Career soldier rescues senior shelter dog who is ‘gift that keeps on giving’

Career soldier rescues senior shelter dog who is 'gift that keeps on giving'

Tanyae is a career soldier serving with the Army National Guard. She was going through a hard time in her life when she found comfort with an older dog.


Tanyae is originally from New York City. She now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she works part-time for an international shipping company.

Since 2005 Tanyae has served with the Army National Guard. Her long career includes two deployments to date, including to war-torn Iraq.

Like many veterans, Tanyae chose to serve for a combination of patriotic and practical reasons.

“I went into the military to make a difference and get college money,” she says. “I’m now a senior culinary sergeant.”

In this military profession Tanyae oversees a broad range of activities relating to the selection, procurement, accounting, storage, safety, production, and service of food to military personnel.

It has long been said that an Army marches on its stomach. Ensuring a safe and steady supply of food is critical.

So perhaps it was no surprise that this Army veteran’s most memorable military experience involved basic sustenance.

“It was my first deployment [in] 2009 and I saw firsthand how other people in different countries struggle to get food and clean water, and I became grateful for every single thing I had,” she recalls. “Sometimes we take things for granted, but when you get that reality check you reevaluate your life and become thankful!”

Career soldier gets ‘gift that keeps on giving’

Veterans in our program adopt companion dogs and cats for a variety of reasons.

Some veterans adopt to fill the void of their absence during deployments or training that take them away from family. Others to lessen the impacts of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, or anxiety.

And there are many veterans who seek a companion to quell their loneliness or seek comfort from life’s routine hardships.

Tanyae had many reasons to adopt a shelter pet.

The career soldier is single and without children, and often experiences long bouts of loneliness. She sought something – or someone – to provide a reliable source of joy in her life.

“I chose to adopt a pet because I was lonely, and going through a lot of ups and downs personally,” she recalls, “and wanted something that would make me happy daily. The gift that keeps on giving.”

For the love of mature pets

Older pets are typically not the first choice for most adopters. Many people want only puppies or kittens, or very young adult animals.

Yet mature dogs and cats are among the most vulnerable in our nation’s shelters. They are less desirable due to their age. Prospective adopters are concerned about older pets’ longevity, the prospect of costly medical needs, or how well they can adjust to their new lives.

Thankfully there are adopters like Tanyae.

The career soldier did not see a nine year-old dog when she visited Guilford County Animal Services. She saw Lola, her new best friend.

Old dogs rule

At the time Lola was a nine year-old Husky mix with heartworm disease. She was surrendered by her previous family in late December 2019, and would spend more than four months homeless until she found her hero.

Guilford County Animal Services offers veterans in our program 50 percent adoption fee discounts when they rescue program-eligible dogs and cats.

The municipal shelter joined our free adoption partner program in 2018 and told Tanyae about the benefits of adopting through our partnership.

“I found out about this lovely program through the shelter,” she says.

It was March 2020 and Tanyae had been approved by us in mid-January of that same year. The Army veteran took her time to find the right dog because she knows that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment.

Tanyae’s months-long search was over upon meeting Lola. She signed her adoption contract and brought the once unwanted dog home.

Veteran first

Tanyae appreciates how we care about her needs and well-being – before, during, and long after adoption. Our official post-adoption follow ups last for one year.

However, we always stand ready to help our veterans, even years after they adopt.

“I would definitely recommend adopting through this program because they have really helped me in so many ways I can’t even begin to explain,” she says. “Very easy process and always puts the veteran first.”

Lola defied many misconceptions people have about older pets. She made herself at home with Tanyae almost effortlessly.

Even as a senior pet Lola has abundant energy and has invested her Army veteran’s life with renewed spirit.

“Lola has made me happy and more active as far as exercise!” Tanyae exclaims. “She is really a joy to have around. [She] has made my mood so much better.”

However, it is perhaps the quieter moments the two share that mean the most to Tanyae.

After experiencing one of the most hostile, chaotic places in the world, the career soldier and Iraq war veteran relishes the loving, tranquil relationship she has with Lola.

“I love most,” she says, “that she is a very kind and attentive dog.”


  1. Gary Gonzalez

    So happy for both of you : ) May you live many long years together… Much love & blessings…

  2. Alyson A.

    Thank you for your service – and for sharing your story! I love your heart for senior dogs!

  3. Claudia Steadman

    A young woman after my own heart. I’ve had many dogs throughout my lifetime small, big and I love them all. I’m down to two, a 80 pound lab/Goldie mix and a 50 pound lab mix.
    Here in Homestead FL we have a great rescue website “thisisthedog”. Go to website and view all we do.
    So happy for her and of her service to our country. She is my dear friends granddaughter and we are all very proud of her. Prayers for personal life and she keeps God as No. 1, as with Him everything is possible!

  4. Mari

    Great story. Kudos to woman and dog.

  5. Debbie

    I love senior dogs♡ I never had a puppy. Great program.

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