Puppy Kickball

Oct 2, 2017

Words and Photos by Kassi Jackson

The cool, crisp afternoon at the close of September gave 4 Paws for Ability the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax and play kickball at Centennial Fields.

The Kent State chapter of 4 Paws for Ability — a non-profit organization aiming to provide as many children with service dogs possible — used Sept. 30 not only to connect with the Kent campus community, but as socialization for the canines, too.

Maxwell Newberry, the president of the Kent State chapter of 4 Paws for Ability, says the initial goal of having a fundraiser took a turn toward “a more casual direction to allow the handlers to cool down and relax from all the fundraising activities we had done in the previous two weeks.”

The pups, from tiny papillons to larger goldendoodles, are fostered by students who volunteer their time.

“We were lucky enough to have a few traditional fosters through 4 Paws come out and join us,” says Kiere Drymalski, the 4 Paws for Ability director of programming.

Events like the kickball tournament create opportunities to have fun as an organization, while reaching out to others and getting to know the Kent State community better, Drymalski says.

Leah Carothers, a freshman general business major, says she wanted to stay with the dogs all day. 

These interactions between students and the program’s dogs allow students to understand the role of service dogs in training, especially during the socialization stage.

“Our handlers work extremely hard and it is important to us that we ensure that they get a break,” Newberry says.

Kassi Jackson is a photo editor, contact her at cjacks62@kent.edu.

— For more on 4 Paws for Ability, read the upcoming issue of The Burr Magazine, on stands this November.