Sometimes it’s the smaller, seemingly insignificant things, for some reason, there are these fleeting moments that pass you by that won’t give you a second thought because, well, why? It’s only seconds of your life.
But for Ian, a member of the military stationed at an air force base in Ohio, the moment meant receiving a business card from a man he met a few minutes earlier. Card gave the name of the Mid-West Coordinator for Dogs on Deployment (DoD), a life-changing organization that provides its people with volunteers and resources to ensure that no human is forced to turn in their dog due to service obligations.
Pets should never be turned over to a shelter because of a military obligation. The Department of Defense exists to help military personnel keep their pets by alleviating the need to give away pets from members of the military due to deployment difficulties.
They provide long-term boarding with auxiliary volunteers across the country, help with emergency costs should anything happen in the absence of humans, and constantly advocate for the rights of those owners to keep their pets on military facilities. It’s a huge, amazing effort that keeps beloved dogs out of shelters and gives members of the military peace of mind.
Ian Dog II entered his life over a year ago when another military couple couldn’t keep her due to an impending deployment. He met her in a park near the Air Force base and never looked back – they were hooked. Soon after, Ian received a permanent change station from Ohio to Germany, and was unaware of the quarantine procedures for Eevee to proceed with him until it was too late for him to do so with the help of the military.
He was at a loss for what he had done and was tormented by the thought of giving in to Evie for the second time in her life.
The quarantine process tends to be different in each country. The goal is to ensure that the animal that enters the country does not suffer from diseases that would be eradicated in that country. For example, rabies is something that a lot of countries don’t have and therefore don’t receive the vaccine against it. Most operations range from 30 days to 6 months, and some allow the animal to remain in the country of origin, while others keep the dog in quarantine in the destination country.
In addition to the intensive procedures, she adds, the exorbitant cost of flying animals to other countries varies greatly depending on the state of origin, the country they are going to, and the size and type of animal.
When Ian realized how quickly the costs were accumulating (over $2,000), he knew it was going to be an expensive and difficult process. The Department of Defense was able to handle everything with generous grants and donated funds from many branches of the organization. knight says:
Eevee flew under the designation “Commercial Transport” because Ian had already gone overseas. This means there is only a 48-hour window to get extensive paperwork filled out by a USDA-certified vet, have the paperwork approved by the USDA office, and to see Evie safely on the plane. Thanks to Dr. Stix Clinic of Oak View Hospital, this process went smoothly. And she went out of her way to make sure the paperwork was handled correctly and to make sure all the questions and concerns she had as a temporary caregiver for Eevee were answered.
When we hear these stories, it’s hard not to wonder why it’s so difficult for military personnel and their pets to keep, especially since this animal may be the only one in the family who offers a kind of comfort and support like no other.
Before he met Ian Ivey, he was struggling with the stress level involved with his job. His sacrifices for our country had such an impact that he was finding it even more difficult to recover from. And once Evie entered his life, Ian found it easier to deal with the demands that were placed on him.
I think we all know how big dogs make us feel, and this sweet girl is no exception. ian says:
Ever since I got an Eevee in my life, it has really helped me sleep. It wakes me up from nightmares if and when I find it and provides the relief I need. Not to mention her silly smile and personality whenever I was down. She has been there for over a year now and she means the world to me.
“I loved Evie’s presence during the short time we were together,” says Lara. “I got along well with my dog, Elsa, and it was so gratifying to know that I helped a member of the military sacrifice even less. Being able to ride Eevee so she can be with her ‘forever family’ is something I’m proud of.”
To make a donation to the dogs when posted and help keep families like Ian and Eevee together, please visit our donation page.
Featured image via Lara Knight