Life was rough for a stray dog roaming the streets of Norfolk until a young Navy family made her their own and, in the process, made themselves whole.
Trixie had three strikes against her: homeless, a large dog and a “bully breed” to boot. Many of these animas are the victims of abuse or raised to fight other dogs. Trixie stood a chance at a better life when she was rescued by the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center, but soon after her arrival the shelter was at maximum capacity. Adoptable animals, like Trixie, needed to find a home – and fast.
As luck would have it, Trixie’s ship had come in.
“Something was missing without a dog”
Evan is a Massachusetts native who left for basic training in the Navy in April, 2012 to “create a better life for myself and my future wife.” He is an Aerographer’s Mate with hopes of someday becoming an officer. In his spare time, Evan enjoys listening to music, hiking and fixing cars.
Now married to his high school sweetheart and stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, Evan and his wife both knew that they needed something – or someone – else in their lives.
“I wanted a full-time companion for my wife and a loving friend for me,” says Evan. “I have been around dogs my whole life, and I felt something was missing without a dog.”
Pets for Patriots takes the bite out of pet ownership costs
In spite of wanting a dog, Evan knew that responsible pet ownership came at a cost, one that can be difficult to manage on a military salary.
“As a young service member,” he says, “finances are tight.”
When the Navy veteran visited the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center, a Pets for Patriots adoption partner, they told him about the many benefits of the program that specifically address pet ownership costs, and that tackle the two biggest contributors: pet food and medical care. If approved and if he adopted an eligible pet – an adult or special needs animal, or a large breed dog – Evan would receive a generous contribution to help with the cost of essentials, like pet food, as well as ongoing discounted veterinary care from local Pets for Patriots veterinary partners.
“Pets for Patriots helped me be able to afford a pet,” Evan says, “and rescue this pet from unknown circumstances.”
A young Navy family made whole
Since saving Trixie from a life on the streets of Norfolk, Evan and his wife have a much fuller life, noting that the ex-stray dog “has helped my family grow.” As a relatively young, but large dog, Trixie is always up for an adventure.
“We walk her every day, play with her and cuddle her,” says the Navy veteran. “She has brought joy into our lives and unbelievable amounts of cuteness.”
Evan loves equally Trixie’s adorable beauty and her big heart.
“I love Trixie’s crazy bat ears, her furrowed brow and her unending ability to love,” he says.
Since adopting Trixie, Evan has become an advocate for other military members who may be thinking about how a pet can change their lives for the better – and he thinks they should adopt through the nationwide charity which aims pair the most overlooked shelter dogs and cats with United States military veterans.
“Pets for Patriots makes adopting a pet easy and affordable,” he says. “It allows you to bring an unwanted shelter pet into your life. My wife, my dog and I have benefited greatly from this experience.”
How has your pet made your family complete?