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...]

Rescued Pit Bull returns the favor by saving disabled Navy veteran from depression

John and Samantha

An adult rescued Pit Bull changed life for the better for a Navy veteran disabled by chronic pain and depression. In the Navy and loving "every minute" Growing up in California, John was a young man unsure of what he wanted to do with his life. He was a good student in high school and upon graduation enlisted in the Navy to give himself a few more years to figure out his future. He jokes that he chose the Navy because he had heard it had the best food and easiest work relative to other branches of the military. He was assigned to a troop carrier and served as a quartermaster, which at the … [Read more...]

Special needs older dog helps Navy family cope with geo-bachelor dad

Annie and the kids

It took an older, special needs dog named Annie to help one Navy family meet life's challenges when their geo-bachelor father had to serve far from home. This story is told by Amy, whose husband, Kevin, is a Pets for Patriots member serving in the United States Navy. +++ I am a dependant of an active duty spouse. My husband has been serving with the United States Navy (USN) since 1992. His current rank is E8, which translates to Senior Chief for the USN. He’s been stationed in various different states on board various different ships prior to making career counseling his current rate. His … [Read more...]

Navy inspires man to give lifeline to pet in need

Trevor and Holly

The Navy was an anchor and turning point in the life of one young man adrift in a sea of uncertainty, helping him – in turn – give a much-needed lifeline to an adult pet in need of a loving home. Charting a new course It was a sense of duty and the desire to find his purpose that inspired Trevor to enlist in the Navy. “I joined the Navy to serve my country,” he explains, “and because I went to college and changed my major seven times – and still had no idea what I wanted to do as a career.” Luckily for Trevor, the Navy gave him the direction that had eluded him previously. He was assigned … [Read more...]

Adoption of ‘unwanted’ cats inspires Navy couple to help people in need

Kathy and Bear

A bonded pair of unwanted, senior cats are lucky to be alive, thanks to a pair of Navy veterans who adopted them after finding their empty nest a bit too empty. The experience turned out to be a catalyst in their lives, motivating them to help people who often live on the fringes of society.  An OIF/OEF Navy veteran comes home Kathy and her husband, Jim, are both retired from the Navy. Collectively they served nearly thirty years, including overseas tours in Bermuda, Iceland, Wales and Pakistan, the latter of which holds one of Kathy’s most memorable experiences. “My short time in Pakistan … [Read more...]

Navy veteran and dog lover becomes a “cat guy”

Joseph and Bo

Joe is a veteran and dog lover who long hoped to bring a shelter dog into his life, so he was surprised to discover his inner "cat guy" - much like another Pets for Patriots member who learned that an adult cat could be as healing as a canine. He is a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam on the ground with the Marines and in blue water aboard ship. As it happens, it was an adult cat named Bo Baby who changed Joe's world when the two adopted one another through our partnership with the Sacramento SPCA. We share excerpts from Joe's updates to Ted Whitcomb (Marine Corps veteran, member patriot … [Read more...]

Adopted Retriever mix fetches a Navy nurse

Kaitlin and Cooper

It was an adopted adult Retriever mix with "puppy dog" eyes that helped one Navy nurse feel more at home with her new life in the military. Kaitlin serves in the Navy out of Portsmouth, Virginia and is the proud "mom" of honorably adopted Cooper, an enthusiastic and loving six year-old Retriever mix. A recent college graduate, Kaitlin joined the Navy after completing her schooling in May of 2012. She currently works as a nurse at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth and “loves every minute of it.” While she finds it hard to think of one specific event as her most memorable in the military … [Read more...]

Rescued dog fills void of Navy sailor’s deployment

Bethany Maysie and son

A rescued dog stands guard for one Navy family when their sailor dad, Carl, leaves on deployment. Thanks to our partnership with the Norfolk Animal Care & Adoption Center for making this honorable adoption possible, and to Carl's wife, Bethany, for sharing their story. About ten months ago we were honorably adopted by Maysie, an Australian shepherd.  My husband had just left on deployment at the time, but as soon as I sent him her picture at the shelter, we all knew she had to come home with us. She has since blossomed in the household and since his return in December, has completely … [Read more...]

Each suffering a loss, Navy man and shelter dog find each other

Chris and Sophie

Chris currently serves in the Navy and tells how his recent Pets for Patriots adoption of a surrendered shelter dog changed his life after suffering the loss of his beloved senior dog. He is writing to our executive director, Beth Zimmerman. Hi Beth,  Here is our picture from the day I picked Sophie up.  My first dog, Samantha, was with me for 12 years. I adopted her as an Ensign and she's been with me no matter where I was stationed in the world. She was in Norfolk with me for 9 years, then in San Diego for one-and-a-half years, one year in Bahrain, six months in Monterey, and then 15 … [Read more...]