View Products |  Sign In

Gift For A Veteran

May 27, 2020

Celeste, a service dog, came into a perilous situation when her owner died and suddenly she had no one to care for her and nowhere to go.

She was on the verge of being put down when, as fate had it, Martin Vallance, a veteran who served in the Desert Storm operation of 1991, was connected to Celeste via social media and was chosen to adopt her.

In a post made by the Hawkins police department, the page announced:

“Celeste (the dog) was a loyal therapy dog for many years and her owner passed away. The family members of the owner were not able to keep Celeste and she was going to have to be put down. Y’all know we can’t stand for that but with this page we were able to get in contact with Mr. Vallance, a disabled veteran that needed a therapy dog. Now Mr. Vallance has a new companion and Celeste has a new fur-ever home. We might have a little extra dog hair around the PD and will probably have jealous dogs when we get home but together we can make Hawkins a great place.”

According to Vallance, the chief of Hawkins started an animal rescue shelter, and had posted about Celeste on the Hawkins Texas Animal Shelter Facebook page. Vallance saw the post and knew he needed Celeste in his life.

“I saw the post and told him I was a disabled vet with PTSD and I would like to have the dog,” Vallance said. “He called me back and asked me a few questions to make sure he was going to a good home. A lot of my friends from church were telling him, ‘Martin needs a therapy dog,’ so that’s why he made the decision. A lot of people had seen the post and wanted her.”

During Vallance’s service, he survived a missile explosion that killed many of his friends and fellow soldiers. The experience brought upon PTSD, and since the COVID-19 pandemic has struck, his state had worsened, he explained.

“The biggest thing that happened to me is a gun missile hit a building and killed 28 of my friends. I was one that survived, I was outside and they were inside. My friends know I struggle with it. Celeste is a blessing.”

Vallance explained that if he has a nightmare, Celeste can wake him up and comfort him.

“Just having her around for less than 24 hours, we made an instant connection. Everywhere I go she goes and that’s a comfort. It was a God thing. I was at the point I needed to do something. I do therapy twice a week and this pandemic does not help at all. I saved her and she saved me.”

He went on to share that Celeste is very easy to love, and very in tune with his emotions. When he is feeling down, she can sense it and will go to him with a gesture of affection.

”She’s lovable,” he said. “She will come and just put her face in my lap — dogs can tell emotions and stuff like that and she’s real good at that.”

After receiving the opportunity to adopt Celeste, Vallance expressed his gratitude for the Hawkins Police Department, his wife, his friends and his church community who he said have been a great support system.

“I’m grateful to the police department and my friends who helped me get Celeste,” said Vallance. “I’ve also been going to Summit Heights Fellowship for 14 years, the men’s ministry is really here to help people. I wouldn’t be here without the church and my wife.”

Register Your Dog

  • Recent News

    Service Dogs Heal

    July 13, 2020

    Chronic conditions and disabilities can be challenging. People who have a mental/physical disability or a chronic condition that results in functional impairment or limitations to their daily activities and social participation may need assistance with a variety of daily tasks. One way such assistance might be provided is through the use of service dogs. Service […]

    Read more

    Charger's New Service Dog

    July 13, 2020

      The Chargers aren’t scheduled to start training camp until later this month, but the newest member of the team was an early report to Costa Mesa last week. In partnership with Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, the Chargers have teamed up with Canine Companions for Independence to follow a puppy on its journey to […]

    Read more

    Heroic Police Dogs

    July 13, 2020

    From finding missing people and criminals to sniffing out drugs, cash, firearms and explosives, the canines play a valuable role for the force. Police dog handler PC Carrie-Ann McNab started a fundraiser to ensure the Scottish police dogs of the past, present and future receive a well-deserved tribute. Not only would the memorial provide a place […]

    Read more

    Working Dogs

    July 13, 2020

    The Marine Corps is undertaking a force-wide restructuring to ensure it has the right composition to take on future conflicts. And its military working dog community, used for everything from patrols and bomb detection to security for high-profile officials, is no exception. The Marine Corps Military Working Dog Program is undergoing a large-scale review that aims […]

    Read more

    Bailey The Service Dog

    July 13, 2020

    Yard sale today will raise funds for service dog for 11-year-old girl Mark and Olwyn Wismer need $25,000 for a dog. Crazy, you say? Hardly. This service dog will have a dramatic impact on their special-needs daughter, Evie. It will change the 11-year-old’s life for the better. “People have no idea how much chronic pain […]

    Read more

    New Obstacles For Service Dogs

    July 13, 2020

    While browsing through a Facebook group for guide, mobility and service dog recipients, a post by one of the members jumped out at me. “Did you dare to go out with your dog?” it asked. “Are you able to go out of your home?” Since the early days of the COVID-19 crisis in March, many […]

    Read more

    What Service Dogs Offer

    July 13, 2020

    Visa, a custom-trained assistance dog, helps Liam Clark, 10, navigate life. Looking around the post-golfing gathering at Park Hills Country Club, Liam’s mother, Tammy Clark of New Enterprise, said, “Liam would never have been able to come to this before Visa. She’s made a huge difference in his life.” Diagnosed with severe childhood anxiety three years […]

    Read more

    K-9 Spartan

    July 13, 2020

    You may recall the story on Marshall County Sheriff Deputy Nate Klempa’s K-9 Spartan. Spartan was battling stage 4 cancer and unfortunately has passed away. Which is why the Benwood Fire Department held a flag-raising memorial Saturday to honor their friend Nate, and to pay a tribute to this special dog. God tells you to […]

    Read more