Meet that Raiser – Mary Jean Mahoney

Name: Mary Jean Mahoney
Occupation: Reading Specialist
Prison: JJ Moran
Current Pup: Alice, 18 months old

How long have you been a Weekend Puppy Raiser and how many dogs have you raised? (Include furloughed dogs and the one you are currently raising).

I have been a Weekend Puppy Raiser for one year. Alice is my first puppy.

What led you to Weekend Puppy Raising?

A new friend of mine and I were chatting about how much we love dogs. She told me about NEADS and the Weekend Puppy Raiser Program. I thoroughly enjoyed training my own dog to be a therapy dog. We loved going to nursing homes and hospitals, as well as home visits. Home visits were his favorites; I called them “Wednesdays with Lillian” and our client/friend called them “Reggie at Your Service!” The opportunity to train a dog with the purpose of helping someone is a delightful experience!

Ice Breakers

If you had your own talk show, who would your first 3 guests be?

Jane Goodall
Bindi Irwin
Joe Namath

If you had one extra hour of free time a day what would you do with it?

If I had one extra hour of free time a day, I would take my grandchildren out for ice cream and to a playground.

Would you rather be able to speak all foreign languages or talk to animals?

I am content being able to speak two languages so I would definitely like to talk to animals and have them respond telepathically!

If you could visit one place in the world where would it be and why?

For the past three years my sixth graders have been assigned a research project – our national parks. I have learned so much about our national parks from their presentations. I would visit Utah to visit five national parks! What a bang for your buck! The beauty of the mountains, the night sky, and rock formations are so intriguing, evoking peacefulness, and creating a calmness within. I would love to see these places in person.

Are you a listener or a talker?

I am definitely a listener. Although I visited Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone, I am still a better listener than a talker!

Tell us your favorite part about being a Weekend Puppy Raiser or your favorite memory with one of the NEADS pups.

I refer to my weekends as “Adventures with Alice.” Her inmate handler has done a fine job training her so it is quite easy to take her anywhere. He has established the basics, and I am able to enjoy a variety of places and events. We have observed youth hockey, baseball, basketball, and soccer games. We have ridden on elevators and buses. We have listened to music at outdoor concerts, relaxed at restaurants, and explored towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that I have never previously visited. This is just the beginning for Alice – as Dr. Seuss wrote, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Read the entire Meet that Raiser series here.