We’re fostering a dog this summer. This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows my middle daughter, Megan. The dog’s name is Fido (yes, really). He is 12 years old and has spent most of his life outside in a kennel.

We joke that Fido is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He has clearly never had much training. He doesn’t know sit or stay. He doesn’t really even know “no!” (or “down!” when he makes himself at home on the couch he is not supposed to be on).

What he does know is love. Even at the age of twelve (84-ish in human years), he has learned that life can be different, better than it once was.

At least for the summer, Fido will have all the treats and toys his heart desires. He’ll have a comfortable, snuggly place to rest and get the care he needs and deserves. I’m not sure if this old dog will actually learn any new tricks this summer, but he will learn what it means to be part of a family and will fill a gap in our family that has been empty for a while.

What “gaps” do you need to have filled this summer? How might you help fill someone else’s too?

— Lisa Witherspoon, Director of Children’s & Youth Ministry