PTSD veteran saved by once-abused one-eyed dog

Matthew and Eli

For one veteran coping with PTSD and depression, his saving grace came in the form of a one-eyed dog who had been previously abused. This is his story, in his own words. *** My name is Matthew Goschke; I'm born and raised in Rochester, New York. I've lived here my whole life besides my experiences with the military. I currently run security for the City of Rochester, loss prevention for The Home Depot and am pursuing my paramedic degree. After my military service I found integrating back into civilian life a lot more difficult then I had anticipated. Light at the end of a "very dark" … [Read more...]

Teen gives all for veterans and pets

Shelter drive

One San Diego teen is taking the idea of service to heart by making life better veterans, military personnel and homeless pets in her community.  Gabi Mark joined Pets for Patriots as a youth volunteer and has since touched countless lives by reaching out to veterans and shelter animals across San Diego County. After joining our cause in the fall, Gabi has accomplished three major projects towards her goal of devoting 100 hours to charity this year. A junior at Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, leader of her local Girls' League service organization and member of the girls' basketball team, … [Read more...]

Adopted pet takes bite out of veteran’s depression

Michael and Paco 1

Sometimes the antidote to loneliness and isolation is as simple as shelter pet adoption. For one Navy veteran suffering from depression, a homeless dog was just what the doctor ordered. Michael joined the Navy to get an education and to travel the world. Still on active duty, he has literally been around the world and back again, recently landing coveted orders which brought him back to his hometown in Michigan. Despite a successful naval career spanning some 18 years which included many academic and service awards and accolades – including Command Sailor of the Year in 2007 when he served at … [Read more...]

Shepherd rescue joins Coast Guard veteran’s ‘wild bunch’

blake-will-1

For one particular Coast Guard veteran, a quirky, adopted Shepherd dog made his family's 'wild bunch' just a little bit more wild - and joyful.  For the past 23 years, Will has been working as a dispatcher for the Detroit police and fire departments. During his prior Coast Guard service, he was stationed in Hawaii, traveled to Alaska on patrol, attended the Navy Electronics School near Chicago and served on a Lake Erie, Ohio search-and-rescue team. Will always had pets growing up, usually multiple cats and dogs at the same time. One of his memories is about Brownie, a German Shepherd Saint … [Read more...]

Marine fights to adopt disabled MWD and Iraq war partner

Megan and Rex

A Marine and a disabled MWD (military war dog) are in the fight of their lives: trying to spend their lives together  as friends after fighting side by side in Iraq. Now Megan Leavey and Rex have some power in their corner.  Influential New York State Senator Chuck Schumer has already written a letter to the secretary of the Air Force, which is responsible for all training and adoptions of MWDs at Lackland Air Force Base. We hope to do our part by creating more awareness of Megan's efforts to give Rex, her battle buddy and savior, the life he deserves in a loving home. Both suffered serious … [Read more...]

Help rescued Afghan dog reach his soldier

Trigger in Afghanistan

A rescued Afghan dog brought to the United States needs help for his final trip: home to his "adopted" soldier. A volunteer pilot with Pilots N Paws contacted us at the suggestion of one of our valued partners, the Michigan Humane Society. We get all kinds of requests for help at Pets for Patriots. Some can be dispatched by simply providing information and resources. Others, like this one, require the help of our friends. Last fall, an Army soldier rescued a dog he befriended in Afghanistan. Trigger, the dog pictured here, is currently in New York after having completed his quarantine … [Read more...]

Military family’s senior dog has date with destiny

Jim and dogs after morning run

One military family's senior dog seems to have had a date with destiny, giving credence to animal lovers who find their pets through rescue and adoption and who say they did not find their companions, but their companions found them. This is the story of one such pet. Archy had it made. He had been safely surrounded with love and care in the arms of a loving military family for 14 years. As is the case with most military families, Archy’s family had moved frequently, including two moves overseas. The dog had been through it all, but last year when his family got orders to fly overseas yet … [Read more...]

Little dogs bring big changes to veterans’ lives

Patriots in their own words

They say it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. We'd suggest it's something slightly different: it's the size of the heart in the dog. So it is with two little dogs that are bringing big changes to the lives of the veterans who gave them a second chance at life. Vietnam veteran finally gets a 'thank you' Bob is a Vietnam Army veteran who served during a period in our nation's history when veterans symbolized a deeply unpopular war. There were no parades, no jubilant welcomes home, no thanks for a job well done. Their return was unceremonious at best … [Read more...]

Dogs give new life to disabled veteran and military spouse

Tank Scout and dad

 This is a story shared with us by a disabled veteran and military spouse whose two dogs, Tank and Scout, give her a renewed sense of purpose in life. Our thanks to Misty her service and for sharing her experiences with us. We wish her husband a safe and speedy return home and thank him for his continued service as well. ***** I am disabled veteran and wife of a Staff Sergeant (SSG) in the Army who is currently deployed in Afghanistan. My health has not been good and there is only one thing that makes me want to face each day:  the love my dogs give me and my love for them. Pets can truly be … [Read more...]

Navy war veteran finds a real buddy in homeless dog

Buddy and Bill on a boat

This is the story of a Navy war veteran who finds a buddy, literally, in the form of a homeless shelter dog. bud-dy (noun): a good friend, companion or partner; a comrade. Buddy is truly the perfect name for the orphaned two year-old cockapoo who honorably adopted Bill, a Navy veteran, during a trip to Lollypop Farm in May 2011. Let’s be clear: Buddy chose Bill, not the other way around. Bill was merely at the Rochester, New York animal shelter to appease his wife, Michelle, who had been combing internet websites and nearby shelters for a furry companion to adopt. “We had talked about … [Read more...]