From shelter dog to neighborhood sweetheart

Erika and Gweni anniversary

Erika has been serving in the Navy for more than a decade, but still finds time to be a hero to a beautiful black Border Collie mix named Gwenivere. Just days from their one-year honorable adoption anniversary, Erika tells us how Gweni has changed both of their lives for the better. Thanks to our adoption partner Virginia Beach SPCA for helping us make this match! Hi!  As I approach my one year anniversary with my sweet Gweni, I realized that I can't remember if I ever sent the picture I owed you!  I've got a million pics of her, but about two of both of us!  She is doing great!  We've done … [Read more...]

Stray dog makes young Navy family complete

Evan Trixie and wife

Life was rough for a stray dog roaming the streets of Norfolk until a young Navy family made her their own and, in the process, made themselves whole.  Trixie had three strikes against her: homeless, a large dog and a "bully breed" to boot. Many of these animas are the victims of abuse or raised to fight other dogs. Trixie stood a chance at a better life when she was rescued by the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center, but soon after her arrival the shelter was at maximum capacity. Adoptable animals, like Trixie, needed to find a home - and fast.  As luck would have it, Trixie's ship had … [Read more...]

After IED blast and PTSD, combat veteran’s best medicine is adopted dog

Nate and Otis

An IED blast nearly shattered a three-tour Navy veteran's mind and body, but an adopted dog named Otis has proved to be the best medicine of all. Nate is an active duty Navy corpsman who currently works at the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune. Earlier this year, he was honorably adopted by Otis, a two year-old stray American Bulldog-Labrador mix who seemed destined to be Nate's new best friend. Determined to serve and save the lives of fellow veterans Growing up the son of an Air Force pilot, Nate gained extensive knowledge of what life in the military was like. He knew that someday he would … [Read more...]

There’s something about Harry: hapless shelter dog wins heart of Navy veteran

Anna and Harry

Harry is an adorable, curly haired shelter dog whose antics won the heart of a retired Navy veteran even as he tested her patience.  Lifelong animal lover and Navy veteran Anna served more than 20 years in the Navy and, once retired, decided it was time to expand her family. A native of San Diego, some of her fondest memories are of her visits to nearby San Diego Zoo, but her community offers many opportunities for pet involvement. "My favorites," she says with her trademark smile, "are walk-run events with oodles of adorable dogs on leashes, happily meandering along as their owners huff … [Read more...]

Navy veteran learns life lessons from last-chance shelter dog

Betty and Bella

A career Navy veteran who traveled the world learns important life lessons from a last-chance shelter dog. For almost three decades, Betty served in the Naval Reserve and dedicated 40 years as a civilian employee until her dual retirements. In the course of a civilian job with the Navy Recruiting Area FIVE in Great Lakes, Illinois, Betty was invited to join the Navy through the Advanced Pay Grade Program, which sought Naval candidates with related civilian experience. She enlisted and, after nearly 30 years of service exclaims, "It was the best decision I ever made!” Betty’s Naval career … [Read more...]

Army family finds joy in second chance cat

Martin and Heart

It was an adopted second chance cat that helped an Army veteran and family man keep a promise to his young daughter. The commitment Martin is an Army veteran who lives in Shelby Township, Michigan with his wife, an Army recruiter, and their six year-old daughter. He is currently a police training officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Detroit. For years, Martin’s daughter had begged her parents for a kitten. However, with two family dogs – a Yellow Labrador and a Beagle-Jack Russell Terrier mix – Martin and his wife felt they already had enough to handle, and promised … [Read more...]

Adopted cat is chatty pet friend to Navy veteran

Deborah and Katie J

A Navy veteran adopted an adult cat in order to have someone to talk to, and got a pet friend who actually talks back. Loss and loneliness lead to pet adoption Deborah, a Navy veteran, traveled the world during her tour of duty during Vietnam. She hoped to have a long military career, but it was cut short after one tour due a medical problem. Realizing that pets are naturally therapeutic, Deborah adopted a cat - who then lived for 23 years. His loss was painful, like losing an old friend, and the Vietnam veteran felt the pain of his absence. Her husband is based in Minnesota for his job … [Read more...]

Rescue dog steals hearts of career Army family

Stormy Muchacho and family

A rescued Chihuahua dog named Muchacho lived up to his name: rambunctious, demanding attention, and stealing the hearts of a career Army soldier and her two children. Stormy, still serving in the Army, tells her family's story. +++ I am currently serving on active duty for the US Army. I am assigned to Fort Meade, Maryland's Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center. I am a mother of two amazing children: 14 year-old Easton and Kaitlyn, who is 10. I have been serving in the  Army for 16 years as a radiology specialist. I entered the Army upon graduating from college at Western Illinois University … [Read more...]

Air Force veteran gives hope and final home to senior dog with cancer

Wendy and Bear

A senior dog with terminal cancer finds his final home with an Air Force veteran who is dedicated to providing a loving hospice to ailing, older dogs. This is the story of Wendy and Jonah, but is really a larger tale about compassion and love.   +++ Taking flight around the world with the U.S. Air Force I currently live in Ohio about an hour from where I grew up. I joined the Air Force, active duty, through the delayed enlistment program while a junior in high school. I left for basic training three weeks after graduation. After my four year tour I left active service and eventually made … [Read more...]

How to make sure your pet is safe when you deploy

Woman and dog

You entrust a friend to make sure that your pet is safe and sound while you deploy, only to discover upon your return that your beloved Fluffy or Fido has been surrendered to a shelter, sold or given away. Because "friends" like this exist, military pet parents have a unique responsibility to make proper, legally binding arrangements to assure the health and safety of their pets - and to have confidence that their four-legged family members will be there when they return from deployment. Deployment boarding There are reputable organizations whose sole focus is providing short- and long-term … [Read more...]