Now that the dogs have settled in, “They’re much better behaved than I expected. It was a nice match.”
Taking care of these temporary pets “really does fill a void .... We do like having a dog around.” While her husband, an ear, nose and throat physician who practices in Batesville and Martinsville, initially was hesitant about fostering canines, now “he’s up early with them and feeding them. He pretends like he’s complaining about it, but he’s really enjoying them. I’ll find them sitting on his lap while he’s reading.”
According to her, “The responsibility is awesome. Her first dog died (of cancer) while she was deployed a few years ago and it was devastating to her. I recognize I’ve got to have them delivered back to her in one piece.” Local dog trainer Laura Losacker has helped the foster mom get better control of the beagles so they don’t escape. The owner, who calls them The Houdini Boys because of their ability to disappear, advised the Schrimpfs it’s not hard to find them. “If they get loose, they will be baying. You just have to follow the noise.”
When the time comes, Joanne Schrimpf predicts it will be difficult to give the dogs back. “But I also realize it will be very fulfilling to know we were able to help this soldier … Missions are hard, but you do them. Our mission is to support her.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
How to help • Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet has been "supporting our military, veterans and their beloved pets since 2005." It organizes a foster home program available in all 50 states for soldiers deploying for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions. • GASP offers two programs - foster homes and military pet assistance. The nonprofit also has one major project, a military, veteran and pet sanctuary in Gatesville, Texas. • Persons can help by making donations, volunteering or fostering pets. Info: 812-277-7023 or www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org. • Pet Foster Families are also needed by the Rushville Animal Shelter. For more information, call 932-4754.