2017 was a difficult year for Brian, an active duty Navy Avionics Chief. After overcoming a number of personal challenges he found himself craving the unconditional love that only a pet can provide. The veteran’s quest for companionship led him to Oreo, a Pit Bull rescued from cruelty and whose first year of life had been exceptionally brutal.
In spite of the adversity they had both experienced – or perhaps because of it – Brian and Oreo bonded instantly.
Seeing the world and making history
Brian joined the Navy to expand his horizons.
“I joined Naval service to experience what the world has to offer,” he says, “and to join the camaraderie I’d heard from prior service members.”
The young veteran describes his now-lengthy career in Naval avionics as an “adventure.” It has led him across the globe and back again.
Brian has spent much of his military career overseas and is now stationed in Virginia. He became expert in adapting to nearly any situation or environment in which he is placed.
“I have endured a lot of change, as the job for all long-term members requires,” he says. “Three years in Japan, five years in Lemoore with an expeditionary fighter squadron, and now the last decade in Virginia with two deployment cycles and two instructor tours.”
Brian’s time in the Navy has been full of exciting highs and challenging lows. Yet he is quick to recount one specific moment that had a lasting impact on him.
“When the ship went into restricted communications on a previous deployment, only to find out later that our command was the reason, in the first air-to-air shoot down of a hostile aircraft in 27 years. The feeling once I found out the details that I was a part of that made me feel like all the efforts finally came together.”
Home at last
Brian is currently on what may be his “twilight tour.” In light of this, the Navy veteran believed that it was time to open his heart and home to a canine companion.
This decision came on the heels of an especially rough chapter in the young veteran’s life.
“In 2017, having dealt with a duel deployment for me and my spouse, home damage in a storm, both our dogs passing this year, and now unfortunately ending the marriage,” he explains.
Brian started his search at his local shelter, the Virginia Beach SPCA. As it would happen his visit was short-lived.
“Once off sea duty requirements, I thought it was time to get a new friend,” he says, “and when I heard Oreo’s first year of life, it was clear she was the one.”
Life had been exceptionally unkind to Oreo.
The young Pit Bull had been the victim of unspeakable cruelty prior to her rescue. Tragically, many dogs of her breed type are not valued for their loyal, loving natures. They are used – and abused – by criminals and cowards for whom life has no value.
Oreo was a year-old dog when she and Brian met. Yet because she was over 40 pounds, she met one of our eligibility requirements for adoption through our program.
Brian adopted Oreo a mere two days after he was approved into our program. The lives of person and pet have never been the same since.
Right place, right time
“I highly recommend Pets for Patriots for the assistance in adopting, discounts, veterinary services available, and other information sent post-adoption in understanding a rescue animal,” Brian says.
The Navy veteran first learned about Pets for Patriots through a manager at the Virginia Beach SPCA.
Since 2012, the shelter has partnered with us to help the most overlooked dogs and cats in their care find loving military homes. In exchange, they offer a 25% adoption fee discount and access to their full-service, low-cost veterinary clinic.
“The Pets for Patriots program came at the right time – not just for Oreo, but for me as well,” Brian says. “The program was helpful with the discounted adoption fees and access to more veterinarians with less hassle.”
The young Pit Bull rescued from cruelty was safe at the shelter, where she spent more than four long months waiting for her hero. During that time Oreo was given medical care and time to convalesce from her previous, inhumane treatment.
Pit Bull rescued from cruelty “makes me a happier person”
Since her adoption Oreo has blossomed into a happy, loving dog who left her life of cruelty behind. Yet as much as Brian saved her, the sweet Pit Bull rescued him as well.
While 2017 was a difficult year for both the veteran and his new battle buddy, the pair are starting their lives anew.
Brian is especially fond of Oreo’s adorable wiggles, and her muffled howls and barks when she is excited. Her happiness is his happiness, and visa versa.
“Having a friendly face that actually wiggles every time I walk in the door regardless of the day, and knowing I saved that happiness from the torment and abuse she endured her first year of life,” he says, “chained to a tree for a year, beaten, malnourished, rescued with mange…makes me a happier person.”
Learn the 11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help.