Prayer guides Army reservist to four-legged miracle

The power of prayer worked for one Army reservist, whose faith was rewarded with a very special, four-legged miracle. This is Renee’s story, in her own words, following her honorable adoption of a shelter dog named Lucy.


Dear Pets for Patriots,

Please forgive me for taking so long getting back to you. Things are a bit hectic on this end. I would like to share with you my story about my new special companion, Lucy.

Last July I learned that Sidney, my Miniature American Eskimo of 15 years, blind since birth, was now filled with cancer. There are no words to describe my pain and grief. I didn’t realize how powerful his spirit was until it was gone. I no longer felt like I was going home, rather I went to a building that I called home. Friends felt the void of his spirit as well.

Initially I said I would never have another dog again. It was not possible to have another canine companion I loved and trusted so much. As time went on, the silence in my home was too much. I began looking for a new canine friend. The problem is I was looking for another Sidney. Knowing that was not a possibility, I had to rethink what I was looking for and how to find it.

I learned of Pets for Patriots and Canines With a Cause from my doctor at the Veterans Administration hospital. Once I qualified with both of these programs I was ready to start looking at the local animal shelters. It was very important for me to find my new dog. Somehow I knew there was a specific spirit waiting for me to find her. I said a very heartfelt prayer that I will find this special spirit. I also asked for a confirmation by having the dog choose me as well. I had no idea how that was going to look. I took my nine year-old grandson with me. I instructed him that the most important thing about choosing our new dog was that it be with our heart, not our head.

After three animal shelters and many dogs, we were unsuccessful. We called it a day and headed home. I took different route home than usual. We saw the Utah Animal Adoption Shelter. Tired, close to closing time, we made one last stop.

We looked at many dogs in kennels. Nothing really jumped out at me or my grandson. As we turned to leave, one kennel had four smaller dogs barking and jumping at the cage and one dog towards the back, sitting quietly and making eye contact with me. We looked at each other for a few moments before I asked more about her. We took her outside to get to know her a bit.

As my grandson began walking her, he said this dog felt different than the rest. He said he felt she may be “the one.”  I too felt a special connection to her. We walked, ran and interacted with her for about ten minutes when we both agreed she was the spirit we were meant to take home.

I reminded my grandson that I had asked the Lord for a conformation. She had to pick us as well. Puzzled, my grandson asked how would we know. I thought for a moment, looked at the dog who was sitting about twelve feet from us and said to her, “Okay little girl, if you want to be a part of our family, you need to walk over and let us know.” She went from a sitting position, maintained eye contact with me, and walked straight to me and sat purposefully in front of me. I was stunned. It couldn’t be more clear. My grandson said he had just seen a miracle. I had to agree.

She is now my “Lucy.” Once we arrived home I took her from the garage to the doggie door.  She expressed great excitement with her new, big back yard. She made herself right at home. This included jumping on the bed and claiming the highest pillow. Needless to say, she had a few rules to learn. My grandson said “Nana, it feels like she’s been here her whole life.”  No other words could be more true.

We are now enrolled with Canines With a Cause.  Lucy will be trained as my service dog. She loves to play and she is eager to please. She learns quickly too. I will keep you updated on her progress training as a service dog.

I have a great deal of gratitude to those of you that dedicate your time, share your love of  these animals and extend your compassion to our nation’s veterans. Lucy has become like my fellow combat veterans: nothing needs to be said, we just get each other.

It doesn’t take a uniform to be a hero. Thank you for being ours. I salute you.



Utah, ARMY National Guard & Reserves

How did you know your pet was “the one?”




  1. Hairless Cat

    Hi Renee,

    Very sorry to hear about Sidney but I’m glad Lucy and you found each other.

    Interesting how Lucy initially sat in the back and maintained eye contact while all the others were out front and jumping. It was also interesting how she came right up and sat purposefully in front of you when you were spending time with her at the shelter.

    Precious how she made herself at home and how your grandson noticed it was like she had already been living there for a long time.

    It seems to be a spiritual fate kind of thing – a meeting of souls that was not only preordained but was special.

    I once had a cat who settled in like she really belonged and it really made an impression on me.

    I’m glad the two of you are joined together now,

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

  2. virginia

    i just can’t stop crying. i love these stories so much. thank you for sharing. i became a vet (veterinarian! not veteran) at age 44, and several years later took a job as staff veterinarian for our local animal control, a facility surrounded by scandal, rumors, and a great deal of local public outrage with how the facility was run and how the animals were treated. obviously in need of tender loving care and some professional help with the animals. but i was hired just to appease the public, the man who ran the place didn’t care what i did, just as long as i made him “look good”. but i did care. and worked very hard. as a single woman with no children i had no other obligations but to the animals in that shelter. i guess i overdid it. i experienced some sort of collapse. just as we were beginning to make some real progress in changing the place for the better. i was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have since not been able to return to work. i feel that what i have been through with the fibromyalgia-the unbearable pain, exhaustion, etc. and for years unable to get proper medical care, because the doctors weren’t hearing me, has made me overly sensitive to the suffering of these animals. and it is still an agonizing thing to me to be unable any longer to do anything to help. so i live vicariously through these beautiful and emotional stories. thank you so much for “hearing” what these babies are saying, and saving one more life from the brutal system of animal welfare.

    • Pets for Patriots

      Virginia, we’re delighted to know that these stories touch your heart and that even if you can no longer work in the animal welfare field, you can help us share these tales so that others will know the healing power of these extraordinary shelter pets.

  3. Amy Stevens

    I would post a picture if I could but apparently I can’t here. I had a lovely canine companion, Angel, for over 14 years. She was a special girl I had found at the local shelter after praying for God to bring me a Guardian Angel in my life. She was already named when I got there and came right to me. When she passed away suddenly a year ago I was very sad. I couldnt adopt right away because I was working a 24/7/365 job with the military and knew I wouldnt have time to devote to a new dog. Finally I started looking for a new friend when I left my job in May. I searched in several states. Visited the local shelter several times. Finally I put my request on the refrigerator. I decided that I would adopt a female dog and call her Rosie. I visited the shelter several times. No Rosie. Then I decided I should be open to a male dog again so I didn’t write it on my list but I decided to name him Charlie when I found him. Rosie or Charlie, either would be fine. Well, wouldnt you know it…. Charlie, already with his name, was waiting for me at the shelter the next time I went. He was in the same cage that Angel had been in about 15 years ago when I found her. Charlie is the dog few people would consider. He is a mixed 18 month old terrior, I mean terrier, with bad behavior. He jumps and mouths everything and had been at the shelter for 2 weeks. I dont think he had much time left… But this is the one I knew God wanted me to take home. So he has been with me 3 weeks today. He still has bad behavior but guess what? Not so bad…. he just needs quite a bit of training and I now have time to do it. 17lbs of energy but trying to be a good boy most of the time. Even the trainer I am working with has been surprised he is not as bad as she thought at first. So it is working and I am glad to have him in my life.

    • Pets for Patriots

      Amy, thanks for seeing the good in Charlie and giving him the chance he deserves to learn how to be a good boy. We’re glad to know that you’re using a trainer to help him put his best paw forward.

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