Veteran’s Best Friend

Veteran's Best Friend

Jacob and Kaizer


I received a story from a Navy veteran, Jacob. His original words are beautiful and need no editing. Too often people allow misconceptions to drive their opinions. Some think of soldiers and the military as robotic and cold, ignorant to the compassionate humans that make up the corps. Some think of animals as being messy or dirty and fail to think of the power they have to uplift the human spirit. The story of how Kaizer, the bulldog, saved his dad, the veteran, is a great reminder of the healing power of animals and just how many challenges are faced by our men in women in the armed forces.


This is Jacob’s story:

I wish I knew where to start.  Since I’ve been home, back here in the States, that’s been the summary of my story, “I wish I knew where to start.” You see, when you’re in, you’re told how to start.  When, where, how, it all.

But here, no mas.

I used to hate dogs.  I used to think that they were dirty, dumb animals. But then my brother-in-law gave my wife and I Kaiser as a wedding gift.  Kaiser is a full bred American Bulldog.  When I first heard about this, I thought I was getting a squat legged snorting goofball.  I was further from the truth.

The first time I laid eyes on Kaiser he was no bigger than my forearm and had barely opened his eyes.  He curled up in the crook of my arm and sniffles once, then quickly fell asleep.  My life changed in that moment. Kaizer

For the first time I wanted to be gentle.  I wasn’t gentle because it
was what was expected of me.  I was gentle because I loved this tiny
creature more than I could ever explain.  He meant something to me.  I
lifted him up and put him back with his mama in her pen and didn’t see
him again for a few weeks.

Since then, we have been inseparable.  He’s no longer the size of my
forearm, but a hundred pounds and up to my hip at his head.  When I take
a nap, he crawls into bed and sleeps wedged up against me.  When I come home, he’s at the door wiggling like a worm to greet me.

I am whole and human again because of him.  I feel like I can give love freely.  I think about life without him and I hurt deep inside. Kaizer is a part of me.

I am guilty of getting kisses from him before my wife when I leave and return.  He knows when I’m hurting and when I’m happy and he takes charge of those feelings like they are his responsibility.  He protects the deepest parts of me that only he knows about, because he understands.  I can never love him as much as he deserves, but I try. What can I say, I’m only human, and he is a dog.  So he forgives me and loves me enough to make it up.

Meet The Blogger

Tatiana’s Tails

Tatiana grew up with dogs, cats, hamsters, parrots, rabbits, guinea pigs, and an iguana… just to name a few pets. She began her professional career with animals in 1995 at Brookfield Zoo. Tatiana has studied wild dolphins in Australia and rescued wildlife in Florida, but she always says that people are truly at the heart of her work. The welfare of people and animals is connected through a shared environment and the same traits of empathy and compassion that make someone a good pet owner also simply make people better neighbors and citizens. If it walks, hops, or slithers, Tatiana cares about it. She currently oversees the Humane Education programs at The Anti-Cruelty Society, hosts “Chicago Tails” on, and is a  Guest Blogger for Tails Inc.


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