Shelter dog helps Navy sailor expand her world

Jessica and Henley

A Navy sailor found her world feeling limited and lonely, but that all changed when an adopted shelter dog opened her eyes to the life she was missing. A lonely military life Jessica is currently serving in her second enlistment, and for the next three years is stationed at a shore-based training center in San Diego. She previously served on board the USS Boxer and MSRON 5, both of which took her far from familiar shores. “So far my most memorable experience has been pulling into port after spending 110 days out to sea," says Jessica. "It was the biggest relief and a bit of a culture shock … [Read more...]

Retired Army veteran finds love and acceptance in adopted dog

Duane and Lizzy

Duane is an Army veteran who, like many of his era, received little appreciation for his service. Following the death of a beloved pet, he adopted a little dog who gave him what he needed most: love and acceptance. A proud military career After serving in the Army from 1971-2006, Duane retired as a Sergeant Major. From his more than 20-year career he has his share of memories – some good, some bad – including a fond recollection of the Koreans who lived near where he was stationed. Having served there for a year, he had come to appreciate many of the locals and their way of life. “You’re on … [Read more...]

Abandoned dog teaches Navy veteran life lessons

Clarke kids and Laila 3

Laila was a down on her luck dog in a New Jersey shelter, but she still had important lessons to share with the Navy veteran who gave her a second chance at life. Navy an opportunity for self improvement Clarke served in the Navy from 1994-1997, during which time he was often at sea. Like many recruits, he saw military service as a way to improve himself. “I chose to enter the military to make a positive difference in my life,” Clarke recalls. The Navy veteran was stationed on the USS Nimitz and completed two tours in the Persian Gulf, including deployment as part of Operation Southern … [Read more...]

Shelter dog gives hope to Navy veteran battling chronic depression

Michael and Bear

Michael is a Navy veteran who for years has battled chronic depression. His decision to adopt a shelter dog to save his own life in fact saved two - his and that of a large mixed breed dog - and was more than two years in the making. Thanks to our partnership with Lollypop Farm Humane Society of Greater Rochester for helping make this story possible, as told in Michael's own words. Navy gives veteran a sense of purpose and value I was a Nuke ELT in the Navy. After my training I spent the rest of my enlistment assigned to the USS Virginia CGN38. I got to see a lot of the Caribbean while the … [Read more...]

Hero Tails: stories worth sharing

Hero Tails Lock-up Blog Header-04

This month and through July 4th we're honoring shelter pets by featuring their tales of hope and perseverance. Hero Tails showcases the stories of five brave pets who we hope will inspire others to adopt and support homeless pets in their communities. In the next couple of weeks, you’ll get to know our featured shelter pets Lulu, Willow, Professor Plum, Kratos and Thanos, and many others that are in the care of our shelter and rescue partners across the country. Join us on our social media - Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram and Pinterest - search for the hashtag #PFPselfie and be part of our … [Read more...]

Calm, cool canine helps Army veteran make connections

Mary and Rocky

A homeless canine with a cool demeanor was just what one Army veteran needed to step out of her comfort zone and start making connections with "the best friend I could have hoped for." Cats before canine Mary grew up in Maine and joined the United States Army after graduating high school in 1978. She was sent to Massachusetts, Texas, and Georgia, and spent two years in Germany working in military intelligence at a post on the East German border. She continued moving around after leaving the service in 1982, and while she had grown up with dogs in the family – mixed-breeds, a Beagle, a German … [Read more...]

Love at first sight for disabled veteran and stray dog

Michael and Dixie

It was “mutual love at first sight” for a disabled Air Force veteran battling near-constant pain from advanced degenerative arthritis and the little nine-pound stray dog, aptly named Angel, who brought much needed hope and healing. Michael was looking for a canine companion to share his life and help distract him from the crippling pain he experiences every day. Because his arthritis makes it difficult for him to lift more than 20-25 pounds, he knew that only a small dog would fit the bill. The Air Force veteran started his search online, and eventually saw a little dog on the website of the … [Read more...]

Army soldier combats loneliness with “the perfect dog”

Frank and Sam

As a young Army soldier, Frank was not prepared for the loneliness he faced when he and his wife were relocated by the military to a place where the pair had no family or friends. In true Army strong spirit, he battled the blues by adopting a homeless hound who would become "the perfect dog."  A passion to serve In 2012, Frank joined the United States Army as a Watercraft Engineer. After attending basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, he and his wife relocated to Newport News, Virginia, where Frank is stationed at the sprawling Joint Base Langley-Eustis. It was pure heart that … [Read more...]

Rescue dog a loyal first mate to Navy sailor

Sarah and Leo

Leo was a large rescue dog looking for love in a Virginia Beach shelter when a young Navy sailor gave them both a new lease on life. Little is known about the large Beagle mix who, when adopted in early November of 2013, was already a healthy 44 pounds. The rescue dog's personality and zest for life caught the attention of Sarah, who at the age of 23 had already served four-and-a-half years in the Navy. Originally from North Carolina and now stationed in Virginia, Sarah decided that her transition to shore duty was the perfect time to add a companion pet to her life. Joining the Navy to see … [Read more...]

Both abandoned, combat veteran and rescue dog save each other

Will and Shae

A two-tour Army combat veteran who lost everything when his wife abandoned him reclaims his life with the help of a rescue dog desperate for a second chance. Injured in service and abandoned at home In 2005, Will enlisted in the National Guard and deployed to Kosovo in June of 2006 on a peacekeeping mission. Three years later he was deployed to Afghanistan where - as part of an infantry division out of Massachusetts - he connected with some of the same soldiers he served with in Kosovo. During his Afghanistan tour and while descending a fuel truck ladder, Will injured his back when the … [Read more...]

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