Marine bulldog meets shelter hound dog

The English Bulldog became the Marine’s unofficial mascot following World War I, after German reporters referred to Marines as Devil Dogs. This story, however, is about a real life Marine veteran and the hound dog whose life he saved.

Tough guy with a kind heart

Eric served eight years in the United States Marine Corps in field artillery, during which he served in California and Okinawa, Japan. Although tenacious and tough like all Marines, he had a soft spot for rescue dogs.

“It’s hard to just watch them with their big puppy eyes looking at you saying, “Take me home; I will be good.”

A friend and neighbor who had previously adopted through Pets for Patriots suggested that Eric do the same, knowing he lost a dog to cancer several months earlier – a companion he had for eight years. It didn’t take long for Eric to succumb to the silent plea of a hound mix named Sango at the Allen County SPCA, a Pets for Patriots adoption partner in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

From mystery mutt to beloved family member

There wasn’t much known about Sango, who was given the name Yodel by the shelter. All Eric knew was that he was smitten, and that this Coonhound mix was going to be his new best friend.

“I’m not sure how old she was when she was picked up by the pound,” he says. “We got her earlier this year and she has been happy since.”

Eric talks about long walks with Sango during which she has her nose to the ground – “sniffing everything” – true to her hound dog roots. But it isn’t Sango’s exceptional nose that Eric loves so much, but her loving and playful nature.

“She’s funny and always greets me with a smile when I get home from work,” he says, adding, “Sango is very cuddly. And afraid of thunder and lightning.”

Partners for life

As a Pets for Patriots member, Eric is eligible to receive ongoing discounted veterinary care from two of the charity’s veterinary partners in Fort Wayne: Allen Veterinary Hospital and Dupont Veterinary Clinic. Each offers an ongoing 10% discount to keep Sango healthy and happy. In addition, Pets for Patriots contributes to a veterans’ pet food bank to help make essential purchases for Sango more affordable.

Since his honorable adoption of Sango Eric has been recommending companion pet adoption to other veterans he knows in his community.

“It is very nice that a program like this exists for veterans and active duty service members.” 

What inspired you to adopt your shelter dog or cat?

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