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 10: The Army Reservist: “My God, no one is going to adopt her.”
Jonathan Hedrick was visiting the Humane Society website, which had a real-time, up-to-date list of all the pets available for adoption. “I started looking at the cats to see what was there,” said Jonathan. “The very first one I saw was a picture of a cat named Tessa, who was living at the shelter the longest. She had a unique thumbnail photo that was silly but cute. Each photo came with a first-person description of the cat in their own words. Hers read: ‘I am an older girl but I have lots of love to give.’ I learned that she was a senior cat and was surrendered by her owners because they couldn’t take care of her health issues. I thought to myself, ‘My God, no one is going to adopt her. Everyone wants kittens and puppies only.’” …
Jonathan would soon discover that when Tessa was dropped off by her owners, she stopped eating and cleaning herself. Luckily, the staff came up with the perfect intervention. They moved her into their office, where she would watch them answer phones and do paperwork. They made room for her despite her difficulties. After about three weeks, Jonathan officially adopted Tessa, and the shelter told him that he was the first person ever to adopt a cat through the Pets for Patriots program! … “When I came to pick Tessa up, the girl behind the counter looked shocked! She said, ‘Someone is finally going to take Tessa.’ Tessa made an impression with everyone,” said Jonathan. “One girl even cried.”
Jonathan brought a carrier to take Tessa to her new home and inside had a collection of toys. When he opened the door of the carrier and let her out, she sniffed everything, looking all around the house and checking things out. “In about an hour Tessa was sitting on my lap,” said Jonathan. “Later that night she hopped in bed with me and laid on my chest, and she has been there ever since.”
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