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My Dog Habit: Diana Linz Reflects On How Canines Help Her Cope In and Out of Prison

Woman's Voices prison dayton correctional
Juliet Fromholt

Diana Linz has always had a connection with dogs, and being in the dog program at the prison has helped her  cope with being locked up.

Highlights from the audio:

“When I grew up, I was very lonely. I only had a dog and a couple of cats. And when I left home, somehow I felt like I had to take in every animal that I saw...I kinda got wrapped up in selling marijuana in order to support my dog habit. My dog rescue habit.”

“I have to say that the first couple of years [in prison] I was an emotional mess. They had me on a lot of meds cause I couldn’t stop crying. And then even the meds made me cry.”

“The people in [the dog] unit are a lot more cheerful and laid back, because there’s a mellowness and lightness that comes from being in a unit with a bunch of dogs. And you can’t stay angry long cause you can turn around and pet a dog, and it takes your anger away right away. It’s very therapeutic.”

Women’s Voices at Dayton Correctional Institution is a series of stories based on “WYSO’s Community Voices class at the prison on the west side. WYSO selected 10 incarcerated women through a competitive application process, and taught them interviewing, storytelling and recording skills. The series is produced and mixed by managing editor Lewis Wallace and Community Voices producer Renee Wilde, with volunteer support from Community Voices graduate Dr. Venita Kelley and editorial input from general manager Neenah Ellis. Our incarcerated students were Shannon Evans, Alisha Federici, LaShae Landry, Diana Linz, Tyra Patterson, Or'Zaria Slaton, Nikkia Sullivan, Lana Williams, Melody Williams and Aimee Wissman.

Renee Wilde tumbled into public radio - following a career path that has been full of creative adventures and community service. After graduating from the Ohio State University with a fine arts degree in photography - she served as the Exhibitions Coordinator for several Columbus art galleries and the Columbus Art League, while simultaneously slinging food and booze - memorably dropping a glass of orange juice on Johnny Rotten’s bare feet when he answered the hotel room door in just his skivvies (his response, “would shit be the appropriate word?”).