Career soldier gives giant rescue dog a fun feline name

Career soldier gives giant rescue dog a fun feline name

Paul is a career soldier who thought it would be comical to give his giant adopted dog an unexpected name. But the Army veteran is completely serious about the importance of adopting, not shopping, for his family’s four-legged companions.

“…memories don’t go away”

For the better part of his adult life Paul has served in the Army.

“I have currently served 26 years of service,” he says with well-earned pride. “Of those 26, 18 have been active duty and eight in the Army reserves.”

As of this writing Paul is on deployment since late 2021, with plans to retire sometime after his return in early 2024. The career soldier envisions doing many things that he has not always had the opportunity to do because of his military commitments.

“I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy taking daily bike rides,” he says, adding, “pedal, not motor.”

Over the course of 26 years in the Army – and counting – Paul has had many extraordinary memories. So it is not surprising that the most enduring experiences are those that shine a light on the bonds formed with his brethren in arms.

The Army veteran does not hesitate when asked about what he will remember most from nearly three decades of service.

“The time I share with my fellow soldiers outside of work,” he says. “Having BBQs, going camping, or Super Bowl watch parties. Nothing specific stands out, but those memories don’t go away.”Career soldier gives giant rescue dog a fun feline name

In between call ups and deployments Paul works from home as an information technology mentor and instructor for a technical school.

Pets for Patriots

In the fall of 2019 Paul decided to add another companion pet to his household. The family already had a dog named Felix.

“I have multiple reasons for wanting a family pet,” the career soldier says. “We are a family of three, my daughter was young, and my wife and I both worked from home.”

At the time the family was most interested in adopting a dog.

Paul’s wife is cat allergic, and the Army veteran believed a dog would be best for home protection. He visited Prairie Paws Adoption Center, which since 2016 offers veterans we serve 50 percent off adoption fees of eligible dogs and cats.

Paul believes it was a flyer at the shelter that first introduced him to Pets for Patriots and our companion pet adoption program for military veterans. He appreciates how the benefits we offer help make adopting a pet affordable over that animal’s lifetime.

The career soldier applied to our program and immediately visited the shelter to find a four-legged soul to save.

A stunning stray

It was early September when a large and stunning dog came into Prairie Paws Adoption Center as a stray. Named Sadie at the time, the black-and-white dog had impossibly big ears and piercing blue eyes.

Despite her attractiveness Sadie was a harder to place pet. If her size did not deter potential adopters, the fact that she was heartworm positive would cause many to shy away.

However, Paul saw promise in this striking dog, believed to be a mix of Great Dane and Husky. The career soldier was up to the challenge of nursing Sadie back to health and welcoming her into his pack.

So on the very day that Paul was approved into our program he gave Sadie her freedom.

The 100-pound lap dog

Sadie would need a new name to reflect the promise of her new life and was given the moniker Kitty Von Star. Her name reflects Paul’s trademark sense of humor as well as some internal family negotiations.Career soldier gives giant rescue dog a fun feline name

“The reason we named her Kitty Von Star is because the family could not come up with a single name,” the career soldier explains.

“So I wanted ‘Kitty’ so that when people were over and I called her, a big dog comes running instead of a kitten.”

Coincidentally, the family adopted a kitten as well for their daughter and named her Blue Star.

At first Paul’s household was home to three pets: Felix, their resident dog, and now Kitty Von Star and Blue Star. Thankfully the two dogs got along well, but in time Felix passed away.

Kitty experienced a period of mourning, which is not uncommon for pets who lose a four-legged sibling.

These days, however, Kitty Von Star is a happy, healthy, nearly 100-pound dog. The family enjoys taking her on regular walks and visits to nearby parks – everyone getting their exercise.

But someone forgot to tell Kitty Von Star that, despite her name, she is not a petite little creature.

“She is very affectionate,” Paul shares. “She will bowl you over trying to get you to pet her.”


1 Comment

  1. MJ

    Paul, thank you(from a Navy vet) for your many devoted years of serving. Hopefully, you’ve been able to retire by now, or will be able to soon. Thank you also for adopting Kitty, and I’m sure you laugh every time you call her(when guests who don’t know her are around) and this 100-lb girl shows up!

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