In 1945, Bee enlisted in the Marine Corps and remained in service until the war was over. Because women were not allowed overseas, she worked for a warrant officer as a shipping receiver in Quantico, where the Officers Training Camp was located.
Boot camp remains a powerful memory of that time in her life.
“It was an unusual choice for women to enlist, but I did it because I was bound and determined. Some women were psychologically unable to do it, but I didn’t want to be one of those. I wanted to do what I had to do, which I did.”
Witness to neglect, Bee saves a life
After the war and until she was 84, Bee worked as a massage therapist in her own clinic in North Carolina. She retired not because she didn’t want to work anymore, but because the economy softened for the textile mills business. She lost her clients as a result and now lives in Florida.
As a Christian minister going door to door for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bee has seen many pets treated poorly.
“There are so many dogs now that are being abandoned because of the economy. This is serious. I love animals and it breaks my heart when I see certain things. I can’t just believe what people do with their animals, chaining them in a back yard, throwing them a little food, a little water, and that’s it.”
“Laddie is a beautiful, beautiful dog. Wonderful, obedient, never causes any problems. I am glad I have him. He is a little quiet and quite needy. I don’t know who had him before. He follows me everywhere, no matter where I go, from room to room.”
Bee learned quickly that Laddie is a creature of habit, much like other companion pets.
“Laddie loved to sit with me on this small sofa I had,” Bee says. “When I got rid of the sofa he began pacing in the evening because he didn’t know what to do without his sofa. He looked so disgruntled that I bought a little recliner. When he tried to get up on the recliner with me, on the foot thing, it would flop down every time. The other night he took a running leap and got on my lap. Imagine a big dog on your lap like a lap dog. He is smart. He figured a way to make it up there.”
Bee has had a variety of dogs during her life, including a spaniel/beagle mix that moved with her to Florida. She couldn’t keep him where she was staying and asked her sister if she would take care of him until she found a place where they could move together. As it happened, he was such a wonderful dog that Bee’s sister decided to keep him, even after Bee moved to a pet-friendly residence.
As with most things in life, Bee sees the positive and is happy with the situation. She gets in the car with Laddie, and together they visit her sister and her dog.
“That dog remembers me,” she says, “and stays right there next to me during my visit.”
A forever friend
In every respect, Laddie has become Bee’s constant companion. Luckily he enjoys car rides, making it easier for Bee to remain both independent and comforted by her new best friend.
“Laddie is so good in the car; he loves to ride with me almost everywhere,” Bee says. “He’s a good traveler. He stays in his one spot and enjoys the ride.”
One of their rides takes them back to the Humane Society where Bee brings extra food for the animals that are not yet as fortunate as Laddie.
“The first time I went back with Laddie on his pretty new leash they thought I was bringing him back. I told them I was just bringing him in for a visit so they could see him.”
Bee is grateful to Pets for Patriots. Through the charity, she receives ongoing discounted veterinary care and an annual $150 contribution towards the cost of pet food and other essentials. She recommends Pets for Patriots to any veteran who would like to adopt a pet, but can’t afford the expenses.
“It is the most wonderful thing. I could not have gotten Laddie if it weren’t for Pets for Patriots.”