Blind and deaf dog, after 200 days in a shelter, finds a loving home with a combat veteran.

In a heartwarming tale of resilience and compassion, a blind and deaf dog named Ernie finds his perfect forever home after spending 200 days in a shelter. This remarkable story showcases the power of understanding and acceptance as Ernie is adopted by a combat veteran who embraces his special needs. Join us as we delve into the touching journey of Ernie and his newfound family.



Ernie, born deaf and with limited vision on a Texas farm, faced an uncertain future due to his disabilities. Concerned for the young pup’s safety, his owner made the difficult decision to surrender him to a shelter. For nearly 200 days, Ernie resided in the shelter, patiently awaiting a family who would understand and cherish him.


Meanwhile, Steve, the son of a Korean War veteran and a military serviceman himself, was nearing the end of his military career. Having served in the National Guard and experienced the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, Steve possessed a deep empathy for others facing unique obstacles.

Steve, who had previously adopted two boys with special needs, understood the importance of finding a pet that would complement their family dynamics. Determined to fulfill his promise of getting a dog for his children, Steve embarked on a search for the perfect companion. It was during this search that he crossed paths with Ernie, now renamed Private.


The bond between Steve and Ernie formed effortlessly, as Steve saw a kindred spirit in the resilient pup. Recognizing Ernie’s lengthy shelter stay, Steve eagerly adopted him, knowing he had found a true companion. With patience and understanding, Steve dedicated himself to helping Private acclimate to his new home.

Despite Ernie’s sensory limitations, Steve quickly learned how to communicate with him. Using finger snaps to gain his attention and vibrations to guide him, Steve and Private developed a unique language that transcended traditional communication barriers.


Private, as Ernie was now affectionately called, reciprocated Steve’s love with unwavering devotion. The gentle strokes and caresses that Private cherished under his chin became their special form of connection. If Steve paused in his affection, Private would use his paws to request more, as if insisting on the continuation of their heartwarming bond.

Private’s integration into the family proved seamless, as the two boys embraced his special needs with compassion and understanding. Despite his blindness, Private’s love for car rides and the joy he found in simply looking out the door brought immeasurable happiness to the entire family.


In this touching adoption tale, Private’s journey of patience and resilience finally led him to a loving family who adored him for who he was. The bond between Steve and Private serves as a testament to the extraordinary connections that can be formed between humans and animals, even in the face of adversity.

May Private’s story inspire us to open our hearts to all beings, regardless of their abilities, and remind us of the immeasurable joy and companionship that can be found in providing a forever home to a special needs pet.


Ernie, now known as Private, triumphs over adversity as he finds his forever home with a combat veteran and his family. Their incredible bond showcases the power of understanding, compassion, and unwavering love. Private’s journey reminds us of the resilience and joy that can be found in providing a loving home to pets with special needs. Let us celebrate the extraordinary connections formed between humans and animals, and may Private’s story inspire us to embrace and support all creatures in need of a forever home. Share this heartwarming adoption tale with your loved ones and let its message of compassion resonate far and wide.

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