Veteran’s rescue dog leads to connection with a stranger

West Bay

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Mike Hamel was in his 60s when he got his first dog. And he says man’s best friend changed his life.

A disabled veteran, Hamel doesn’t like to talk about his time in the military.

“It was an experience,” Hamel said.

An experience that left him scarred.

“Anxiety issues, PTSD, bipolar, you name it. And medication, counseling, none of that was doing any good. It changed 180 degrees with this guy,” Hamel said.

Hamel is referring to Rocky, a rescue dog he adopted six years ago.

“Little by little I learned about his history, the beatings, the starvings, all that stuff and it started to dawn on me why this little doggie came into my life, he and I were raised the same way. He was abused. He was just like, treated like he was nothing, that’s exactly the way I was raised,” Hamel said.

The pair grew close, but being his first dog, Hamel wanted more advice on how to care for him.  He joined some Facebook groups.

“Boxers are the best. These people, they’re just plain wonderful,” Hamel said.

Recently, Hamel received news that he would have to move out of his apartment.

“There’s no way I can do this, I don’t have the funds, the money to do it. My health is such that I can’t, I can’t move this stuff,” Hamel said.

He told his boxer-loving friends online and one of them took action.

“She said that she had heard about this gentleman on Facebook and although she’s never met him she wanted to do a good deed,” James Farrell, an employee at Coutu Brother Moving said.

A stranger from down south paid hundreds of dollars up front, no questions asked.

“That lady’s a godsend,” Hamel said.

“There’s so much ugliness in the world today so it’s nice to know there are some good people out there, and people want to help other people. It gives you a little bit of hope,” Farrell said.

Moving day is Tuesday, and the owner of the company plans to cover any remaining costs of the move.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Download Mobile Apps from WPRI 12
DOWNLOAD APPS NOW: Apple App Store | Google Play Store

Dan Yorke State of Mind: Dan's Daily Update

DYSOM 1/7/21: Joe Cammarano, Political Science Professor, Providence College

More Dan Yorke State of Mind

Don't Miss

Viewer Pa on


More Live Cams

Community Events & Happenings

More Community