June 22, 2024

In the stressful atmosphere that of a college campus, everyone is looking for a way to alleviate that stress. What better way to do that then to foster a fluffy little pup!
With Wittenberg University’s partnership with 4 Paws, students have the opportunity to foster puppies to help socialize them in preparation for training as service dogs.
Without further ado, meet Georges! Georges lives with his three co-handlers: Erin Hord, ‘17; Kate Barcus, ‘17; and Stephanie Glass, ‘17. Georges bounded into Witt at 4 months of age, and has already made a huge impact on the lives of those around him.
“Georges is a loving, energetic, playful and all-around wonderful dog,” Hord said. “He is a light in my life, and brings me so much joy.”
The 4 Paws program trains pups to be service dogs for special needs people. Being apart of this program has given these girls an opportunity to serve their community in a unique way.
“I wanted to foster a puppy for many reasons, but I think the most prominent of them was having the opportunity to impact a family through playing some part in providing him with a life-changing service companion” Glass said.
When discussing the process of fostering a dog, Barcus had an exclusive view on the matter.
“I’ve fostered dogs before,” she said. “Last time I fostered was my sophomore year at a different school. One of my last dogs was really afraid of umbrellas, so with Georges I made sure to put a treat inside the umbrella so he wasn’t afraid. Now he thinks my umbrella is his best friend.”
Barcus also mentioned that not only is Georges well-educated in the art of finding something to chew on at any given moment, he’s also well-versed in his faith.
“This past Sunday, my co-handlers took him to church in the morning, and then that evening I took him home to my family to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah,” Barcus said.
Of course, with the abundance of joy that a puppy brings to the house, he also brings new challenges.
“At first, it was a little overwhelming to get used to having to adjust my schedule for Georges, and dealing with unforeseen issues, such as making sure he was housebroken,” Glass said.
“But, of course, with a bit of training and a whole lot of love, Georges has made the transition to college life beautifully and continues to grow daily.”

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