The Navy was an anchor and turning point in the life of one young man adrift in a sea of uncertainty, helping him – in turn – give a much-needed lifeline to an adult pet in need of a loving home.
Charting a new course
It was a sense of duty and the desire to find his purpose that inspired Trevor to enlist in the Navy.
“I joined the Navy to serve my country,” he explains, “and because I went to college and changed my major seven times – and still had no idea what I wanted to do as a career.”
Luckily for Trevor, the Navy gave him the direction that had eluded him previously. He was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, South Carolina, an experience which helped him navigate his future course: he is currently working towards a degree in clinical laboratory science at Wayne State University.
One day in between classes, a friend asked Trevor to accompany her to their local shelter; she was hoping to find a dog. What the Navy veteran didn’t know at the time was that he wasn’t going to leave empty handed.
The sounds of silence
Walk through any animal shelter and you’ll be greeted by the sound of barking dogs desperate for attention and a permanent home. But on that fateful visit to the Michigan Humane Society, one dog stood out because of what she didn’t do: bark. The two year-old Shih-Tzu simply looked at her would-be savior.
“Holly was just sitting at the end of her cage looking up at me,” says the Navy veteran. “She was the only dog there who didn’t bark and me, and I knew that I wanted to take her home.”
Trevor returned to the shelter with his father to meet the dog with the pleading eyes when the elder man noticed a sign with information about Pets For Patriots. The veteran applied immediately and the Michigan Humane Society held Holly for an extra day to give his application time to be reviewed. Trevor was thrilled when he found out he was approved by nationwide charity, which inspires the adoption of at-risk pets by veterans and military personnel in exchange for various benefits that make pet ownership more affordable.
Best friends forever
The young man who was once so unsure of what to do with his life had engineered a remarkable turnaround. Joining the Navy helped Trevor navigate a new course with a new career and now, a new pet friend.
“She has become my best friend,” he says. “I enjoy taking her on walks and playing games with her. And we also enjoy just laying down and taking a nap.”
Even Holly’s little quirks endear this companion pet to her Navy veteran.
“She likes to snort and snore,” he says, “which I find adorable.”
Perhaps what the Navy veterans cherishes most, however, is Holly’s unconditional love and friendship – and the fact that she’s always thrilled to see him.
“She always jumps up to greet me every time I come in the door,” says Trevor. “And when we go outside she always stays right by my side.”
Since adopting Holly, Trevor has enjoyed learning about how pet adoption has helped other veterans, just like him.
“It’s very neat,” he says, “to see and hear some of the other stories about veterans that have also used the program.”
As Trevor charts his post-military life, one thing seems clear: his time in the Navy gave him the confidence in his own future, a confidence that inspired him to be savior to a dog in need.
“Pets for Patriots is a great program,” says Trevor, “and adopting a pet can give you a much-needed friend in your life.”
In what ways in your pet your best friend?
To answer your question would take more space than I have here, so I would have to say the best of my best friend has been the constant companionship and just being there. He’s an amazing dog -able to tell what was needed and when- sometimes it was quiet, others it was time to play, sometimes it’s cuddling.
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