When 89-year-old veteran Carl and his wife Suzanne lost their beloved dog Enga to cancer, they decided to give another dog a home – But not just any dog. Carl, who served in the Air Force from 1965 to 1974, wanted to adopt a pup in need of a little extra love and care.
At the recommendation of a friend, the couple looked into Pets for Patriots, an organization with the vision to “end animal homelessness in the United States while giving military vets and their families the greatest ‘thank you’ of all: the extraordinary love of a companion pet.”
Carl learned about Belle, a young German Shepherd born with severe deformities in both of her hind legs. Her left leg was missing toes and her right leg was missing its lower half. This meant that Belle had to wear a prosthetic leg and special socks for stability. Monroe County Friends of Animals in Madisonville, Tennessee was caring for Belle at the time.
The 600 miles between the shelter and Carl’s home didn’t phase him. He and his wife started a road trip with their hearts set on Belle.
Carl told The Wet Nose Blog that the long trip was definitely worth it when he met Belle.
Belle was very shy around people, especially men. So I sat at the picnic table, thinking I would give her space, and when she came out she came right up to me and greeted me. Well, that was just the icing on the cake.
Carl and Suzanne traveled the 600 miles back to Florida with a very special, fluffy copilot who stole their hearts – making their trek to bring home their new family member a whopping 1200 miles.
Suzanne says Belle is a pawfect fit for their family.
She brings joy and comfort to Carl on a daily basis. Belle does not break the rules at our house, she simply changes the rules to fit her needs and desires – it’s the Belle way!
Not only did Belle hit the jackpot with Carl and Suzanne, she also has some four-legged siblings — a dog and senior cat. She enjoys meeting even more friends at the dog park. Belle has come light years from the dog who cowered in the corner of her kennel.
Carl says he’s blessed to have his dear Belle, and we think Belle is pretty blessed too. You might even say she’s the “Belle of the ball.”
Feature image and h/t Pets for Patriots