Anchors aweigh! Navy family gives new leash on life to two senior dogs

Terry and Sox

Despite the many advantages of adopting older and senior pets, the odds are still stacked against more mature shelter animals. Yet for one lucky 12 year-old dog named Sox, his ship came in when he was adopted by a Navy family to keep company with their other senior dog. Old dogs, old friends Terry always dreamed about serving in the military, and in 2009 he made that dream a reality when he enlisted in the Navy. Initially stationed in Florida, he moved with his family to Virginia Beach for Permanent Change of Station (PCS), where he lives with his wife, Jessie, their four year-old son, … [Read more...]

Pit Bull dog in shelter for more than 450 days til Army war veteran brings him home

Patrick and Oliver

A Pit Bull dog who spent more than 450 days in a shelter, more than half of his life, is rescued by an Army war veteran coping with PTSD who found purpose in companion pets despite not being sure he was ready to care for them. Go ahead, kid; make my day Patrick enlisted in the Army to follow in the footsteps of his stepfather, uncle and grandfathers. “They served their country and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor their service than to sign up myself,” he says. “I can drive a variety of vehicles and was assigned to a postal unit overseas. I transported incoming mail throughout … [Read more...]

Little rescue dog gives Vietnam veteran “a reason to live”

Andrew and Scooby

Scooby is a little rescue dog with big paws to fill: curing the aching heart of a Vietnam veteran following the death of his senior dog.  For his entire life, Andrew has been a natural caretaker. He ministered to both of his parents during their final years, but after his 12 year-old Labradoodle died he did not think that he could care for another dog. Yet in time he was not just alone, but lonely - and knew that a companion pet would change his world for the better.  A man of peace during a time of war In 1962, Andrew enlisted in the U.S. Army and he served for three years as a … [Read more...]

Marine veteran gives love and stability to unwanted dog

Anthony and Pricilla

Too many animals find themselves abandoned, rejected and discarded at shelters and rescues across the country. When one Marine veteran decided it was time to add a four-legged member to the family, his first thought was to save a life and adopt a dog.  As it turns out, that dog was one who others had adopted and surrendered on more than one occasion. Priscilla seemed to be the dog nobody wanted. Military as the path to a better life Patriotism and hopes for a brighter future inspired Anthony to join the military. In 1995 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for four years, and … [Read more...]

Veteran who overcame personal odds adopts dog left to die in city street

Shawn and Crixus

Shawn is a dual Air Force and Army veteran who overcame tremendous personal odds in her life. It was perhaps not surprising when she adopted a dog named Crixus who was left to die by a heinous act of animal cruelty. This is their story. From high school dropout to Army officer I was a high school dropout and living on my own at the age of 15, when I was kicked out of my house by my step-father. I weathered the storm, got my GED and joined the military as soon as I could at age 18.  Thirty years have gone by and lots of life lessons, but throughout it all I've always had a great love for all … [Read more...]

Iraq War veteran gives overlooked older dog a second chance at life

Brian and Preston

Brian is an Iraq war combat veteran who decided to give an overlooked, older dog the second chance he deserved.  The Fighting Thirteenth Currently working as a software developer for a medical billing company, Brian enlisted in the Marines because he "wasn't yet ready for college." Trained as an infantry rifleman, he deployed on the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), known as "The Fighting Thirteenth," as well as the 31st MEU. The young veteran's tour of duty included a combat deployment to Iraq. Once home, he thought a dog would help make it easier to go from battlefront to home … [Read more...]

Marine veteran given a chance for a better life returns the gift to a dog in need

Edwarad daughter and Come

Sometimes all a man - or a dog - needs to fulfill his potential is the right opportunity. For one man, that opportunity was becoming a Marine. Years later, that decision would help a dog in need get the ultimate gift: the chance to live a better life. How the Marines made the man After graduating high school in 2000, Edward could not believe how quickly time had passed. He was a single parent, and wanted to provide the best future possible for himself and his young daughter. Enlisting in the United States Marine Corps was a way out - and a way up. Whether stationed stateside in South … [Read more...]

Love conquers all for widowed Navy veteran and abused shelter dog

John and Kandi

They say that time heals all wounds, but for John, a widowed Navy veteran, it took a lot of love as well to help a once-abused dog overcome her fears and live the life she deserved. A waterman joins the Navy John always harbored a passion for the water and sailing. In 1962, after graduating high school, John enlisted in the United States Navy as a quartermaster and served for two years active duty before transitioning to the Naval Reserves for another three.  He recalls fondly earlier times when people used the stars to navigate, an art long lost to GPS.  Although he misses those days he … [Read more...]

Adopted dog helps Marine Corps veteran adjust to post-military life

Ryan and Maximus

While many people choose to adopt a dog or cat to make that animal's life better, one Marine transitioning out of the military learned that it is equally true in reverse. He found a stellar Shepherd mix who "makes every day better" for him as he copes with the realities of his post-military life. For love of country In 2009, Ryan joined the Marines. The next five years of his life as an infantryman brought him far from his Wisconsin roots, as he relocated from coast to coast during his time in service.  “I entered the military to serve this country and because it was something that I … [Read more...]

Once-stray dog helps Air Force veteran cope with loss of “perfect dance partner”

Daniel and Edison_400

It is not often that you get to choose your own family, but that's exactly how it happened for an Air Force veteran and a once-stray dog who are helping each other move beyond their sad pasts. Although Daniel has many friends in Michigan, he has no family apart from the four-legged kind he has chosen to rescue over the years. Having recently suffered the death of his beloved Sheltie dog, Peanut, the Air Force veteran was ravaged with grief.  “Peanut was my perfect dance partner and the prettiest thing that I could call my own," he says. "When she died I was wrecked.” Aiming higher In … [Read more...]