Navy family sails high with rescued dog at helm

Deployment can be tough on Navy and other military families, but a companion pet can make for smoother sailing. This is the experience of one Pets for Patriots adopter who decided to adopt a shelter dog to give his wife comfort when he deploys out to sea.

Tyler is a 23 year-old active duty member of the United States Navy. He joined the service six years ago and has been stationed in San Diego on the USS Peleliu LHA-5, an amphibious assault ship. He served three deployments, one humanitarian mission and two West Pacific missions, earning a Navy Achievement Medal during his second deployment.

Macy and TylerTyler is originally from Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and has always enjoyed the outdoors. “My favorite things to do include hunting, shooting, riding motorcycles and volunteering.”

Reducing anxiety at home when called out to sea

Four years ago Tyler and Jamie married. Both he and his wife always wanted to adopt a pet , but housing regulations prevented them from fulfilling their dream.

“Adopting a pet was something my wife and I were really wanting to do for several years, but we weren’t able to because of housing regulations,” says Tyler. “I have always had pets growing up and it just seems like something is missing to not have one.”

Thinking that a pet might ease his wife’s anxiety when he was out to sea, Tyler started to research the issue. He discovered studies that prove pet ownership reduces stress and anxiety.

Enter Macy: a small adult shelter dog whose size belies the big changes she brought to Tyler and his wife. While some people are hesitant to adopt shelter pets because their histories are often unknown, Macy has proven to be extremely affectionate and loves to cuddle on the couch. This would have been enough to bring happiness to Tyler and Jamie, but Macy has much more to give. Among other things, she proved that pets really do reduce stress.

“We have now found out that it really is true,” Tyler says.

While Tyler and Jamie saved Macy from an uncertain future, this little dog has saved them in her own way. 

Not just a house, but a home

Macy“I can’t explain how much our lives have changed now that we have little Macy,” says Tyler. “She is such a good dog and it is a relief to know that my wife isn’t at home all alone all the time when I am out to sea or even just at work. It is so true that a house is not a home without a pet.”

Adopting through Pets for Patriots made the process both easier and more affordable for Tyler’s family: they received an adoption fee discount from the program’s local shelter partner, the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. And once adopted, Tyler received a $150 contribution towards a virtual ‘pet food bank’ to help with food and other essentials for Macy, as well as ongoing discounted veterinary care from another community partner, Shelter Island Veterinary Hospital.

“We were so thrilled to find out about the Pets For Patriots program because of all the support they give to us as pet owners.”

Macy and JamieWhen asked what would he say to other veterans who might be thinking about adopting through Pets For Patriots, Tyler’s enthusiastic answer?

“DO IT!!! With Pets For Patriots you can’t go wrong. Everyone we have dealt with has been exceptionally wonderful! It is so nice to have support financially and through email. We only have many, many compliments for Pets for Patriots.”

And about little Macy? Tyler adds, “She has brought to much happiness into our home.”

How does your pet make your house a home?

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