How a Dog Changed a Marine Corps Veteran's Life: 'She Makes Me Feel at Peace'


September is Service Dog Awareness Month, but Marine Corps Veteran Michael Oulavong is thankful every day of every month his for service dog Zoe — and what she does for him.

Oulavong joined the military in 2009 and was eventually deployed to a combat zone in Iraq. Once Oulavong transitioned out of the Marine Corps, he started to feel purposeless and anxious.

He got the idea to look into getting a service dog after meeting another veteran who spoke highly of their service dog, and the ways the canine helped and healed them.

Oulavong joined Animal Rescue Foundation‘s Pets and Vets program, which is supported by Purina.

“As soon as I got into this program with Zoe, all those worries went away because I was more worried about her,” the veteran tells PeopleTV. “She just makes me feel at peace.”

Watch the newest episode of Paws & Claws on PeopleTV.  Go to, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.

Not only did the program introduce Oulavong to Zoe, but Pets and Vets also provided Oulavong with pet supplies and the promise to pay for Zoe’s food for her entire life.

To learn more about Zoe, who was a rescue dog saved and trained by the program, and Oulavong, watch their sweet story in the video above.

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