The day before Ricky Bobby Baby Jesus was scheduled to die by an injection of pentobarbital, along came the cookie lady. She brought dog biscuits to the Howard County Animal Shelter. When she saw the yellow Labrador — evicted for feistiness from three homes — leap to catch a ball, she had an idea.
In a New York prison, Mary Jane, a black Labrador raised by a convicted murderer, was balled up in her cell. Bred from guide-dog stock and trained in an inmate program, Mary Jane flunked her test. “She lacks self-confidence,” the evaluators noted. The convict sat on the cell floor and rubbed Mary Jane’s belly, reading “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” out loud to her.
How Ricky Bobby Baby Jesus and Mary Jane went from being underachieving curs to canines sniffing out terrorists in Morocco, is the story of how some Americans — or at least their dogs — are finding second chances through the war on al-Qaeda.