Pets help children deal with stress of military life

Girl and dog

For military children, a family pet can help smooth some of the ups-and-downs that come with life in the armed forces. In addition to providing unconditional love and companionship, a dog or cat can help strengthen the physical and emotional health of its owners, particularly children. Here are just a few ways Fido or Fluffy can be your child’s best friend, and so much more.  Good for the body Living with a pet can strengthen a child’s immune system. Studies show that children growing up in homes with a furred pet are at lower risk for allergies and asthma. A study by a University of … [Read more...]

Pit bull heals Army veteran’s broken heart

Dale and Maximus Christmas

The much-maligned pit bull is pure myth for one veteran whose broken heart was made whole after the death of his beloved pet dog. Dale is a Vietnam veteran who enlisted in the US Army and served as a combat engineer in Germany from 1969 to 1972. Other than the time he spent in the Army, Dale had never lived without the faithful companionship of a dog. In June 2012, Dale and his wife, Sue, had to put to sleep their beloved 13-year old Doberman, Destiny, who had succumbed to old age. Dale was devastated by this loss. A house without a dog is not a home After Destiny passed away, Dale’s wife … [Read more...]

The PCS-ing cat and dog: part 2

PCS-ing cat and dog part 2

By Dr. Rebecca Jackson, DVM  In the previous post about the PCS-ing cat and dog, we looked at what all pets need to successfully relocate overseas. In this one, we will look at what only some pets will need.  Some pets will need: A FAVN blood test An import form (varies by country) Flea and tick preventative applied at the time of health certification Dewormer given at the time of health certification FAVN blood test Some countries require your pet have a FAVN blood test prior to entry to check their rabies antibody levels. Now here is the tricky part: each country has different … [Read more...]

The PCS-ing cat and dog: part 1

PCS and your pet part 1

By Dr. Rebecca Jackson, DVM When a United States Armed Forces service member receives a Permanent Change of Station order, there also comes an unwritten list of “things to do prior to moving.” There is outprocessing, organizing the move, preparing the family, saying your good-byes … the list goes on and on. And, of course, don’t forget your pets!  These days, the regulations involved in moving or traveling with the family pet overseas are becoming more complex. Relocating can be incredibly stressful for both you and your pet, but don’t worry: this article and its sequel will help you … [Read more...]

Navy veteran eases transition to civilian life with four-legged friend

Melina and Remi

Melina is a Navy veteran struggling to adapt to civilian life. When she was gripped with depression and began to isolate herself, she knew it was time for some four-legged intervention. Melina lives in Knoxville where she is pursuing a degree in criminology at the University of Tennessee. Her three cats, which she calls her “rambunctious felines,” keep her company while her husband is stationed in Virginia Beach. It seems like the typical life of a military spouse, but there’s more to this story. Upholding a family’s military tradition “My entire family has been in the military and I … [Read more...]

Dog lover makes room in his heart for a cat named Callie

Mark and Callie

A dual Marine-Army veteran  and dog lover learned that he had a soft spot for, of all things, a rescued Calico cat. The Vietnam-era Devil Dog - a term associated with the Marines since WWI for their legendary bravado in battle - found joy with the finicky feline, who's proving to have a personality as resilient as her savior. After serving in the Marine Corps from 1973 to 1975 and then the next eight years in the Army as a heavy–wheel vehicle mechanic, Mark separated from service with the rank of sergeant first class. The disabled veteran always fancied himself a dog person, but that all … [Read more...]

Cinnamon adds spice to life for one Navy couple

Christopher and Cinnamon

One Navy Vietnam veteran learned that a litte bit of cinnamon each day helped improve his health and his wife’s emotional well-being. His therapeutic dose wasn’t the kind that lends its powerful aromatic appeal to rolls, pies or chocolates, but was rather the four-legged variety. Christopher joined the Navy in March 1974 during the Vietnam War and served til March 1978. During his four years, he was attached to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Five, known as the Seabees, out of Port Hueneme, California. “I was lucky not to have to go to war," he says, “but I still deployed for … [Read more...]

Prayer guides Army reservist to four-legged miracle

Lucy and Me copy

The power of prayer worked for one Army reservist, whose faith was rewarded with a very special, four-legged miracle. This is Renee's story, in her own words, following her honorable adoption of a shelter dog named Lucy. +++ Dear Pets for Patriots, Please forgive me for taking so long getting back to you. Things are a bit hectic on this end. I would like to share with you my story about my new special companion, Lucy. Last July I learned that Sidney, my Miniature American Eskimo of 15 years, blind since birth, was now filled with cancer. There are no words to describe my pain and grief. I … [Read more...]

Once-neglected dog finds true love with Marine family

Magoo on bed

Magoo entered a Michigan animal shelter neglected, severely underweight and flea-ridden, but left as a 130-pound new best friend to a Marine veteran. The seven year-old Newfoundland mix now has a second chance at life and a new family to call his own. Peter served in the Marine Corps as a Weather Observer with MWSS-373, Marine Wing Support Squadron, an aviation ground support unit at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California. Early in 2003 he deployed in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His service took him to both Kuwait and Iraq, which … [Read more...]

Navy veteran and ailing wife saved by rescued dog

Emil and Chico

A Navy veteran recovering from cancer and his wife, who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease, are saved by a rescued dog who finds his purpose in life. Little dog with a big heart Chico, a tiny two year-old Chihuahua Crested Chinese mix, was distrustful of men. Possibly abused by a man before he ended up in an animal shelter, everything changed for Chico when he met Emil, a Navy veteran living in Idaho with his wife, Judy.  Chico was meant to help Judy cope with her Alzheimer's, so Emil was very surprised when the rescued dog started crawling into the Navy veteran's lap at … [Read more...]