A life of turmoil, uncertainty and loneliness
Life has been mostly unkind to Molly. The deaf bait dog had as many as 10 different homes in just her first six years of life. She was adopted and returned habitually, never finding a special person or family who loved and appreciated her.
While Molly’s years used as mere fodder for illegal dog fighting are long over, the mixed-breed dog still carries wounds. Some are visible while others remain hidden, but no less real.
Throughout those many years the abused dog never had a person or family that was truly her own. No one who loved her enough to help her overcome the unspeakable cruelty she survived. Although her life was spared, it was one of aloneness and loneliness.
Jim knows what it feels like to be lonely. That was before he met Molly – the dog he saved from a life of turmoil and uncertainty and who spared him from the loneliness that he was feeling, too.
New places and unfamiliar faces
In 1983 Jim enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he served until he was honorably discharged five years later.
“I was in aircrew life support,” he says, “which is basically everything aircrew members need to eject from an aircraft and survive on the ground until they can be rescued.”
The veteran has mostly fond memories of his years of service, particularly the two years he spent in Panama.
“It was a wonderful tour for me.”
Now separated from the military, Jim lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where the Air Force veteran drives a truck for a regional grocery store chain.
“I love the hot weather and riding my Harley year round,” he says.
Despite the agreeable weather and a good job, Jim was feeling lonely. He decided that a companion pet – specifically a dog – would help him feel more connected to his surroundings.
“As a person gets older it becomes harder to make friends in new places,” Jim shared. “A pet helps combat some of the loneliness of living in a new place.”
The Air Force veteran learned about Pets for Patriots through one of our local adoption partners, Underdog Rescue of Arizona. The Chandler-based organization has partnered with us since 2015, offering deeply discounted dog and cat adoption fees to veterans in our program.
They encouraged Jim to apply.
“It is a wonderful program that helps and encourages vets to get a companion,” Jim says. “Without a doubt. Pets for Patriots makes the adoption process a little easier and has great benefits to help with caring for your companion.”
The hard-luck life of a deaf bait dog
Molly was in the care of Underdog Rescue of Arizona. At the time, the nearly six year-old Cattle dog mix was suffering from chronic skin allergies. Her adoption contract was more than 30 pages long, most of it comprised of extensive medical records. One of the rescue dog’s enduring challenges is that she cannot hear.
“Molly is deaf and has had a hard life. She has had ten different homes in her seven years of life,” Jim says.
Whether in spite of or because of all that Molly has endured, Jim fell hard for the deaf bait dog. In February 2017 the pair were adopted and have since made a life together.
Underdog to wonderdog
The Air Force veteran has enjoyed watching this sweet, unassuming dog come out of her shell. He adores her irrepressible spirit.
Jim is quick to point out what he loves most about Molly.
“Her excitement and enthusiasm to get out of the house and her happiness to see me when I come home from work.”
Too many dogs, cats and other companion animals languish in shelters around the country simply for lack of anyone to adopt them. Every year millions of these wonderful creatures are killed – equivalent to the entire human population of Iowa. Special needs pets like Molly face a particularly grim fate. Too few people are willing to care for their unique circumstances. Not so for Jim.
“With me she has found someone that gives unconditional love and someone that accepts her as she is,” he says, “She has given me the same in return.”