Szasz began with five inmates and two dogs, but the program quickly expanded. At last count, 20 inmates have studied under Szasz, and 38 dogs — which began as too shy, too aggressive or too unruly — have found permanent homes. If they wanted to gain the privilege of training the dogs, they would have to care for the animals around the clock — feeding them, grooming them and cleaning up after them.
Near the side of the road between Amelia Street and Interstate 4 in downtown Orlando, the self-proclaimed "King of Orlando" sat on his folding chair in the grass. He donned a bright red robe studded with fake diamonds and jewels. On his head sat a gold-colored crown also covered in fake colorful jewels. A few weeks back, a colleague and I were coming back from a video shoot and stumbled upon the King of Orlando, whose real name is Stanley Williams. Williams, who has been homeless for more than 25 years, spent the afternoon telling us about his travels and the things he has learned along the way. He shared with us his own “Alphabet of Life”, a collection of positive phrases he uses to keep himself motivated through tough times. He said that he travels across the country to “spread a positive and constructive energy beam.”