16649271_10154340045619632_4133566186851507595_nMeet a Puppy Raiser

Name:  Amanda Prater 
School/Degree:  University of Kentucky, B.A. Psychology 
School/Degree:  University of Dayton, School Psychology Graduate Program
Dogs fostered:  8

My experience as a college foster for 4 Paws for Ability has been invaluable. I began fostering for 4 Paws during my undergraduate career as a junior at UK. While at UK, I fostered 4 dogs: Josta, Chewbacca (Chewie), Robin, and Beyoncé. Each dog taught me a different life lesson, but all-encompassing, I learned the importance of time management, flexibility, consistency, routine, patience, persistence, love and companionship. 

After graduating from UK with a degree in Psychology, I was thrilled when I was accepted to the School Psychology Program at the University of Dayton for graduate school. When I moved to Dayton, OH and started attending graduate classes at UD, I learned that they did not have a 4 Paws College Program on campus despite its close proximity to Xenia, OH (where 4 Paws is located). Thus, it quickly became my goal to bring a ‘4 Paws college program’ to UD. After several meetings and emails, I was approved to foster the first 4 Paws dog on UD’s campus, and his name was Crash! Since then, I have fostered Lotus, Ziva, and now Ponyta. I am so excited to say that UD now has an official 4 Paws College Program; we had eight dogs on campus during Fall 2016, and we currently have six dogs on campus this semester (Spring 2017). 

Overall, I have fostered eight dogs, and each one will forever hold a special place in my heart. These dogs brighten other’s days each and every time they are out socializing, but nothing compares to the joy I feel, as a foster, when I attend graduation ceremonies at 4 Paws for Ability. When I see the smile on the child’s face when they meet their service dog (the dog that I helped raise), I cry, and feel so proud and overjoyed! Being a part of this process has been an absolute gift. I will cherish this experience and all the memories for the rest of my life.