My New Job

Despite all of my struggles, I can safely say that I have made it 6 months. 6 months I have been clean.

In fact, I now have my own job and my own place.

My new job is working as a dog trainer at a local dog obedience school. I specialize in crate training dogs.

Here’s a few things that I have learned about dog crate training that has helped me:

  • Dogs love to be in their dog crate
  • It’s heartbreaking hearing a dog whimper in their dog crate
  • There are many different types of dog cages
  • The dog crate is the most effective means of training a dog

When people come into our obedience school, the first thing that we do is teach their dog how to sit and stay.

The next initiative is to teach their dog how to happily go into their puppy crate. Usually this is met with some resistance if the dog isn’t used to this. However, once the dog gets the hang of it, they actually love it in their crate. That’s why we recommend that you use a large 42 inch dog crate when training your dog.

From what I have learned, a dog crate is almost like a den for dogs. In the wilderness, dogs will fall asleep in a tight, confined space that they can easily guard. This protects the dog from predators.

If you think about it, a dog crate is a very similar thing. It is small, confined, and has completely closed sides except for the door.

Whoever invented the dog crate is a genius.

Anyways, I am so fortunate to have this job and that there is that much of a demand for dog crate training.

I am blessed to be alive!

121 Days

Temptation almost got the best of me.

On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptationLuke 22:40

but the Lord delivered me from evil!

Someone was able to sneak drugs into the rehab facility. I suspect that one of their visiting family members brought it in and slipped it to them. They tried shopping around the drugs for cash.

Apparently their family was having financial troubles on the outside. They thought they could sneak in drugs and sell them for 5x the going rate on the street.

Well, they were wrong. No one, and I repeat, no one took him up on his offer.

I’ll admit, it was very, very tempting. As much as I love being clean, I do miss the rush of being high.

However, when I was offered, I immediately turned him in to the facility. I have made such great progress. 4 months! Can you believe it? 4 months! I sure can’t believe it.

Thank you for all of the continuous support that you have given me throughout this time. I really appreciate it. if you want to write me!

Thank you all and God bless.

91 Days

I can’t believe that I have made it three months without having any drugs.

I think the last time I went that long without having drugs was back when I was in my 20s and in the marine corps.

I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a wonderful feeling being clean. I am starting to see the world in a whole new light. That darkness that had plagued me for so long is no longer there. Instead of needing drugs to see the light, all I need to do is open my eyes!

I want to thank all of you that have written in to me ( for those who want to write). It’s truly inspiring hearing all about your stories. For those of you that have overcome your addiction, thank you for the inspiration. For those of you who are struggling like I am, you too can work to overcome it. We can do this together!

Things have been going well at the rehab center. Everyone has been wonderful. It’s interesting seeing people coming and going. I remember how hard it was during my first few weeks here. Now seeing people going through the same experience, I can’t resist helping them.

We’re a huge support group here.

I mentioned previously that we may be getting dogs to help us in our rehab. Well, we did! It’s so amazing. Seeing the love in these dogs eyes really makes life worth living.

They don’t let us have cameras nor take pictures in here, but here’s what my dog, Randy, looks like:


Isn’t he beautiful? Whenever I get out of this place, I hope that I can take him with me.

We’ve had a huge outpouring of support from local businesses. They’ve been donating things like food, toys, bowls, and even dog crates for our puppies. It’s really been great.

I know that his purpose is with disabled veterans, but I am one too! I’m going to have to petition to let me keep him.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to, but I’ll damn well try.

61 Days

It’s now been 61 days since I have been clean. I am still at the rehab center. I am glad that I am still not allowed to leave. I would have definitely gone out seeking drugs if I was let loose.

There were times when I would argue with the lovely nurses and doctors, saying that I was good to go and didn’t need their help anymore.

Luckily they knew better and didn’t listen to me. I don’t think they’re legally allowed to listen to me anyways.

I have met some really nice people since I have been in here. It’s great having such a wonderful support group. Now I know why support groups are praised so highly in the getting better community.

I’m not permanently cooped inside by any means. We have a basketball league within the center that’s a lot of fun. There are about 30 of us that play in it, so 6 teams of 5. It’s been a lot of fun. Really reminds me of how much I loved playing hoops when I was a kid.

I always wanted to be like Wilt Chamberlain, but I never grew to be so tall! For you youngsters out there, Wilt was a site to behold. I got to see him play 5 times in Philly. It was amazing. I’ll never forget that.

Anyways, I’ve heard talk of the rehab joining a program with America’s Vet Dogs to bring aspiring vet dogs to the rehab center so we can help raise them. They say that the dogs will help us through our battle to overcome our additions. I love dogs and am really looking forward to it. I hope it happens.

Richard Smith

richard smith

Richard Smith

This is me, Richard Smith, when I was last arrested for crack cocaine possession. It was at this point that I knew I needed to turn my life around.

I thought long and hard about starting this blog to tell everyone about my journey. If it weren’t for my psychologist and case worker, I never would have. I hope that it helps my rehabilitation.

The fine people at River Oaks have really helped me out so far. I’d like to thank Doctor Monroe for really taking the time to help me.

I have been here for 30 days now. It’s been 31 days since I took that last hit.

That will be the last hit that I ever take. I made a promise to myself, my family, and my God that I will never use again.

I will do everything in my power to fight temptation and ask the Lord to deliver me from evil.