, Alex declared Pearlie an official, “good dog,” and he did his best to watch out for her around the prison until the day he was released.

When he walked into his home after a long day at work last Friday, he was bone tired.  Spending extra time outside in the August heat was far from his mind. But that changed in an instant when he realized Pearlie was waiting for him in the back yard. The logistics behind getting the dog to Baton Rouge were humorously complicated, but it was all worth it to see Alex and Pearlie together again. The joyful reunion was followed by better news for the pair; Alex’s family member is going to foster Pearlie while Alex is working on the skills he needs to be fully independent. “Just knowing Pearlie is getting to enjoy some freedom too makes me real glad,” said Alex, who will be visiting with his Pearlie as often as possible. 

Best of Luck Pearlie!

Congratulations on Your Paw-role!