Pit Bull dog in shelter for more than 450 days til Army war veteran brings him home

Patrick and Oliver

A Pit Bull dog who spent more than 450 days in a shelter, more than half of his life, is rescued by an Army war veteran coping with PTSD who found purpose in companion pets despite not being sure he was ready to care for them. Go ahead, kid; make my day Patrick enlisted in the Army to follow in the footsteps of his stepfather, uncle and grandfathers. “They served their country and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor their service than to sign up myself,” he says. “I can drive a variety of vehicles and was assigned to a postal unit overseas. I transported incoming mail throughout … [Read more...]

Little rescue dog gives Vietnam veteran “a reason to live”

Andrew and Scooby

Scooby is a little rescue dog with big paws to fill: curing the aching heart of a Vietnam veteran following the death of his senior dog.  For his entire life, Andrew has been a natural caretaker. He ministered to both of his parents during their final years, but after his 12 year-old Labradoodle died he did not think that he could care for another dog. Yet in time he was not just alone, but lonely - and knew that a companion pet would change his world for the better.  A man of peace during a time of war In 1962, Andrew enlisted in the U.S. Army and he served for three years as a … [Read more...]

Marine veteran gives love and stability to unwanted dog

Anthony and Pricilla

Too many animals find themselves abandoned, rejected and discarded at shelters and rescues across the country. When one Marine veteran decided it was time to add a four-legged member to the family, his first thought was to save a life and adopt a dog.  As it turns out, that dog was one who others had adopted and surrendered on more than one occasion. Priscilla seemed to be the dog nobody wanted. Military as the path to a better life Patriotism and hopes for a brighter future inspired Anthony to join the military. In 1995 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for four years, and … [Read more...]

Iraq War veteran gives overlooked older dog a second chance at life

Brian and Preston

Brian is an Iraq war combat veteran who decided to give an overlooked, older dog the second chance he deserved.  The Fighting Thirteenth Currently working as a software developer for a medical billing company, Brian enlisted in the Marines because he "wasn't yet ready for college." Trained as an infantry rifleman, he deployed on the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), known as "The Fighting Thirteenth," as well as the 31st MEU. The young veteran's tour of duty included a combat deployment to Iraq. Once home, he thought a dog would help make it easier to go from battlefront to home … [Read more...]

The cycle of life: the contract we make with our pets


Lola died on August 4th, 2014 at 5:15 pm at age 8-1/2.  Seven months after she was diagnosed with cancer. Six months after her leg was amputated in the hopes of stemming the cancer. And only two weeks after x-rays showed the cancer had returned.  I wrote her inspiring story shortly after her leg was amputated, How Lola lost her leg and embraced life.  Our sweet Lola indeed embraced life until the very end, until she was too tired and sick to make the effort any more.  The last day After Lola’s surgery in February of 2015, my aunt told me, “We make a contract with our pets that we will … [Read more...]

Two veterans, two dogs, two miracle companion pet adoptions

Michael and Kara going home

Every life we touch through our work is a blessing. In the span of less than one week, two veterans adopted two dogs through two different shelter partners in two separate states. Yet all involved - pet and person -  needed the same thing: unconditional love. In the end, we had two miracle companion pet adoptions. Stray, abused dog lifts an Army veteran out of depression Michael is medically retired from the Army and now lives in Alabama. Like many veterans, he spent about one year after his discharge "not knowing what to do, not feeling comfortable." Admittedly he has a lot on his … [Read more...]

Love conquers all for widowed Navy veteran and abused shelter dog

John and Kandi

They say that time heals all wounds, but for John, a widowed Navy veteran, it took a lot of love as well to help a once-abused dog overcome her fears and live the life she deserved. A waterman joins the Navy John always harbored a passion for the water and sailing. In 1962, after graduating high school, John enlisted in the United States Navy as a quartermaster and served for two years active duty before transitioning to the Naval Reserves for another three.  He recalls fondly earlier times when people used the stars to navigate, an art long lost to GPS.  Although he misses those days he … [Read more...]

Once-stray dog helps Air Force veteran cope with loss of “perfect dance partner”

Daniel and Edison_400

It is not often that you get to choose your own family, but that's exactly how it happened for an Air Force veteran and a once-stray dog who are helping each other move beyond their sad pasts. Although Daniel has many friends in Michigan, he has no family apart from the four-legged kind he has chosen to rescue over the years. Having recently suffered the death of his beloved Sheltie dog, Peanut, the Air Force veteran was ravaged with grief.  “Peanut was my perfect dance partner and the prettiest thing that I could call my own," he says. "When she died I was wrecked.” Aiming higher In … [Read more...]

Bronze Star veteran shines with four-legged battle buddy by his side

Chris and Darla

After three combat tours in Iraq, a Bronze Star Army veteran becomes a hero of a different stripe: to an adult dog who would become his new battle buddy as he transitioned to civilian life. Inspired to service by Vietnam War POW During nearly a decade of service, Chris traveled the world. Originally from Oklahoma, the young Army veteran started his military career at Fort Carson, Colorado with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 4th Infantry Division (ID). Over the years he would deploy to the Middle East,  and serve in more than a dozen countries around the globe before finishing his … [Read more...]

Healing at both ends of the leash for disabled veteran and special needs dog

Lizbeth (Dewey)_400

Dewey is a disabled Vietnam veteran who came to the realization that he "needed a therapy dog to help fight depression." At the same time he had a strong desire to help a dog in need, so he returned to the Michigan Humane Society where he and his wife had previously adopted companion pets. "I knew at the "Michigan Humane Society there was a dog that needed the therapy of a home and love," Dewey says. As it turns out that dog was Lizbeth: a 30-pound, nearly purebred Beagle with loving brown eyes.  The Vietnam veteran's first encounter with Lizbeth was nothing short of "love at first sight," … [Read more...]