Army National Guard veteran Benji came to Black Ops looking for a young dog that had the potential to be a future service dog. As a disabled veteran, Benji has some physical challenges and sometimes struggles with PTSD. A lifelong animal lover, he shares his home with 3 cats and a leopard gecko. And now with Seiri 🙂.
Seiri and her siblings were transferred to our partners at #LongmontHumaneSociety from a rescue in New Mexico. Seiri had one of the worst cases of giardia we had ever seen and Black Ops was very concerned. Luckily, some antibiotics and probiotics resolved the giardia and she was soon ready to go to her veteran. We specifically chose her over her littermates for her confident outgoing nature, motivation to work for treats, and high degree of trainability. As an 8 week old puppy she learned sit in 1 afternoon!
Benji and Seiri have been together for 3 months now and she is growing like a weed. She likes to play at the dog park and with her cat siblings and is just a happy go lucky dog. Benji reports that she has helped him feel more secure and open up more to people as she wants to meet everyone. We are proud to honor Benji's service and excited to see what the future holds for this dynamic duo!
Cheers to our first active-duty adoption! Lieutenant Colonel Daniel and his wife Major Malia reached out to us when they were ready to add a big dog into the family. As well as wanting a companion themselves, their son Robbie is on the spectrum and they believed growing up with a dog would help him blossom. Plus, the dog would need to get along with the 2 family cats and keep bears out of the garage.
It was a bit of a tall order, but Black Ops was up to the challenge. We decided a Great Pyrenees might be the perfect fit--only to have one magically appear at one of our partner shelters Longmont Humane. At 10 months old and 75 lbs, her former owner had realized she was in over her head and surrendered her to the shelter. Because she had been crated much of the time, she had some initial issues with housetraining, but her foster parents got her on track. Thank you, foster parents!
Now named Ojo (Japanese for princess), this big girl is loving life with her new people. She loves all people and dogs that she meets. She enjoys exploring her mountain backyard, trying to play with her cat siblings, and snuggling with Robbie. Daniel and Malia report that walking Ojo has strengthened their bond with each other as well as Ojo.
We are proud to honor Daniel and Malia's service by making this match.
Army veteran CJ came to us after losing her service dog and wanting to fill that dog-shaped hole in her life. Due to her service-related injuries, CJ uses an electric wheelchair. But she doesn't let that stop her! Her chair is basically the wheelchair version of a Jeep and she is having a custom-built RV so that she can travel the country. Her focus is on all the things she can do and she wanted a sidekick for her adventures.
Enter Gertie! Surrendered to Longmont Humane when her owner's cancer returned, this young Doodle was just what CJ was looking for. Non-shedding, the perfect height to walk beside the chair, and with the same adventurous spirit, they are truly a perfect match. We hope that Gertie's former person has some peace in knowing that Gertie is in a loving new home.
We are honored to make this match and wish CJ and Gertie much love and excitement on their journey and journeys together!
Army veteran Richard met us at an VFW event and let us know that he was wanting a new buddy. He had a very specific type in mind: small dog but not "yappy", affectionate, good with other dogs and, most importantly, big pointy ears!
Enter Piper. Piper came to us from our partners at The Good Dog Rescue after he had lost his home in New Mexico. Loving and playful, we knew they would be the right match. Although he was a little shy at first, Richard now reports that Piper loves his yard, sleeps in bed with him, and especially loves going RV camping. And as you can see, he more than satisfied the big pointy ears criteria!
We wish Richard and Piper many happy and adventure-filled years together.
“C’mon Eileen, oh I swear (what he means), at this moment, you mean everything…”
Army medic veteran Matt reached out to Black Ops Rescue a few months after losing his best friend, Lucy. Broken-hearted, he was hoping for a new buddy that would continue in Lucy’s pawsteps–accompanying him on hiking adventures, sleeping in bed with him, and spending lots of time in Colorado’s great outdoors.
