Here’s how you can be a temporary dog parent this summer

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Here’s how you can be a temporary dog parent this summer

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Photo submitted by Erin Bittner

It’s pretty much common knowledge that dogs make life better in all aspects. Especially in the summer, when the weather is nice and a four-legged best friend would be the perfect adventure partner.

Unfortunately, sometimes life’s twists and turns don’t always make for the perfect timing to adopt a doggo. After all, a dog becomes family, and that’s a long-term commitment. That’s why a local non-profit, Four Paws for Ability, has a foster system that lets you parent a pup for a few months at a time.

Photo submitted by Erin Bittner

Interested? Visit 4 Paws for Ability’s website for foster and volunteering information.

What’s even better is that all the dogs needing a foster home will someday become a service dog for someone who needs that furry friend even more. 

“I think a lot of people are attracted to Four Paws because we have a really cool mission,” said Erin Helmick, volunteer coordinator at Four Paws for Ability.

Photo submitted by Erin Bittner

Pups born in the care of Four Paws for Ability are ready to be fostered as early as eight to nine weeks old. That’s some puppy lovin’ waiting to happen! 

Photo submitted by Erin Bittner

A foster parent’s job is to socialize the pup in every way— taking him or her to the movies, restaurants, the grocery store and playing with lots of other dogs and humans. Service dogs need to feel comfortable and happy in all kinds of environments. 

When it’s time to give the dogo back to Four Paws for Ability, Helmick said many foster parents don’t think they will be able to part ways after months of creating a beautiful friendship. However, that’s almost never the case after the parent sees how good the pup will be for another person’s life. 

“A lot of our fosters will stay in contact with their families who receives their dog ... so they get to follow their pup event after they’re adopted,” Helmick said.

So if you’re craving companionship from a canine friend, but don’t have the current ability to make the long-term commitment, volunteering or fostering with Four Paws might the answer to your puppy prayers.

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