Little dogs bring big changes to veterans’ lives

Patriots in their own words

They say it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. We'd suggest it's something slightly different: it's the size of the heart in the dog. So it is with two little dogs that are bringing big changes to the lives of the veterans who gave them a second chance at life. Vietnam veteran finally gets a 'thank you' Bob is a Vietnam Army veteran who served during a period in our nation's history when veterans symbolized a deeply unpopular war. There were no parades, no jubilant welcomes home, no thanks for a job well done. Their return was unceremonious at best … [Read more...]

Dogs give new life to disabled veteran and military spouse

Tank Scout and dad

 This is a story shared with us by a disabled veteran and military spouse whose two dogs, Tank and Scout, give her a renewed sense of purpose in life. Our thanks to Misty her service and for sharing her experiences with us. We wish her husband a safe and speedy return home and thank him for his continued service as well. ***** I am disabled veteran and wife of a Staff Sergeant (SSG) in the Army who is currently deployed in Afghanistan. My health has not been good and there is only one thing that makes me want to face each day:  the love my dogs give me and my love for them. Pets can truly be … [Read more...]

Retired disabled Army dog needs help to walk again

Koady and Santo

Santo is a disabled, retired bomb-sniffing dog recently discharged from the Army and barely able to use his hind legs. His handler and now owner is a three-tour combat veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who, in spite of being recently discharged and currently unemployed, adopted the military working dog (MWD) when he learned that he was going to be killed. Koady, his then-handler and now owner, knows that Santo's keen nose saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers - including his own. Santo's problems starting during his tour in Afghanistan. He was eventually returned to the … [Read more...]

A veteran, a dog and one amazing tale

Gizmo and his new family

If you spend much time with a war veteran discussing his experience, he will invariably mention how the worst part of it was losing so many of his best friends. And, if you listen to a pet owner discuss losing a pet, you will hear a similar refrain: “I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.” It’s a sentiment tinged with sadness and loneliness – a sense of loss and being lost. Tim Peterman knows both all too well. As a veteran of WWII who recently lost his beloved Shih-Tzu, Gizmo, he didn’t know what to do with himself without his buddy. He lost his bearings. His daughter, Sandra, saw the pain. … [Read more...]

Dogs deliver therapy to PTSD/TBI veteran

My pit bull puppies

A disabled Army veteran coping with PTSD and TBI shares her story about how dogs have changed his life. He would like to see the Veterans Administration provide benefits to support pets adopted by veterans for their own self therapy. His story speaks to the heart of what we do at Pets for Patriots in connecting last-chance pets with veterans. Many of our adopters talk about being imperfect or misunderstood, and feel a kinship with unwanted animals that are often described in similar terms. We believe this strong identification with the predicament of an "unwanted" animal is what accounts for … [Read more...]

Rescued dog rescues Vietnam veteran with PTSD

Picture of Bob and rescued dog Trust

Robert (Bob) Quimby didn't know anything about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He didn't know he was affected by what he had seen in Vietnam at all - until one day his boss asked about his combat experiences: "I walked back to my desk and had my first flashback because that wall that had been built up broke down." In 1987, after 13 years working at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Bob resigned and the VA labeled him unemployable. Bob - a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient - says he cried the first time he heard that word. Bob was diagnosed with PTSD in 1989 and has lived … [Read more...]

Veteran’s dying wish fulfilled: a home for Gizmo

blog dog high res

  By now you probably know the twists and turns of Gizmo, the little Shih Tzu dog pictured above, left homeless when his only family - an elderly, dying Korean War veteran -  asked us to fulfill his dying wish. In spite of a tremendous and frantic effort to find the dog a new home while his current caretaker was still alive, the veteran died without knowing where his beloved companion would end up. Many people contacted us and applied to our shelter partner, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, to give Gizmo a new leash on life. Each had their own stories, and reasons why they would be the … [Read more...]

Boston radio personality interviews Quincy Animal Shelter

callie crossley

We couldn't be more thrilled to have Quincy Animal Shelter and Quarry Hills Animal Hospital as our first shelter and veterinary partners, respectively, in the great state of Massachusetts. A big 'thank you' to Dorothy Pickrell; she's a 26-year veteran of the Massachusetts Army National Guard who was inspired to bring our program to the Quincy Animal Shelter, where she has works as a volunteer. Equally deserving of our thanks is Lynda Southerland, the shelter's volunteer fundraising coordinator, who worked with her board to get the program approved and launched. In this interview with … [Read more...]

US soldiers from 9/2008 Afghan conflict

Back in September, we relayed a request from Sandra, an Australian author who is looking for United States soldiers from a particular September 2008 Afghanistan conflict. If you know anyone in this unit, or can help Sandra connect to the brave folks she'd like to interview, please contact her directly. Many thanks; woot!! … [Read more...]

ISO U.S. soldiers from September 2008 Taliban conflict

We received a request from a best-selling author to connect with soldiers engaged in the joint U.S.-Australian-Afghan National Army battle with the Taliban in September 2008 near Ana Kalay in Uruzgan province. If you can help, read on. And if you can't, pass it along - maybe someone you know can. … [Read more...]

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