Abandoned Bloodhound sets sail for better life with Navy veteran

Nathan and Sammi Lew

It was 'mission accomplished' for an abandoned Bloodhound named Sammi Lew, given a new leash on life by a Navy veteran who felt she deserved a second chance. A naval career touched by history Nathan did not grow up planning to join the military, but as he says, “life has a funny way of working itself out.” In 2006, he was living with friends near the University of Kansas, during which time one of them enlisted in the Navy. Later, that same friend invited Nathan to work out at the gym with a Navy recruiter, and Nathan peppered the recruiter with questions about careers in the Navy. The rest, … [Read more...]

Adopted dog keeps 80 year-old Navy veteran young at heart

Ralph and Snickers

An adopted adult dog with a larger-than-life personality helps an 80 year-old Navy veteran and grandfather stay active, and young at heart. "My children thought I needed a pet...and they were right" "I'm an 80 year-old grandpa and dad," says Ralph. "I've been married to the same woman for 58 years, we still enjoy each others company." Yet in 2012, Ralph and his wife, Barbara, had suffered the loss of their little dog, Jessie. The Navy veteran remembered how "the house hadn't been the same" without their beloved pet. Ralph and Barbara were having a hard time adapting to a dog-less home, in … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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