At 3 weeks old, Eileen was found in a box on the side of the road with her 2 siblings. A good Samaritan brought her to our partners at Longmont Humane Society where she was fostered until she was old enough to go home to Matt.
At about 6 weeks old, Eileen’s right eye changed to blue–just like Lucy’s eyes had been! We like to think Lucy had a hand in helping us make this match. Like Matt, Eileen is a survivor. We wish them many years and adventures together. “Too-ra-loo-ra, Too-ra-loo-rye-ay…”
After having toy poodles for years, Air Force veteran Joe was ready for a bigger dog. He and his wife Sue had wolf hybrids previously and, while they weren't up for something that big again, Joe wanted a medium-sized dog that was a bit beefier. His hope was for a low-shedding dog that could go fishing with him in the mountains and learn to run alongside his bike. His specific request was for a "scruffy" boy.
Scruffy was transferred to Longmont Humane Society from an overcrowded rescue in New Mexico. His curly coat was matted and allergies had caused him to lick his feet until they were hot pink. Despite his discomfort, Scruffy patiently allowed our groomer to bathe him and shave off his mats giving him a fresh clean look for his fresh start in life.
Thanks to Black Ops Rescue, Joe has the scruffy boy he had been dreaming of and Scruffy is living the high life, even sleeping in bed with his new pet parents. Joe says he "couldn't ask for a better dog" and that he "couldn't be happier with him." We wish Joe and Scruffy many years of happiness and adventures together.
Sadly, Joe passed away in May of 2023. His widow Sue and Scruffy find comfort in each other and honor his memory.
Army veteran Wes came to us looking for a loving companion. A dog that would be a buddy to him and a companion and protector for his wife and 2 young daughters.
Bruno had spent months at Longmont Humane Society. It was baffling that this social, goofy, young dog kept getting passed over. His only issue was a slight occasional limp. When the x-rays came back, everyone was shocked to learn that Bruno's limp came from an old healed injury. He had been shot with a shotgun and still had the pellets in his hip to prove it.
Wes and Bruno were the perfect fit for each other. Since Bruno has to limit his exercise due to his injury, Wes's suburban home was perfect. Longer walks have increased both Bruno and Wes's stamina. The girls are growing up with this sweet, gentle goofball and Wes has a brewery buddy.
Now we know why Bruno kept getting passed over in the shelter. He was waiting for Black Ops Rescue to find him for Wes!
We have been remiss on updating y’all about Buddy, now known as Benny. As you may remember, Benny is the 11 year old pup that needed an echocardiogram. We got good news there—though he has a grade 3 heart murmur, he does not require medication at this time, just a healthy lifestyle. He will need an echocardiogram annually to monitor his condition. We also discovered that Benny is incontinent at night. Luckily he doesn’t mind wearing a diaper since he sleeps in his human’s bed! Sadly, Benny’s veteran adopter began having severe health problems requiring frequent hospitalization. He came to the conclusion that, though he desperately wanted to have a dog in his life again, it wasn’t possible and would be unfair to a dog. We understood and agreed. So, what happened to Benny? Benny had been in foster care with Craig Hildebrand, Black Ops’ Veteran Relations Coordinator and an Army veteran himself. When Craig unexpectedly lost his own 2 beloved dogs in rapid succession to cancer and kidney failure, Benny was there. And now Craig needed Benny as much as Benny needed Craig. So we made it official. Benny is now Craig’s dog and he is home forever.
Cary is an Air Force veteran who proudly served for 14 years. He reached out to Black Ops Rescue looking for a new companion who would share his love of camping and be his road buddy. Enter Sadie Bear! Brought in as a stray to our partners at the Riverdale Animal Shelter, Sadie was nervous and shut down in the shelter environment. She was also matted and full of burrs requiring the not so stylish haircut. We knew she was the girl for Cary and scooped her up. She loves to be with him ALL the time, especially night time cuddles. Cary says Sadie Bear has helped ground him by being a calming influence. He feels less alone with her in his life. And her coat has grown out enough for her to have her first professional groom. Doesn’t she look pretty? Don’t let her fancy looks fool you though! Sadie Bear is always up for the next adventure as long as she and Cary are together!
