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Loving Families Take Care Of Future War Dogs

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Officials working for the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center at the Air Force base came to Fort Hood recently in order to bring seven adorable Belgian Malinois and Dutch shepherd puppies to families who will adopt and socialize the pooches. Actually, those kind humans will only be foster parents to the dogs because once the pups are 7 months old, they will go to Lackland to enter into a military training program.

Sarah Clark, who served as a military police officer in the Army, took a Belgian Malionois named Ggwendolyn into her home and told the Killeen Daily Herald this is not the first time she fostered a future military pup.

“It’s hard to give them back when it’s time because you do get attached. I know, though, that they go to a better place where they are needed and they have a job to do. They take care of soldiers. So, it’s worth it.”

Tracy Cann, breeding program foster consultant for the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center at Lackland, explained that puppies need to be socialized from an early age in order to be prepared for their future jobs.

“If they grow up in kennels they’re not environmentally solid. They’re scared of people or aggressive toward people. When they grow up with a family, they’re environmentally stimulated in a variety of areas, so they come back ready to work.”

Renae Johnson, volunteer coordinator at Fort Hood, helps find families to foster the puppies.

“They have some guidelines. They have to have a home with a yard. They don’t like the families to have small children.”

Johnson, who is also a foster parent to Fflint II, said she feels extremely proud knowing that her dog will serve a good cause.

“I’ve been able to raise a puppy and see him grow into a working dog, deploy and do all of these amazing things. It’s just like, ‘Wow, that was my dog.’”

However, she admitted it’s not easy letting the dog go at seven months.

“What happens is you love the dog, and you love him so much, but at seven months you can’t stimulate their minds and physical needs enough. At that point, it’s like ‘I love you, but it’s time for you to go to work now.”

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