Adopted Retriever mix fetches a Navy nurse

It was an adopted adult Retriever mix with “puppy dog” eyes that helped one Navy nurse feel more at home with her new life in the military.

Kaitlin serves in the Navy out of Portsmouth, Virginia and is the proud “mom” of honorably adopted Cooper, an enthusiastic and loving six year-old Retriever mix. A recent college graduate, Kaitlin joined the Navy after completing her schooling in May of 2012. She currently works as a nurse at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth and “loves every minute of it.” While she finds it hard to think of one specific event as her most memorable in the military so far, Kaitlin definitely enjoys giving back to her fellow service members.

“I enjoy going to work every day,” she says, noting that she gets to help members of the military and their families by providing them with healthcare.

“It’s amazing how appreciative people are,” she says, “and it feels great to be doing a job I love while serving others who are serving their country.”

Pet adoption makes house a home

Kaitlin is a life-long dog lover and always had a dog growing up. She suffered a touch of separation anxiety when she moved to Portsmouth and had to leave the beloved family dog at home with her parents. It didn’t take long before the Naval nurse knew she wanted someone to welcome her home at the end of the day. Preferably a furry, four-legged someone. Kaitlin and Cooper

During a visit to the Virginia Beach SPCA, Kaitlin learned about Pets for Patriots from a member of the adoption staff. If she was approved by the charitable organization and adopted a program eligible pet, she would receive various benefits to help make pet ownership more affordable – a big boost to a young service member at the start of her career.

“Once it was explained, it was hard not to go through Pets for Patriots, given the many benefits provided,” she says. Since adopting, she recommends the program to any member of the military who might be thinking about pet adoption.

“It’s a great program,” says Kaitlin. “Pets for Patriots seems to truly care about their members and animals.”

A four-legged friend for road trips and life’s journeys

In keeping with Pets for Patriots’ mission to save the most overlooked shelter animals, Kaitlin honorably adopted Cooper – a six year-old Retriever mix. Since saving the adult dog, Kaitlin finds it hard to choose the one thing she loves most about her new best friend.

“Everything!” she exclaims. And Kaitlin and Cooper do virtually everything together.

The energetic Retriever loves walking, visiting the beach and playing with his tennis ball, and Kaitlin insists she’s powerless to his “puppy dog eyes.” Every time Cooper bats them her way, she has “no choice” but to fork over little nibbles of people-food.

“He especially loves licking my bowl of strawberry cheesecake ice cream when I’m done,” Kaitlin says.

Cooper is a great driving partner as well, enjoying the twice monthly rides he makes when his Navy mom drives to Pennsylvania to visit family and friends. Cooper

“I couldn’t ask for a better driving companion,” says Kaitlin, but on further reflection realizes it’s the daily homecoming that she treasures most.

“I love the fact that he’s always sitting waiting for me, wagging his tail as I walk through the door after a long day’s work,” she says. “It never fails that he’s happy to see me.”

How does your pet make you look forward to coming home every day?

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