Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

August 13, 2013

Couple fosters military pups

When Bob and Joanne Schrimpf’s dog was dying 18 months ago, “we just couldn’t picture doing another 16-year commitment, but we were dog people, and knew we’d miss the walks and (sound of) nails on the floor.”

The Batesville woman looked online into fostering pups, came across the Web site for Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pet and completed an application. “They interviewed us by phone,” then officials worked on finding a dog for the couple to nurture.

The Schrimpfs turned down two pit pulls, a boxer and dalmatian due to their sizes and because they were traveling last winter. Soon the GASP Kentucky liaison got in touch with Carol Highhouse, Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet Indiana foster coordination liaison. Volunteers were having trouble placing two beagles adopted from rescue agencies in New York and North Carolina who belonged to a U.S. Army soldier stationed at Fort Knox.

“I can do two beagles,” she decided. The couple drove to Kentucky to meet the servicemember and her pets. “We got to see her house and what her standards of care are. They were very sweet dogs. You could tell she was checking us out, too.” Once the deployment date was solid, “she came up with her friend’s truck piled high with beagle equipment” and the dogs to drop them off. “I gave her a private moment” in the backyard. “It was emotional.”

The owner is expected to remain in the Middle East for six to nine months. “We hope to be just really good babysitters of them with the expectation these are her dogs.”

“There are very serious contracts and paperwork .... If she gets killed in action, there are ways that’s handled, too. She has named the person who would take the dogs long term.” Schrimpf realizes, “The soldiers are doing important tasks at great risks.”

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