Abandoned dog rescues combat veteran with PTSD

Duke

An abandoned dog rescued by an Army combat veteran not only got a new leash on life, but found renewed purpose by saving his veteran from the crushing symptoms of PTSD.  Determined to his join band of brothers in combat In 2004 Justin decided to see more of the world outside of his hometown of Avery, Texas. He joined the Army on his seventeenth birthday and served in the Army Reserve for four years, including a deployment to Iraq from 2006 to 2007. Currently stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado as a sergeant, he is poised to retire just one month short of celebrating his tenth anniversary in … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran saves neglected dog slated for death

Hugh and Jo Jo closeup

Despite serving in Vietnam, Hugh never used the word "hero" to describe himself. But a neglected shelter dog marked for death would beg to differ: Hugh saved his life. "Jo Jo was chosen to be euthanized because he had been so neglected," says Hugh. "His teeth on the right side were rotten and he was so thin."  Long after Vietnam, Hugh moved from Kentucky to Florida with his wife, Linda. The veteran is a compassionate family man, and he and Linda are active in their local church. Together they have two sons, two daughters-in-law, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren, and consider … [Read more...]

Senior dog picks Army veteran as new best friend

Izzi and Martha

At eight years of age, Izzi was a homeless, senior dog looking for a friend. Her search ended when her path crossed with that of an Army veteran in search of a four-legged companion.  Service both overseas and at home Martha served in the Army from 1974 through 1977 with the 28th Transportation Battalion in Mannheim, Germany. She worked as a bookkeeper and earned the Army Commendation Medal for her work. After separating from service she joined the California National Guard, attached to the 1st Battalion, 149th Armor. Among her many roles were clerk, communications specialist, APC tank … [Read more...]

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...]