Football was a very important part of Paul and his good friend Len's lives while growing up in Lakewood, CA. They joined the ROTC in high school, not a popular thing to do in 1972 as the country was still recovering from Vietnam. Other kids made fun of them when they wore their uniforms to school, but Paul defended "living in a free country", he joined the Army after graduation.
Paul spent 8 years in the Army, living all over the world, his time spent playing football in high school helped him with the mental toughness to survive. Although he had hoped to make the Army his career, he ended up in Long Beach working for a furniture store.
Life doesn't always turn out as planned, after a broken marriage and series of odd jobs Paul ended up living on the streets. Dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his years of serving, Paul was having problems coping with life. He eventually moved in with his sister and reconnected with his friend Len who was living in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Len encouraged his friend to come to Utah. While at a Farmers Market they came across an information booth for Canines With a Cause. Volunteers explained how the shelter dogs in the program helped veterans cope with PTSD and enriched their lives. Paul missed having a dog in his life and eventually enrolled in the program and met Shannon Ciccarelli, the Dog Behavior and Placement manager at a local shelter to meet dogs.
They met several dogs and none of them seem to connect until Shannon brought out Lady. She jumped into Paul's arms, it was a match made in heaven. Paul brought Lady home, happier than he had been in years. Sadly, what seemed to be kennel cough turned into pneumonia. Lady ended up in an emergency clinic fighting for her life.
Lady was a strong girl with a purpose, Paul and Len did not give up hope this girl would come home. Thanks to the wonderful team at the clinic and support from those who loved her, Lady survived and is working her magic with Paul. "Lady has given me back my friend and given Paul back his life" says Len.
Your generous ongoing support allows Canines With a Cause to help in situations like Lady's. The veterinary bills were over $1900, difficult for a veteran on disability to pay. Thanks to you, Paul's faith in mankind has been restored and a dog's life has been saved, another "happy ever after".
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