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...]

Army veteran rejoins life with help of adopted cats

Richard and Taji

Richard is an Army veteran whose family doubled in size when he and his wife were honorably adopted by two cats from the Monmouth County SPCA. Little did he realize at the time that in saving the cats, they would become a lifeline for his wife when Richard prepared his return to active duty service. In the Army, being all he could be Richard was just 17 years old when he enlisted in the Army. He was stationed at Fort Drum, New York as a forward observer and deployed to Afghanistan for a year. What he appreciates the most about his Army service is that it challenged him to fulfill his … [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...]

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...]

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