For one four-legged Einstein, life is all relative as he becomes the latest member of a growing Navy family.
It was a cold and dreary day in 2012, about two weeks before Christmas. Like in so many shelters, rescues, SPCAs and humane societies around the country, a homeless dog sat in an Indiana shelter with no home and few prospects of finding one. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the little dog known as Einstein was about to get early holiday present: the prospect of a much brighter future with a family to call his very own.
By luck – or perhaps destiny – the Navy veteran came upon Pets for Patriots, a nationally operating charity that helps veterans and military members adopt last-chance shelter pets. The program focuses on those most overlooked for adoption – adult and special needs dogs and cats, and large dogs. At two years of age, Einstein met the criteria for an at-risk, adult pet.
“I love dogs and I wanted one not just for myself,” says Lynn, “but for my daughter.”
After the Navy, a young family sets sail
Lynn served aboard the USS Bataan (LHD-5) out of Norfolk, Virginia as an aviation boatswain’s mate. Her most memorable experiences were not the places she had been during her Navy career, but the people she had the opportunity to meet.
“My most memorable moment was meeting people from other countries and different backgrounds than myself,” she says. “It was interesting to hear where people are from and how their cultures are different from my own.”
Following her tour of duty and separation from service, Lynn set upon starting a new life with her husband, Seth. They married in 2013 and moved to a new home in Fishers, Indiana with their daughter, Illiyana. By June that same year, Lynn was dually expecting: she gave birth to a baby boy and earned her Bachelors degree in business management.
Einstein joins the Navy
Perhaps it was Einstein who set all of the wonderful events of Lynn’s life in motion – her marriage, the new baby, the degree.
After being accepted into the Pets for Patriots program, Lynn visited the charity’s locally participating shelter, the Humane Society of Whitley County. There, Pets for Patriots members receive a 25% adoption fee discount, in keeping with the organization’s mission to help make pet ownership more affordable for military veterans.
And it was there, on December 14, 2012, that Einstein’s ship came in. The Dachshund mix was adopted by Lynn, and became an integral and much loved part of her growing Navy family.
“My daughter calls Einstein her best friend and her brother,” says Lynn. “Seth said Einstein has been the best addition to the family that we could ever ask for.”
It’s a dog, it’s a cat – no, it’s a dog!
“I think Einstein thinks he is a cat at times because he likes to lie at the top of the couch like a cat,” says Lynn.
Despite his sweet disposition, Einstein likes to get into trouble when he’s home alone. Lynn trained the dog to feel comfortable in his crate so that he saw it as a safe and comforting refuge, rather than as punishment.
“He would always hide under the bed when he knew we were getting ready to leave the house, but we have trained him to go to his crate,” the Navy veteran says. “He will go right into his crate if the door is open. We keep him in the crate when we are gone because he likes to get into things when we are not home.”
Happy, happy, happy
Einstein has become very protective of his new family. In turn, Lynn and the human members of her family have benefited from the unique combination of friendship, joy and love that a companion pet can bring. She is appreciative of all the help that Pets for Patriots provided to bring Einstein into their lives.
“I would definitely tell others to adopt,” she says. “Pets for Patriots is very helpful and does everything they can to help find a perfect pet.”
For his part, Einstein is a tidy bundle of joy – and energy.
“I think he still has puppy in him,” Lynn observes, “and a lot of energy from being stuck in a kennel, so he likes to get out of our yard and explore the area.”
When reflecting on what she loves most about her four-legged family member, Lynn doesn’t hesitate.
“I love that Einstein is always so happy to see us when we walk in the door.”
How does your pet show appreciation for being part of the family?