Jennifer Brooks
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Check out this dog.

And by "check out this dog," I mean you can literally check dogs out of Minneapolis Animal Care & Control for day trips and adventures now, like a very fluffy lending library.

Dogs like Abuelo, a big, happy 10-year-old lunk, last seen bounding down a city sidewalk with the mayor of Minneapolis in tow. Mayor Jacob Frey checked Abuelo out of the shelter for the afternoon, and so can you.

Are you heading out on a dog-friendly adventure with everything but the dog? Does your landlord say no to pets, while your neighborhood brewpub says yes?

Then the Fido Field Trip Program at Minneapolis Animal Care & Control may be for you. MACC officials say even a few hours away from the shelter can reduce a dog's kennel stress. Even a few hours in the company of a Very Good Boy like Abuelo can really make a human's day.

"Everybody wins. You get to hang out with a dog for a few hours. That dog gets to reduce their anxiety and it is far more likely that that dog is going to end up getting adopted," Frey said. "You win, the dog wins, our city wins."

The last time Frey visited MACC for one of these photo ops, he went home with a new family cat. On Tuesday, he offered an adoption update.

"Her name is Rhonda. She's nuts. She's part of our family," he said. "But for this wonderful work that happens here at MACC, she wouldn't be living in our home right now. She wouldn't have a safe place to stay. We wouldn't have her as a really important part of our family."

Summer is a busy time at animal control. As Frey returned Abuelo after their walk, more dogs watched hopefully from their kennels. Duke, a young shepherd mix with huge soulful eyes. Skippy Jon Jones, a devastatingly handsome husky. Wilfred, a 71-pound sweet potato.

These field trips can give shelter staff information that makes it easier to place the Skippy Jon Joneses of this world in their forever homes. Does the dog like car trips? Do they just chill out under the table when you're visiting with your friends on a restaurant patio or would a more active home be a better fit? Do they like kids?

Shelter staff will choose two adoptable dogs for Fido Field Trips each week. To check one of them out, fill out an online application, watch an online training video and stick to a few simple rules. Pick up your field trip buddy between 11 and 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Thursday. Keep them on leash. Keep them safe. Bring them back, tired and happy, in a few hours, unless MACC staff have given you permission to keep Fido for a sleepover at your place.

For more information about Fidos and field trips, visit: