Devin works as a Marine Telephone Systems and PC Intermediate Repairman stationed at Camp Pendleton. He was searching for a companion dog and, as luck would have it, a stray German Shepherd named Ren was looking for a forever home. When their paths crossed at the San Diego Department of Animal Services in late 2011 the search was over for both Marine and dog.
“From the start, Ren was very laid back and clearly had a lot of training,” says Devin. “However, beneath his calm exterior, Ren seemed to be perpetually looking for something or someone.”
Devin had a feeling about why Ren was always on the lookout.
“His past is a mystery to us, but my initial thought was he was waiting for the family who abandoned him to come back.”
Soon after his honorable adoption, Ren stopped looking; he seemed to realize that his search for a loving family was finally over.
Former stray dog a stress-reliever for Afghanistan veteran
Everyone has benefited from this incredible connection, and Devin was forming a particularly strong bond with his new pet friend.
“Ren had a calming effect on me from the start,” says Devin. “I have been dealing with anxiety and depression since my return from Afghanistan and I don’t know why, but I just feel better around Ren.”
The decrease in Devin’s stress level has had a positive impact on all aspects of his life which, in turn, has had a similar impact on Ren. The once-homeless dog is now relaxed and content in his new home, even famously submitting to his first “pawdicure.” And although Ren isn’t exactly a lap dog, that doesn’t stop him from trying.
“He loves to spend his evenings cuddling with us on the couch.”
One less homeless shelter dog
Devin grew up with dogs and had been looking around local shelters for some time.
“There are way too many homeless dogs in shelters,” he Devin, “and we were certain we wanted to give a home to one of them.”
Devin whole heartedly recommends Pets for Patriots to any active duty or retired military personnel looking to adopt a pet. He suggests doing a fair bit of research before visiting a shelter and adopting.
“If you are thinking about getting a dog, make sure you know what breeds are right for you and your lifestyle,” he says, “When you find the right dog [or cat], Pets for Patriots takes care of the rest.”
These days, Devin and Ren are looking for something new: a long and happy life together.
What qualities attracted you to your adopted pet?