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Petsmart teams up with Canine Companions to help Veterans

Petsmart is partnering with a nonprofit group to pair disabled Veterans with service dogs, at no cost to Veterans.

These types of videos show a loving dog, a proud serviceman, a tear-jerking welcome home from man's best friend.
    There's no hiding that they are important to the dogs.

More and more Veterans coming home with "war wounds" are coming to think of dogs as their lifelines.

Service dogs in training work hard for the benefit of those fighting to live a more normal life.

The nonprofit group Canine Companions for Independence, trains thousands of service dogs nationwide to help with a wide range of tasks, from turning on lights, to shutting doors, to simply lifting the mood.

Calvin Smith spent a decade in the Marine Corps including two tours in Iraq. After surviving both a Humvee crash and an I.E.D explosion, Smith returned to California with injuries to his brain, back and legs.
For five years, his black Lab Chesney has helped him with balance and small tasks, giving peace of mind to Smith and his entire family.

This week Petsmart announced that it is teaming up with Canine Companions to launch Petsmart for patriots, a nationwide effort to provide companions like these to Veterans in need, free of charge.

One of Petsmart's top Executives, Bruce Thorn, is also a combat Veteran.

"We all go in when we're 18 and made to think we can do it on our own it's tough to ask for help, we got to take care of our own. It's not normal for service men and women today to think they need help..really humble.it's okay to ask for help."

Like many of his fellow service members, Calvin wanted to help others first, insisting his own injuries were too minor to warrant canine assistance.
    "I was pushign back like no, I'm good, you sould give hime to somebody else, I'm not that injured."

But accepting Chesney has enabled him to be more independent.

"Before I was always having to depend on people. I didn't like to say it or like, feeling it but when I got him it was like having your life back kind of.   He's been a huge part of me in the recovery processnot only physical but mental. He's definitely the meaning of man's best friend."

As Petsmart for patriots launches nationwide Bruce and Calvin are hopeful that more Veterans will experience the kind of friendship offered by Chesney.