COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Two young girls on Long Island had been promised a dog, but when their father died serving our country, puppy shopping went on hold. Now, thanks to local veteran's charity, the girls are getting the happy ending they had hoped for.
"My husband and I have always found an excuse to not get a dog. But it was time. We talked about when Chris got home from his deployment, we would make it a big surprise," Carmela Raguso said.
Raguso's husband, an Air National Guard master sergeant, was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq earlier this year.
Her daughters, Eva and Mila, have been struggling with nightmares and sadness since their father's death. That's when Paws of War, a Long Island group training shelter dogs to serve and comfort military veterans, stepped in to deliver in Chris Raguso's memory.
"This pup Calvin will help the children sleep better. There's no question that he will bring some calmness and serenity into their lives," Robert Misseri from Paws of War told CBS2's Clark Fouraker.
Calvin was set to be euthanized at an overcrowded shelter in Louisiana. He was one of 11 puppies brought to New York to be placed with veterans and their families instead.
"We needed today. This was a good thing for us. We needed happy, something genuinely happy, something to keep their minds off the everyday and something to take care of," the girls' mother added.
Paws of War also provided the family with toys, a bed, and food for Calvin. The sisters are reportedly working out which of their beds Calvin will get to sleep on first.
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