Dog Bed Maker Big Barker Partners with Paws of Honor to Mark National K9 Veterans Day

By Pet Age Staff//March 12, 2024//

Dog Bed Maker Big Barker Partners with Paws of Honor to Mark National K9 Veterans Day

By: Pet Age Staff//March 12, 2024//

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In honor of National K9 Veterans Day on March 13, Big Barker, U.S. maker of luxury orthopedic dog beds, is partnering with Paws of Honor to bring attention to the nonprofit’s dedication to supporting retired military and law enforcement K9s who have served our country.

Founded by Eric Shannon in 2011, Big Barker proudly sponsors individual Paws of Honor K9s by providing them with specialized beds to help improve the quality of life of these deserving military animals.

“Our partnership with Big Barker is important because the K9s in our program have worked rigorously to serve and protect our country, and communities. Their bodies take such a toll that when they retire, keeping them healthy and comfortable is our top priority. Partnering with Big Barker helps improve their quality of life, reducing the pain from their working days,” said Trish Hennig, director of public relations at Paws of Honor. “Thank you, Big Barker, for giving these heroes more time with their loved ones.”

Here are the short stories of four K9s that Paws of Honor and Big Barker have proudly supported:

  • K9 Tank: Brazilian-born Tank is a 10-year-old Black Lab who trained in Indiana before beginning his career at the State Department. His workday tasks included conducting sweeps in support of visits from POTUS, VPOTUS, and the Secretary of State. He also supported DSS Agents in providing protective details for foreign dignitaries. K9 Tank also loved participating in Take Your Child to Work Day and National Night Out.
  • K9 Christy: Christy started at Puppies Behind Bars in upstate New York, where prison inmates raise and train service dogs for veterans, first responders, and law enforcement. She was slated to be a PTSD service dog, but her whining and barking changed her career path to one in explosives detection (luckily she did not whine while searching for bombs).
  • K9 Ronnie: Ronnie, a 12-year-old Dutch Shepherd was trained in Patrol and Explosive Detection before serving in the United States Army where he specialized in detection, apprehension, and locating individuals throughout his deployments and assignments with the Secret Service and Homeland Security. Despite losing his left eye during training and later developing arthritis, mild hip dysplasia, and blindness in his right eye, Ronni remains active and enjoys walks, playtime, and attention.
  • K9 Bubba: Bubba was an explosive detection dog in the Middle East for nine years. She was assigned to Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain and served her entire time in the military there. Aside from her duties as a member of security, Bubba had a way of raising morale anywhere she went. She always put a smile on everyone’s face, no matter how hot or miserable conditions were. Bubba still has this effect.


“Big Barker is proud to support the mission of Paws of Honor. Honoring and caring for animals, especially those who have served our country, is such important work.” said Natalie Bendinelli, partnership manager at Big Barker. “Witnessing firsthand the impact our beds have on the lives of retired military and law enforcement K9s is truly heartwarming.”

Big Barker’s mission is to improve the quality of life for big dogs by providing handcrafted, U.S.-made beds that help to alleviate joint pain and enable dogs of any size to rest comfortably. Big Barker is a recipient of the Fear Free Preferred Product Program designation, a recognition from veterinary professionals, pet professionals, animal welfare communities and pet owners. Each bed is handmade at Big Barker’s Pennsylvania workshop and has a 10-year warranty and a one-year risk-free trial.