INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Adam Noens impact on the Lawrence North swim program is easy to see. Not only has he tallied up a ton of wins this season, but his name hangs on banners around the pool with numerous school records.
“The great thing about Adam is he can swim all the events up there very well,” said Lawrence North head swim coach Tom Burchill. “I like to match him up against the best swimmer from the other team, and he won a lot of those races.”
Noens impact on the community comes at home in the form of some furry friends; he and his family work with service and therapy dogs through Indiana Canine Assistant Network.
Dogs trained by women in the prison system live with the Noens family to help reinforce the behaviors taught in prison and help the dogs adjust to the outside world.
“There are certain things they can’t do in the prison,” said Adam’s mom, Tracy. “They can’t experience escalators and elevators and grocery stores and getting in and out of a car and even being in a house. You’re supposed to take them as many places as you can, so of course every dog we’ve had has been at swim meets.”
The Noens’ current dog, Dino, is a 4 and a half year old yellow lab who works at Belzer Middle School with kids of all type of needs.
“He can sense that they’re stressed, anxious, and he will immediately go to them,” said Tracy.
“It helps a lot of people honestly. People who are mentally ill or need help walking around, ICAN dogs can help them out with that,” said Adam.
And while seeing the dogs move on is the hardest part for Adam and his family, it’s also the most rewarding.
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