On September 26, Skyhorse will publish Vets and Pets by Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris. The book shares fifteen stories of American wounded warriors, veterans, and other service members and their service and companion animals, along with the nonprofits that make those unions possible.
Whether it’s Apollo the Doberman helping Tyler adjust to civilian life as a double-amputee, Vietnam vet Patrick finding relief from PTSD through birds of prey, Mandi healing with the help of potbelly pigs, or any of the other remarkable relationships in Vets and Pets, we’re happy to team with Dava and Kevin to spotlight some unity and hope in an increasingly divisive world.
We’re excited to give you a sneak peek by featuring some excerpts from the text, which we’ll do regularly until the pub date. You can check out Vets and Pets here.
From Chapter 12: The Air Force Veteran and Veterinarian: “Our house is a pet menagerie”
At the time Shawn learned about Crixus, a puppy shot on the streets of Detroit and left for dead, she was dealing with her own bout with cancer, not to mention suffering from a kick in the face by a cow she was treating. Her level of patience was razor thin. Still, the urge to adopt Crixus was overwhelming. “I was just devastated by Crixus’ situation and all animal cruelty in general. I wanted him to have a happy ending,” Shawn said.
Shawn is still angry about what happened to Crixus. “His remaining rear leg is not fully functional and he can’t stand up straight. Mostly he scoots around like a seal,” Shawn said. “But being a half pit bull and half German shepherd, Crixus has a will of steel. Nothing stops him from guarding the horses, playing with one of our other dogs, Teeny, and turning into a lion when he wants to show off his tough side. I’ve been able to help him recover, cope with his anxieties, and live a happy and normal life. He really has no idea whatsoever that he has a disability.”
Shawn believes that Crixus is her savior and an angel, and she is grateful to Pets for Patriots for helping her with many of Crixus’ expenses. “God sent him to me when I needed him the most. He even has a cross on his chest that you can see in a certain light,” she said. “It is truly amazing to me how much Crixus calms me down. When I am upset, I hold Crixus in my arms, and my blood pressure literally goes down. We fall asleep always touching each other, and I rush home from work as fast as possible to make sure Crixus is the first to get kisses. The analogy I would give about the love between us is that, before I had a baby I felt all alone, but when Jessi was born no one else mattered. I had her. Crixus helped me avoid a mental breakdown while I was recovering from cancer treatment. We were there for each other. No one else mattered. Crixus is nothing but pure love and will never know anything but love.”
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