Once-neglected dog finds true love with Marine family

Magoo on bed

Magoo entered a Michigan animal shelter neglected, severely underweight and flea-ridden, but left as a 130-pound new best friend to a Marine veteran. The seven year-old Newfoundland mix now has a second chance at life and a new family to call his own.

Peter served in the Marine Corps as a Weather Observer with MWSS-373, Marine Wing Support Squadron, an aviation ground support unit at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California. Early in 2003 he deployed in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His service took him to both Kuwait and Iraq, which remain the most memorable of his military career.

“The bonds formed in a situation such as that are bonds for life,” he says.

His Marine Corps days behind him, Peter and his wife settled in her homeland of New Zealand. In 2008, the couple moved back to Ann Arbor, where Peter grew up and where he and his wife are raising their three young children. Using the strong technical skills he developed in the military, Peter works as a web developer and a video editor for “a great little integrated marketing communication firm.”

A house becomes a home

The couple have always had pets growing up and wanted the same for their children. When they decided to buy a house, they knew it was time to look for a new, four-legged addition to the family. Peter and Magoo

While browsing the Humane Society of the Huron Valley website, they found information about Pets For Patriots and the benefits it offers to veterans and service members who adopt eligible pets.

“It sounded like a worthy cause,” Peter says.

As an adoption and veterinary partner, Humane Society of the Huron Valley offers Pets for Patriots members a 50% adoption fee discount and an ongoing 10% discount at its veterinary clinic.

Magoo was a guest at the shelter since October 2011. He was in terrible shape when he arrived, the result of severe neglect. Undeterred, the staff gave Magoo the time and care he needed to heal. Magoo on bed

Nearly seven months later Magoo’s life changed forever. Peter and his family visited the shelter and were “approved” by the big dog; they would be his new family.

“A chance to help a less fortunate soul”

Peter recalls his Marine Corps days when he reflects on adopting Magoo.

“Never leave anyone behind, right?” asks Peter. “This program offers a chance to help a less fortunate soul. You will be amazed at how much your spirit will be lifted by the unconditional love you will receive from these animals.”

Magoo definitely brings added cheer to this Marine family.

“Magoo has brought new life and love into the house. He’s a great, big, 130-pound teddy bear.”

Despite his size, Magoo is a gentle giant, which means a lot to Peter since his children are still young. Magoo and kids

“Magoo is extremely gentle with the kids and very protective of all of us. He stays close to us where ever we are, in or out of the house, and we all love that.”

One of Magoo’s favorite games is tug-of-war, which Peter notes is “a very interesting activity with such a big dog.” He loves his giant tennis ball as well, a toy that Magoo considers the greatest treasure of all – besides his new, forever family.

How has your second-chance pet changed your family?

1 Comment

  1. Adrian Meli

    Beth, what a great story-thanks for sharing it through your blog. Magoo and Peter are very lucky they found each other and reading about all the people and dogs Pets for Patriots is joining together puts a huge smile on my face. Keep up all the good work!

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