Solo saves Navy veteran “a thousand times over”

Solo saves Navy veteran "a thousand times over"

Solo is a special needs dog who saved his Navy rescuer “a thousand times over.” This is their story.


My story to Pets for Patriots from Angela, from my heart to yours.

A volunteer at Utah Animal Adoption Center (UACC) named him. I believe they named him Solo because he has a kindred, free spirit. I never got to meet the volunteer who named him, but that’s what I’ve come to know – he is named Solo for his spirit, not a Hans Solo reference (maybe it IS a Hans Solo reference – good guy). You decide for yourself!!

Solo has anxiety, just like I do, as a veteran with PTSD/MST (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Military Sexual Trauma). Solo was betrayed too. He was abandoned in a field somewhere in Utah by his previous owner and it took two months for animal control bring him in.

It became a sad and enduring moment when Solo’s time was up at the first shelter he was brought to. That’s when UACC stepped in and rescued him once more. He was barely at UACC a month when I fell in love with him. My son, Aiden, who at the time was five years old, fell in love too. I lost so much after reporting the sexual assault (rape) while on active duty Navy, even after an Honorable discharge in 2006, my marriage of five years ended in 2010 in part to the PTSD, I believe.

The savior and the saved

Solo has saved me a thousand times over since adopting him.  I know I have saved him too, along with Pets for Patriots‘ support both emotionally and financially.

Since adopting him, Solo received a full medical work up to see what’s going on with him, regular veterinary care, dental cleaning, stem cell therapy, and pain management for his hip dysplasia and neurological symptoms. The veterinarian believes, as do I, [that] he was abused and possibly hit by a vehicle at some point in his early life. He was two years old when I adopted him on February 6, 2013 and he is now five years of age. Solo saves Navy veteran "a thousand times over"

Solo has also received much love and TLC from Aiden and I. If it weren’t for having Solo, especially during the most pivotal times of my life, to name a few – the three-year custody battle of my son, Aiden, the PTSD triggers and reminders – I can honestly say I wouldn’t be here.

When someone says, “An animal is just an animal,” I say “No.” Animals save our lives and we should strive to do the same for them. I am living proof of just that.

Solo has saved me and I’m still here, alive and managing with the PTSD/MST – and so is Solo, alive and happy and well taken care of in a loving home. Thank you Pets for Patriots for advocating for us all, especially for the Solos in the world.

Special needs dog is a “guardian angel on earth”

Solo helps me and has helped me, and continues to do so.

Here is one sweet memory I’d like to share: he fell asleep with his head on my chest, in my bed, snoring the first day I adopted him. I believe he had not felt safe in a very, very long time and for once he did with me. I gave him refuge and in return he provided me SAFETY.

Solo saved me and my son Aiden, and has brought so much joy to our lives. He keeps a watchful eye over us both, especially my son Alden. Solo is always at my side.

I don’t know how much time I will have with Solo, but I have done everything I can to manage his health and pain and give him the happy, fulfilling life he deserves. I cherish each moment and every breathing second with him. Solo saves Navy veteran "a thousand times over"

Solo is my guardian angel on earth. He is our guardian angel on earth, for Alden and I.

Peace at last

I hadn’t felt peace in a long time prior to adopting Solo.

I felt peace the moment he looked into my eyes at UACC. It was an instant connection for Aiden and I. Looking back, we have moved forward in a huge way, me, Aiden and Solo. We’ve moved forward on the path we chose – pure happiness and bliss.

Thank you to Pets for Patriots for answering the call of duty because no one told you that you had to – you chose to rise to the occasion in saving animals lives and those like myself, wounded in a battle we may have not necessarily chosen ourselves, or at all. Thank you.

With love and great appreciation,

Angela, DAV, USN Navy veteran


  1. Bobby Reed

    Angela, I as you deal with PTSD and MST. I have to tell you with out my dog life would be very rough, He is a full service dog now 7 years old and well trained. Red was one of the first adoptions through PFP and he and I have become very close. Beth Zimmerman is a wonderful person and has done so much for Veterans. It sounds like your getting help from three angels now. And not to forget the PFP Team. Red and I salute you and Solo and wish you many years of happiness, Bobby and Red

  2. mary

    Hi Angela,
    Thank you for such a heart felt message. I think perhaps you’ve found some peace since adopting Solo. What a gift!

  3. Stephanie

    Angela, thank you for your service. I wish your experience in the military hadn’t left you with so much trauma; I admire your bravery both on and off the battlefield. Thank you for sharing this with all of us! Your adoption of Solo is a beautiful reminder that if we reach out to others that we can often move past trauma and find comfort along our journey in life.

  4. Phil Ernst

    Angela, God Bless both you and Solo and Aiden, together I’m sure you are a trio!! I have just rescued a “guarding angel” and she is just wonderful also. Just thank God for every day that you DO have with Solo! My heart goes out to all three of you! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!

  5. Amanuel Ray Euell


  6. Frank Klafs

    The joy of rescuing a wonderful dog is equal to the dogs rescuing it human.
    My second resce/service dog has saved my life once already and keeps me on track and doing better

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