A Pets For Vets Match Story

Tom and Spencer

Retired Navy man, Tom Plaska, is a man who likes to eat well. He spent 4 years in the Navy as a cook where he learned his way around a kitchen. Several tours took him cruising around the world and to the frigid cold of the Arctic Circle. When he was on base, his time was divided between the West Coast, and finally Norfolk, VA.

Tom and his wife always had dogs as they were raising their children. After their last dog passed, and the children no longer living at home, they realized the house was so quiet. When he was asked to take Spencer, a miniature Australian Shepherd dog, Tom thought perhaps they would only be foster dog parents until Spencer could be placed again for the program. Spencer had been rescued to a shelter after being caged for 3 years as a puppy mill dog. He was returned to the program when his first veteran decided he couldn’t take care of the dog.

Spencer very quickly became Tom’s dog. They go everywhere together. Spencer is still a little nervous around crowds of people, and prefers quiet, but he is learning. He remains skittish around fencing and the sound of a fence gate rattling can send him running. Tom loves having a constant companion and Spencer brings that special element of vitality of life to the home. While Tom and his wife have restructured their lives a bit to accommodate the newly adopted dog, they believe it to be a good thing as it adds responsibility. Together they will help Spencer through his insecurities.

Tom says with a sly grin, “He’s Dad’s dog!”

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