Derrick + Dottie

Rescue Dog Provides Needed Relief and Companionship for former US Airman.

Derrick + Dottie

I have served in the United States Air Force as a military policeman and investigator for 6 years. During this time, I was deployed 3 times, all to combat zones, and experienced situations during those deployments which wouldn’t let me sleep at night. In fact, it’s been the better part of 5 years since I’ve slept in a bed—I usually make a cot on the floor next to the front door, armed ready on a moment’s notice.

For the last seven years, I have met with a few different mental health professionals and have tried a slew of different medications to help relieve and reduce my stress level, all in hopes that I am able to get some rest. Nothing has provided relief for longer than a month, until I rescued my Dottie.

"Saying we bonded instantly wouldn't give our relationship true credit. From our very first night together I could tell she was going to be in her “furever" home. "

Dottie is a pitbull/boxer/lab mix with a troubled history. Marred with early breeding, dog fighting and being left on her own for days at a time, she became aggressive to other animals, people and even inanimate objects. She was picked up by Pound Pets Inc. and fostered to a new friend of the family named Nicole.

Dottie spent 10 months in a foster home with Nicole and during this time, her true colors came back to light. Nicole did such an amazing job with my Dottie that during our first “meet and greet”, Dottie was ready to come home with me.

Saying we bonded instantly wouldn’t give our relationship true credit. From our very first night together I could tell she was going to be in her “furever” home.

After patrolling the halls and getting all her sniffs in, Dottie immediately took a nap. She didn’t cry for her foster mom, nor did she act out in any fashion—Dottie was home and she knew it.

While making my cot out for the night, Dottie was very puzzled until I put the blankets down and invited her over. She slept next to me that night and woke me up in the middle of yet another night terror. She was panting and laying on my chest, worried something was wrong with her new dad. I awoke breathless, sore as usual, but comforted by my new companion.

This was our routine every night for two weeks and then suddenly, I went through the entire night straight without waking. After a full month of no symptoms, I have now moved back to my bed.

Dottie now sleeps in bed with my fiancé and me every night. She doesn’t like sharing the covers, but she makes a great pillow. I love my rescue and believe she makes the world of difference in my life and any one she comes in contact with.

Dottie hugEach year, the Petco Love invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Derrick Kohlenberger won Pound Pets, Inc. in Granite City, Illinois a 2015 Holiday Wishes award.