Pit Bulls, Parolees and a Doodle


Charley has quite the resume, especially for a dog. He was in the movie I Love You Man. He’s been in several parades.


He’s been on TV, in magazines and newspapers. He worked at an academy awards gifting suite.

He was even in the Bedhead pajama catalog.

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CHARLEY I regret that I’ve never been asked to do a radio interview. I actually think I could pull it off.

What few people know is that he was on the tv show Pit Bulls and Parolees, a program about a woman who rescues Pit Bulls and has parolees help train and rehabilitate them.

20160525_091431_1472427293345_resizedELBEE I’m sure Pack Leader was wondering if there was an audience for her blog in prison.


During our episode a parolee was testing a large Pit Bull to be a therapy dog. Charley and I were there as the neutral dog team.  It’s the exercise in the Pet Partners evaluation where the two teams approach, the handlers greet each other, and the testing team then walks on by. The dogs aren’t supposed to show more than passing interest in each other.

Unfortunately, Fido, the Pit Bull and Fred the parolee (fake names) failed the test. After walking by, “Fido” circled back to get Charley. A big no no.

CHARLEY I was terrified. I’m a lover not a fighter.

Since the producers knew the outcome, when they were editing the show, they made a big dramatic deal about the neutral dog exercise coming up. “Fred” had to say how nervous he was about it. It was like the obligatory part of a cooking show where someone says, “this is a disaster.” As they went to commercial, they had a shot of big, scary Charley with a kind of Jaws music playing.

  20161006_193948_resized CHARLEY It was humiliating, almost as humiliating as this shirt.

After “Fido” failed, they went to “Fred” for reaction.  He commented that the big, fluffy white dog had been their downfall. Maybe I should have used fake names for me and Charley instead.

Fortunately he was a very sweet parolee and said he totally understood. Hey, maybe he would like my blog.





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Ellen Morrow

In her former life, Ellen Morrow was a carpool mom and award winning bodybuilder. Today she is a nationally certified therapy dog handler who volunteers at UCLA Medical Center and Providence Hospital with her GoldenDoodles. She's also the mother of three grown daughters who all think she's a little crazy or in the words of a friend, "a little unconventional." She is also an avid hiker who has survived a rattlesnake bite!

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