Have you ever met someone and felt an instant connection? Almost as if you had been friends all of your life even though you had never crossed paths until that very moment.
Pets for Vets creates that same feeling of immediate recognition and comfort between Veterans and their A.C.E. trained pets through a unique philosophy called the Super Bond®.
The Super Bond that inspired Pets for Vets:
Think of the billions of people on earth, each with his/her own personality, quirks, hopes, dreams and desires. No two are exactly alike. The same goes for our animals. Consequently, it doesn’t make much sense to put two complete strangers together and assume it’s going to work out.
That’s why Pets for Vets avoids a “one size fits all” program. Instead of choosing the first dog we see in the shelter, we work to match the right person to the right pet. We take the time to get to know the Veteran; then we do the same with the animal. This thoughtful, deliberate approach is what creates the Super Bond® – that intense, immediate connection so important to a successful, lasting relationship between the Veteran and his/her A.C.E trained animal.
When a Veteran and his or her animal are compatible, the results are nothing short of incredible. Because of the Super Bond® Pets for Vets helps create, the animal is immediately able to offer the comfort and companionship necessary to ease psychological trauma, mitigate loneliness and provide a sense of purpose. The connection is so strong that we have even witnessed animals instinctively performing behaviors they had not been trained to do – such as waking their Veterans from nightmares.
In the service, you always have someone next to you who looks out for you and watches your back—someone you look out for in return. Because of the Super Bond® that exists between them, our Veterans and their pets do the same for each other.
“Rakkasan thinks what I am thinking, sees what I am seeing, and feels what I am feeling and I, him. We are one heartbeat, one breath, we share our senses. He is not my dog, I am not his owner, he is an extension of me. Our bond is deep, when I move, he moves. It’s almost like a telepathic communication. I know what he needs, he senses what I need. Our spirits and souls are bonded. We just know we are supposed to be by each other’s side. That is where we belong. That is our purpose. Our bond is that we live life together, we are one package. People know us as “Adam and Rakkasan,” we are one person.”
Pets for Vets has made more than 500 successful matches all over the country using the Super Bond® approach. Specifically tailored to each individual, this step-by-step process creates the best possible match and ensures the animal and Veteran fit seamlessly into each other’s lives from the very start.
By spending time talking with the Veteran, we learn about his or her personality, needs, wants, expectations and lifestyle. This input helps guide us toward the right animal for his/her situation.
After we interview the Veteran, we begin “interviewing” animals. Think of it like a matchmaking service; the pet’s side of the match is just as important as the human’s. Using our specifically designed Pets for Vets A.C.E Selection Protocol, we “ask” the pet about himself and his needs. His answers are used to build a temperament composite that we compare to the Veteran’s. If it’s not a match, we keep looking. If it is, we begin the next step.
If the matched animal is a dog, he or she is trained for his or her specific Veteran using a positive reinforcement training philosophy. Developed by Pets for Vets founder Clarissa Black, this approach encourages the human and the animal to work together in a mutually beneficial way based on trust and respect instead of force. This philosophy is also taught to each Veteran in preparation for his or her new companion.
Finally, the day arrives to bring the Veteran and the pet together. Because of the careful work preparing them both for this day, they already seem to “know” each other. The moment is typically calm, comforting and reminiscent of two old friends meeting each other again.
"You would think that a dog is just a dog. That may be true for some, but not me.I used to sit at home, alone, and just let life pass me by, but now I have a reason to get up. Even if it’s feeding Samson, or taking him for walks, he has motivated me to live again."
"He’s more than just a friend. He’s my battle buddy. He’s my left hand. We’re connected by a leash, but it’s really our umbilical cord. He’s sometimes more tuned into me than I’m tuned into me. He knows more about me than I do sometimes. He lets me know what’s going on."