Marine veteran gives dog back to Navy sailor after adoption faux ‘paw’

(Photo by Rissa Shaw)
(Photo by Rissa Shaw)(KWTX)
Published: Aug. 8, 2018 at 11:46 PM CDT
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A Navy sailor is one step closer to being reunited with her dog thanks to a disabled Marine veteran in Moody.

“I’m super grateful,” said the sailor. “I just feel bad that he had to be in this situation.”

The sailor said the situation started at the end of May when she dropped off her dog Diesel with her brother who said he would take care of him for a few months while she was taking a course at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for medic training.

A month later, she said her brother went through a breakup and surrendered Diesel to the City of Temple Animal Shelter without her knowledge or permission.

Once the sailor learned Diesel was adopted out of the shelter, she made a plea on Facebook; her post went viral, and eventually made its way to the man who had Diesel, Don Bordelon.

“You gotta do what you gotta do,” said Bordelon.

Bordelon said he grew very attached to the two-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever in the six-weeks he had him.

Although the adoption was completely legal and he was in no way obligated to do so, after lots of thought and prayers, Bordelon said he knew what he had to do.

"I took myself outside my own selfish feelings and thought 'what if I was in training or being deployed right now?" he said. “Let’s take care of her, she needs something to come home to.”

A family friend of the sailor lives in Houston and drove to pick up Diesel Wednesday night.

“He’s not getting surrendered by us,” said Scott. “One of the few times Facebook and social media has come out on the positive side."

The bittersweet sendoff was tough for Bordelon who admits to having second thoughts.

“It comes down to the wire, but at the end of the day you've got to commit, and I made a commitment,” said Bordelon about deciding to give up the dog.

A commitment the sailor said she wouldn’t take for granted.

“I’m very, very relieved,” she said after handoff. “I feel very bad for the man.”

The sailor, who wished to be unnamed pending Navy approval, said she was going to drive to pick Diesel up from Scott’s house in Houston after her graduation on Sept. 11.

She grew up in California and spent the last three years in Florida, but the sailor said she will soon be living in North Carolina permanently,

She said Diesel would be living with her on base and didn’t believe she would be deploying anytime soon, however, she had a retired police officer with an animal rescue lined up to watch Diesel if it came to that.

Since KWTX ran the story, Bordelon said he’s been getting puppy and rescue offers from all around the country.

“I’m humbled,” said Bordelon.