When Bobby met Carl, it was love at first sight. Bobby is a staff sergeant and a veteran of four Iraq tours, one in Kuwait and one in Afghanistan. Exposure to an IED detonation triggered medical issues including PTSD. Bobby contacted Pets for Vets while still in Afghanistan and completed the process as soon as he returned home. Pets for Vets knew that Bobby needed a special dog to make him feel comfortable around people and in public after his time in service and to ease his feelings of being alone.
Carl, a beautiful Pitt Bull, was the perfect match. He spent months in a local shelter and was close to being euthanized when a rescue group stepped in to save him. Carl was having a hard time adjusting to other dogs barking at the kennel and really needed human companionship. Thanks to some dedicated volunteers, I met Carl at an adoption event where even in the melee of throngs of dogs and people, Carl maintained his quiet, stoic composure. He looked at me with deep soulful eyes that revealed an old spirit and I knew there was something special about him. The more time I spent with Carl the more I knew he was a perfect fit for Bobby. As Bobby says “I can see now the deep soulful eyes that he has, and in a huge way, I can relate to the hurt and heartache that he has experienced throughout his life as I go through that a lot with all the battles that still go on with me.”
Carl needed to gain some weight, and he excelled at his training, including behaviors specific to helping Bobby feel comfortable in public and around people. Carl has touched the lives of everyone who met him during his journey to his forever home with Bobby but these two were meant to find each other. Bobby says, “It puts me at ease knowing that he is here with me confortable and happy, and knowing that the both of us have nothing to worry about as long as we are together.” Walking around his neighborhood with Carl by his side was the first time Bobby did not feel threatened or uncomfortable since returning from Afghanistan.
“We as service members make a lot of sacrifices every day to be away from our families for months at a time, and for a few of us that come back to an empty house and a lonely couch, this is just the thing that we need. Someone to talk with who doesn’t care when you cry from the memories of lost friends and other thoughts that rage in our mind. Thank you so much for a new lease on life.”
Thank you, SSgt Stone, for risking your life for this country, I am honored to be able to thank you and I wish you and Carl many happy years.