It’s anchors away for a Navy husband-and-wife team and their rescued pitbull, Bowser.
Wes is a public affairs officer with the Navy reserves and his wife, Victoria – who goes by Vic – a Navy nurse. Shortly after celebrating their first wedding anniversary and with the prospect of children many years down the road, the couple decided to adopt a dog because they “wanted a companion to love and to love us back.”
From Texas to Virginia, with love
Both Wes and Vic came from Texas, but that’s about the only similarity in their nascent military careers. Wes was commissioned from the University of Texas ROTC in 2009, but was medically disqualified after two years of flight school training to become a pilot. He was subsequently placed in the Naval reserves where he now serves as a public affairs officer. Vic was commissioned through the Nurse Candidate Program at Texas Tech University in 2010, and since that time has served at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Yet it was a shared experienced that proved to be the most memorable so far for this young military pair: Wes was allowed to read Vic her oath of promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG). They both memorized the entire oath, and everyone waited nervously until Vic recited it back without a hitch.
The loyalty and love of a pitbull
Ironically, the chocolate brown pitbull with honey-colored eyes was given the name “Wave” at the Portsmouth Humane Society, a Pets for Patriots adoption partner, but Wes and Vic decided that Bowser fit the bill – and the dog.
“Wes loves how smart Bowser is,” says Vic, noting that the big breed pup “has already learned to sit, wait, go to bed go lay down, shake, high five, give ten (up), hit the deck (down), do a barrel roll (roll over), speak and more.”
Canine smarts aside, what means most to this Navy couple is Bowser’s seemingly endless capacity for love – a stark contrast to the negative perceptions that many people have of these dogs and in defiance of the countless localities than ban them outright.
“Wes has learned the love of a pitbull can provide,” says his wife, to which he responds, “Vic smiles more than ever because of Bowser, which is a hard thing to do considering she is happy 99.9% of the time.”
No matter how hard her day, coming home to a loving dog who is excited to see her makes Vic even happier. Like most dogs, even big ones, Bowser fancies himself a “snuggler” and lap dog. In fact, it’s what this Navy couple loves most about their new family member.
“He’s such an unbelievable puppy and we’re both so happy to have found him,” says Vic.
Help when they need it
While living with Bowser has been smooth sailing for this Navy pair, they recommend Pets for Patriots to any veteran who might be “on the fence” about whether to adopt a shelter dog or cat.
“They’ve made it known on several occasions that they are there to help with anything that may come our way regarding Bowser,” says the couple, “so it’s good to know we have that additional support.”
In addition to direct financial and post-adoption support provided by Pets for Patriots and a discounted adoption fee of $50 through the Portsmouth Humane Society, Bowser is eligible to receive ongoing discounted veterinary care through another local partner, Brentwood Veterinary Clinic.
Bowser qualified for the Pets for Patriots program because he fit one of three possible adoption criteria: he was at least 40 pounds at adoption. In addition to large dogs of any age, qualifying animals include dogs or cats at least two years of age, and special needs pets that have a disability or chronic medical condition.
What do you love most about your rescued pet?