Partly blind older dog proves to Army veteran that third time is the charm

Partly blind older dog proves to Army veteran that third time is the charm

Mark had no plans to have a trio of dogs in his home. However, the Army veteran could not resist rescuing a partly blind older dog he saw at his local animal shelter.

Army life

In 1981 Mark enlisted in the Army. His military occupational specialty, or MOS, was military intelligence.

These skilled professionals are tasked with developing meaningful, accurate, and timely intelligence to support all levels of military command. Mark separated from service in 1985, just at the start of the Cold War.

Half of the Army veteran’s tour of duty was spent in Germany, including a year in Baumholder and another in Wildflecken. In 1985 he separated from the Army with an honorable discharge and transitioned back to civilian life.

Since leaving military service the Army veteran has remained a very busy man. Partly blind older dog proves third time is the charm for Army veteran

“I work two warehouse jobs. Part-time I stack bread trays,” he says.

“Full-time I do quality control for a company that distributes educational materials.”

Mark calls Lebanon, Indiana home, and each day travels to Indianapolis for his full-time job.

And then there were three

Despite the Army veteran’s busy schedule he makes room in his heart and home for rescue dogs. In time that would include a petite, partly blind older pup.

It was 2022 when Mark visited IndyHumane to adopt a companion for his resident dog, Sandi, who at the time was about 16 years old.

IndyHumane was one of the first shelters to join our national shelter partner network. The organization offers $50 off adoption fees to veterans who adopt eligible dogs and cats.

Shelter staff told Mark about Pets for Patriots and how our companion pet adoption program works. While he did not adopt through our partnership at that particular visit, he did rescue a small, young dog named Lincoln.

“I find out from IndyHumane when adopting Lincoln, my other rescue,” he recalls. “He didn’t meet any of the Pets for Patriots requirements, but it was while learning how to adopt this one year-old Chiweenie [that] I learned about Pets for Patriots.”

The Army veteran applied to our program and was approved quickly. A few days later he became smitten with the online profile of a then middle-aged dog at IndyHumane. The petite pup barely tipped the scales at seven pounds; she was too adorable for Mark to resist.

“I already had two [dogs] and saw Madi’s picture online,” he shares, “and decided I needed a third.” Partly blind older dog proves third time is the charm for Army veteran

So Mark returned to IndyHumane to adopt Madi, despite having a senior dog at home and Lincoln having just joined his pack. Madi would prove that the third time was the charm.

Love is blind

At first Madi had a rough time adjusting to her new life.

“When I first got Madi she would hide and wouldn’t eat for the first two weeks, and had very bad diarrhea,” Mark shares. “We took her to the vet who said it was stress-related.”

Not long thereafter Madi relaxed, started eating, and her digestive issues resolved. Her demeanor changed as well – for the better.

“Now when I get home from work,” Mark says, “she runs to me jumping up and down, and wanting me to pick her up.”Partly blind older dog proves third time is the charm for Army veteran

When he is not at work the Army veteran gives his dogs plenty of exercise, socialization, and love.

Madi, in particular, loves joining her canine siblings for visits to their local dog park. She and Lincoln conspire to entice the bigger dogs to chase them.

Life with a trio of rescue dogs was going well. Then in November 2023, Mark took note of something amiss with Madi.

“Couple of weeks ago, I noticed her left eye was all cloudy,” he recalls. “Turns out she has a cataract and is blind in that eye. [It] doesn’t seem to bother her much.”

Mark has no less love for his partly blind older dog. In fact, it is her unbridled enthusiasm for his constant companionship that endears her to him above all of her other wonderful qualities.

“I have a dog,” he says, “who wants to be with me all the time.”


  1. Joe Lazaravich

    Mark and Madi join a long list of beneficiaries of Pets For Patriots. I became one when they were very instrumental in bringing a curly cockapoo into my life almost two years ago. His name is Leo and both our lives have been so much better ever since.

  2. Christine E

    Mark, Thank you for your Service and for the care you give your rescue pups. Madi is adorable!


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