This week, Inside Appalachia is featuring some incredible stories about dogs that help people heal. Like Paca, who helps children overcome emotional trauma and even helps encourage them to read. And we'll travel to a special cemetery, reserved only for coonhound dogs.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of seeing eye dogs, but service dogs do plenty of other jobs to help people. We'll go on a journey with a few service dogs helping folks in unique ways.
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Meet Paca, a Dog Helping Children Overcome Emotional Trauma
Paca is an English Black Labrador service dog who works with elementary school students at the Mary C. Snow School on Charleston's West Side. One of Paca's roles is to help children who are emotionally in need of some extra love.
Meet Leo, a Dog That is Teaching Prison Inmates Patience, Compassion
Stephfon is an inmate at St. Mary's Correctional Center, and for the last 10 months, he's been working to train an English Cream Golden Retriever named Leo.
This is one of five West Virginia state prisons that trains service dogs in partnership with a non- profit organization called paws4people.
"Since I've had Leo, he's taught me a lot of things about myself. Such as, myself having anger problems. Tolerance problems. Because when you're dealing with dogs, you have to have tolerance and be able to control your anger. And if you have them problems and you don't really recognize it, they'll bring it out of you. And either you're gonna get it together, or you're just not gonna have them anymore," said Stephfon.
How to Memorialize a Coonhound
Paul Sharp and Tommy Sharp, of Pocahontas County, W.Va., with their bear hunting dogs, probably taken some time in the 1940s or 1950s.
Hunters often have a special connection to their coondogs. After all, it's the dog that has to perform well to make a successful coonhunt. So it's no surprise that some coondogs with a superior hunting record, are laid to rest at the Coon Dog Cemetery in Cherokee, Alabama.
The Coonhound Cemetery Celebrated its 75th anniversary recently. But how did the idea for the cemetery first come about and what famous coonhound dogs are buried here? NPR's Debbie Elliott visited the cemetery, where only the finest of coon dogs are remembered.
These stories and more on this week's, Inside Appalachia.
Thanks for joining us for one of our favorite shows! Find Tweets, more pictures and sounds here.