When he lost his beloved dog of 15 years, Allen J. Ghimenti began looking for a new companion to go on walks with him and help him lose weight.
A Vietnam Veteran who served in the 101st Aviation Batallion of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, Allen was also a past National President of the 101st Airborne Association. So a friend suggested he contact the Ventura County Chapter of Pets for Vets.
After his application was approved, Pets for Vets began searching shelters and rescues to find the right companion for Allen’s personality, lifestyle and other needs. Jetstar, a Lab/German Shepherd mix, appeared to be a perfect match!
But the journey didn’t end there. To ensure the two shared an instant connection the moment they met, a trainer worked one-on-one with Jetstar for several weeks to prepare him for his new life with Allen.
As a way of giving back to the Veterans they serve, Pets for Vets always covers all out-of-pocket costs, including adoption fees, veterinary care, licensing, microchipping and spay/neuter. The organization also provided Allen with a Welcome Package that included a collar, leash, bed, crate, toys, treats and grooming items with a value of nearly $500.
Although the entire process took several months from start to finish, Allen believes the end result was worth it. “Having a dog — another living creature who helps me focus on today — is very important because Jetstar has needs. It forces me to live in the now and keeps me in touch with reality,” he said.