Meet Bob and service dog Pudge

Meet Bob and service dog Pudge

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Bob Steele & service dog Pudge

McMinnville, Tennessee

black lab, service dog, veteran

Bob smiles while sitting on a bench with his new service dog Pudge.

Marine Corps veteran Bob Steele faces a mix of emotions as he falls in love with his new service dog, Pudge, while grieving the retirement of his first service dog, Dillin. He and Dillin had been inseparable. Now he’s bonding with sweet, precious Pudge whose puppy-dog eyes and playful energy quickly cheer Bob up.

When Bob returned from Vietnam with a leg full of shrapnel and scars from being wounded twice and shot in the back, nobody talked about PTSD. Bob pushed through the physical and mental pain and focused on work. He drove trucks, taught other truck drivers, and started his own driving schools. Now retired, Bob works hard managing his health as he’s recovered from strokes, brain surgery, and cancer. And meanwhile, he doesn’t go anywhere without his dog.

Before Dillin, Bob went through a season of talking to no one and going nowhere, aside from meeting with a group of other Vietnam vets. His psychologist recommended a service dog, and that’s when Bob started venturing out again. Over the years, he and his dog made friends and visited hospitals and the elderly. Now Pudge has stepped in where Dillin left off, and Bob can resume traveling and socializing with his wife, Marcia. This close-knit family now includes Dillin, Pudge, Ruth the cat, and Muffin, the 25-year-old cockatoo.

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