Shadow is home ❤.
When Shadow's veteran could no longer care for her due to health issues, she came back to Black Ops Rescue. We make a lifetime commitment to each of our clients, whether they have 2 legs or 4 legs. After several weeks in foster care with us, Shadow's new veteran found her on our Facebook page. Reading her story, he realized that by adopting her, he could not only give a dog a loving home but help bring peace of mind to another veteran. The ways veterans show up for each other is both admirable and touching.
When David saw Shadow's post, he knew immediately that she was destined to become part of his family. David is a Vietnam era Navy veteran who was looking for a new buddy. He has had many shelter and rescue dogs over the years and was undeterred by Shadow's shyness. Within a couple of hours of coming home, Shadow was exploring her new digs and even slept in the bed on the first night! Now several weeks in, we are happy to report that Shadow has blossomed under his care into a much more confident pup. David shared, "She took over! Seems like we've had her forever." She enjoys watching the world from her window seat, snuggling with David, and keeping her new yard free of squirrels. She's become a little "ball of fire", zooming around the house and yard and demanding pets with her tiny shovel nose. Her favorite time is breakfast when she gets to share a couple of Cheerios with her new dad. Best of all, she's brought new light and life to her veteran's life, alleviating his low moods with her antics and affection.
It truly does take a village to make these matches. From our supporters who shared Shadow's story on social media, to her foster parents that loved and worked with her during her transition, to our donors who make our mission possible, we are grateful for each and every one of you.
Sadly, David passed away in November of 2021. His widow Lola and Shadow find comfort in each other and honor his memory.
Introducing Tony and Bruce Wade! Tony came to us looking for a dog that would be both a good fit for his young family and could go on to be trained as a service dog. Enter Bruce Wade. In cooperation with Victory Service Dogs, we are happy to announce this match. Bruce's name is an amalgamation of some of Tony's heroes: Batman, Deadpool, and Bruce Lee.
Tony reports that Bruce fit right into the family. As a balanced mix of playful and couch potato, good with and protective of the kids, Bruce helps Tony feel more at ease. The loyalty, unconditional love, and companionship of a dog can greatly assist a veteran in many ways. Bruce helps relieve anxious feelings and facilitates more peace and calm in his veteran's life.
As Tony and Bruce begin their service dog training, we are happy and excited to see where their journey takes them!
Josh is a former Tennessee National Guardsman that came to us looking for a companion that would be a good fit for his young family and help him feel more comfortable in public. He was wanting a pup that would get along well with his 3 year old twins and be a loyal and protective family member.
Gimli came to us via our partners at Longmont Humane Society after having been rescued out of New Mexico. Only about a year old, Gimli was most likely hit by a car at some point as he has a healed leg and pelvic fracture that have led to some muscle atrophy in his back leg.
When Josh and Gimli met, it was love at first site as you can see from the photo! Josh reports that Gimli is adjusting very well and bonding nicely with the entire family. He also seems to love having a soft bed to sleep in. Josh says, "I wish I had the words to explain how happy it makes me that there are decent human beings left in the world, and that I can help him get his strength back and bond with him!"
Maggie was originally placed with Dan, a Navy veteran. Sadly, Dan died of cancer in May of 2020 and Maggie came back to us. Dan’s last request was to find Maggie a loving new home. One of our fosters, Ken, a Navy veteran himself, was moved by Dan and Maggie’s story and offered to foster her until we found her new veteran.
Maggie is one of those difficult to place dogs. On the surface, you see a strong, determined, black pitbull mix that needs to be an only pet. Originally pulled from an under-resourced local shelter, she was at high risk of being euthanized. Dan’s love and our mission to rescue dogs, even “difficult” dogs, are what saved her life.
