A veteran and her two first mates
Kristine serves in the Navy and in March 2018 adopted a bonded pair of senior dogs. Ned and Marge were each eight years old and met Kristine through our partnership with Virginia Beach SPCA.
Bonded pairs – called perfect pairs as well – are among the hardest pets to place. Contrary to popular belief these animals are often not related. They may have developed a relationship together in a previous home, or bonded while kenneled together at an animal shelter.
And as more mature pups, Ned and Marge faced a grim fate until Kristine sailed into their lives.
For nearly a year, Kristine and her perfect pack had a wonderful life until a devastating disease changed their world. The Navy veteran tells their tale.
Canine cancer claims a four-legged soul
Unfortunately, right before our one year anniversary, I had to make the decision to let Ned pass, as cancer had unknowingly taken over his stomach.
It was quite a shock, we had just moved to our new home in Newport, Rhode Island and I noticed even after we settled in he still didn’t want to eat much, no matter how yummy the food. His energy wasn’t normal so I took him to the vet thinking he would just need some meds and we would be on our way, however that was not the case.
Even though I knew I adopted senior dogs, it still was heartbreaking to lose him on only our one year anniversary.
It still is hard for me to talk about, mostly because he had come so far in that year from the timid, scared, stray dog he was when I adopted him.
The unbreakable bond of a bonded pair
I never really got the chance to grieve because Marge (now called Katina because I discovered she answers to it!!), did not take this loss well, after all they were a bonded pair.
The separation anxiety was brutal.
I have taken her to the vet a few times after she injured herself, including breaking all of her top teeth trying to rip things apart while I simply took a shower.
With a mix of medication and lots and lots of training over the past few months, I am finally starting to see her grow out of her grieving phase.
A heart that is no longer whole
As the hole in my heart grows bigger and I notice the improvements in Katina, I have discussed with my vet that another dog may potentially help her, as she still is uncertain and learning things and her vision at night is declining.
I have begun a search and have been working with the Rhode Island SPCA, however dogs can be more picky than humans.
Any dog that has the potential for joining my family will definitely be through you because this is an absolutely incredible foundation.
Thank you so much for all that you do. Pets are so important and they really do bring us a love and comfort that we cant find anywhere else!
Learn how our companion pet adoption program for current and former U.S. military veterans works and see if you are eligible to apply.