Lima — Emerging Hero

Charity Partner: Pets for Patriots
Location: Middle River, Maryland

I am a Marine Corps veteran who was looking for a therapy or companion dog. One day when I was not feeling great – I was stressed about school and was missing friends from deployment – my girlfriend suggested we visit dogs at the shelter. When we asked to meet Lima she was quiet and tried to eat a bee while we attempted to play with her (haha!). She was found on the street, had spent months in the shelter, and we knew we wanted to adopt her. Two days later we took her home.

Not soon after taking her home we realized Lima had a few emotional problems of her own from suspected past abuse – she was terrified to be alone, became defensive with other dogs, and definitely didn’t like when anyone raised their voice (even jokingly). We got Lima help and she’s doing better now, but whats more is she served as role model for myself and others who I’ve told her story to, and sought help for issues of our own.

The center this story though is how kind, caring, in-tune with her owners’ emotions, and loyal Lima is (despite her anxiety and emotional past). Somehow she senses when you are sad or stressed and hops up to you, gives you “doggy hugs” and licks your face. She LOVES her toys (she has about 50) and will happily bring you one when you look sad. We joke that she can read and understands your thoughts and she’s a “mental health advocate”! Goes to show that whether animal, veteran, or civilian – emotional illnesses do not define who a person is and help/support is out there.