While fostering, Ken and his wife ended up falling for Maggie. How could they not?! Maggie is the funniest, most people friendly, and sassiest pup ever! She loves to cuddle on the couch and watch TV, really watching and vocalizing excitedly whenever an animal appears onscreen. Ken says she likes watching football too. And since Ken and his wife both work from home, she gets to be with her people all the time. Now nicknamed "Magpie" and "the Velvet Hippo", Maggie will be loved and spoiled for the rest of her days. You can rest easy, Dan; Maggie is home.
Bo wanted a smaller pup that could be a hiking buddy and wouldn’t intimidate the family cats. He also wanted his young son to grow up with a pup. Through our partnership with The Good Dog Rescue, we found Tango, a 3 month old puppy and the perfect fit for Bo’s needs.
Tango’s pregnant mother was pulled by The Good Dog Rescue from an under-resourced shelter in Roswell, NM. She gave birth to her pups here in Colorado so Tango is officially a native. He is growing up exploring our beautiful Colorado mountains with his family. Tango even gets to go to work with Bo every day so they are always together.
Tango has turned out to be quite the love bug. Bo tells us that he and one of the family cats are “basically married”. Their son calls Tango his “little brother”. And Bo’s wife, Rena, describes Bo’s relationship with Tango as “a love affair”. They can’t imagine life without him!
Wesley is an Army veteran, Infantry and Airborne. He and his wife have a very active lifestyle and wanted an adventurous dog that could keep up with them. Enter Wolfie! From Adams County Animal Shelter (now Riverdale Animal Shelter), Wolfie was an unclaimed stray. Our best guess is that he is a Husky/Kelpie mix, hence his athleticism and smarts. His timing is pretty good too, just in time for the 2019 Christmas holiday.
Wolfie’s willingness to learn and try new experiences has proved a good match for Wesley and his wife. From adjusting to apartment life, to learning commands for hug, sit, and heel, to running alongside Wesley on his bike, Wolfie continues to show how much he wants to understand and please his humans. He even went on his first camping trip. But learning is a 2 way street with this smart boy! When he wants to play, he mouths Wesley’s hand until he picks up a toy and when he wants to go for a run he nips at his heels.
Wolfie also has a “Velcro dog” side and can be very affectionate, especially with Wesley’s wife. He acted as her snuggle buddy when Wesley had tours of duty, firmly attached to her hip.
Wolfie’s devotion and companionship have truly enriched Wesley’s life. And Wolfie, a former stray, now has his forever family.
Air Force veteran, Melissa was already fostering Nala when she reached out to us for help finalizing her adoption. Nala is a Galgo, a hunting dog breed related to greyhounds that are often abused and neglected in their native Spain. Thanks to our partnership with Daphne Legacy Tour, this beautiful girl is now safe in her forever home and living the good life. She has a dog sibling, Duke, and 2 cat siblings that she gets along with very well.
Melissa shares that Nala has brought a whole new level of goofiness to her household, describing her as a giant cat in a dog body. She spins and smiles when she’s excited and has recently discovered the joys of belly rubs, which she demands by “roaching”.
Nala has been a calming force in Melissa’s life. She can’t wait to get home from work to hang out with her. “She makes my life better. Whatever happened in the world is better when I get home to her.”
Harry is a Vietnam era veteran of the Navy where he was a tractor driver positioning warplanes on an aircraft carrier. Due to a TBI that affects his memory, Harry lives in an assisted living home and has a wonderful caregiver, Monique. His perfect match was George, an Oklahoma stray who found his way to Denver thanks to the Dumb Friends League and then to us. Now Harry has a buddy to keep him company and George has a loving home. We think they like each other.
When we did our 3 month check in with them, we asked, "Is there anything we can do for you and George?" Harry replied, "Just find more dogs for vets. You make people happy!" Thanks, Harry. You and George make us happy.
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