War Veteran Finds Hope in Abandoned Dog

Joseph and Mollie. (Photo: Pets for Patriots)

Joseph and Mollie. (Photo: Pets for Patriots)

The healing and helping potential of dogs never ceases to amaze. Joseph is a veteran of the Korean War, and is still active in veteran's organizations 60 years after his service. Another steadfast part of Joseph's life has been his dogs.

Joseph adopted his first dog shortly after getting married, and his home had not been without once since. He had many dogs over the years, including a Rhodesian Ridgeback he adopted on a mission trip to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.

That dog's name was Naegle, and she was his constant companion for eight years before passing away unexpectedly in her sleep.

The trauma of war never left Joseph, and he has long suffered from PTSD and depression. Naegle's sudden death was devastating for him, and he was unsure if he would ever be able to bring home another dog. But thanks to the support of his family and help from the Pets for Patriots program, which makes pet adoption affordable for military families, Joseph took a trip to his local animal shelter, where he met Mollie.

Mollie was a 4 year old Australian Shepherd who was in dire need of a home. She was overweight and had possibly suffered abuse in her previous home. Joseph slowly gained her trust, and now the pair are inseparable, spending much of the day walking together on his two-acre property.

Perhaps the most incredible part of this story is that Mollie's presence rescued Joseph from his depression. He says that having her company and dependence on him is "the greatest cure" for this debilitating condition.

Who rescued who? It's hard to tell.

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