Brett discovered his love for dogs as a US Marine serving in Iraq: “I worked a lot with Canine Handlers. I got really used to working with dogs.” Brett is no longer in the military, but his love for dogs followed him to civilian life – he and his fiancé, Ashley, talked about getting a dog for a while. These talks led them to Pet Alliance’s Sanford location this past December, just to look around – or so they thought.
Brett, Ashley, and their daughter Carmella came to Pet Alliance the very same day a sweet boy named Archer arrived. He had been in his cage for 15 minutes before they walked by and knew they had to meet him.
“They have that cool area where you can meet the dog and run around and play. So we took him out there and he was great. He didn’t go anywhere – he stayed right with me. He was just awesome from the very beginning.” Archer also got along great with 5-year-old Carmella – Brett described it as a “Calvin and Hobbs” type of friendship. Brett and Ashley knew Archer was the dog for them, and that same day, he was in their car en route to his forever home.
Archer, now known as Rhaegar, has been with Brett, Ashley, and Carmella for a little over two months – he’s the perfect addition to their family. “He’s my companion, and he’s bonded with the kiddo too,” Brett says. Rhaegar loves going for walks in the woods and following Carmella around the back yard, serving as her paleontology assistant. While Rhaegar loves the outdoors, he’s always up for a family snuggle, too.
Rhaegar has helped his new family in another important way, too; as an Iraq veteran, Brett has struggled with PTSD off and on since leaving the military. Having Rhaegar by his side has been a tremendously healing experience for him: “He makes me feel safe at home. He has my back. He’s down for the adventure.”
Rhaegar has truly found his forever family, and just as importantly, his forever family has found him.