Veterinary Specialty Hospital (VSH) San Diego is honored to support our 2- and 4-legged service members any way we can. Besides offering active military and service dog discounts, being an ongoing sponsor of the Navy Woof Walk, and providing treats and toys at the international Wounded Warrior games held earlier this year at Camp Pendleton, VSH staff member Kelly had a very special experience while volunteering at the USO of San Diego. Here is her story.
“I met Nick & Lion and Jake & Anouska on my shift at the USO volunteering on a Sunday morning. I walked out to the patio and saw them sleeping on the patio furniture. A little later, when they woke up, I went to say hi. They had stayed on the patio overnight, having returned from the only training school for IED military working dogs in Yuma. They were headed out that afternoon. Their hands were quite full with a large kennel, their bags and the dogs – traveling is an adventure. Nick and Jake are in the US Army, in their early 20’s and stationed in Germany. You could tell they really love dogs. I started talking with them and playing ball with the dogs when they mentioned they were going to Afghanistan for a year. This will be their first time over there. Lion is four years old and this will be his fourth tour to Afghanistan. I truly felt for them, and asked for their contact information while overseas. I had already sent over some dog cooling mats and snacks for them to enjoy. They are doing a dangerous job in a hostile area and you can tell from the pictures these dogs are loved. They protect our service members from harm and my heart will always have a place for them.”
Kelly then set up collection bins in the lobby of both our Sorrento Valley and North County hospitals. There was an outpouring of support from VSH staff, clients and even neighboring businesses. With so many generous donations, other working dogs and their handlers were able to receive supplies. Happily, everyone returned home safely and VSH was honored to help Kelly with such a worthwhile project.