GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A retired Marine who has already done the country a great amount of service is now serving police officers and his fellow service members with the help of man's best friend.
Omar Taylor understands the personal price many pay to serve their country. He served in Afghanistan and Djibouti in 2002 and 2003. He now raises Bullmastiff puppies to give to active service members, veterans and police officers as companion animals for emotional support.
Last Sunday, Taylor's dog Cleo gave birth to 11 puppies. He was only expecting six. His family calls the puppies "the 11 shades of gray."
Taylor says the difficulties of returning to civilian life were things he experienced firsthand.
“There’s some things you can’t unsee, and there’s some things that, no matter what, you can’t just put into words," Taylor tells FOX 17. "So, that communication and that bond between the animal and you is, again, something that you can’t put into words.”
“Sometimes it was just hard to get up in the morning, and they’re always there," Taylor says. "They’re always there no matter what.”
Over the last 10 years, Taylor has sent dogs across the country. Two of the dogs have even gone on to serve as military police dogs in the Middle East.
Taylor does not make a profit on these dogs and will only ask the owners to cover medical costs if they are able.
The "11 shades of gray" litter will be ready for their owners on February 25.