NESCOSSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A new friendship is starting between an Army veteran and a dog who was almost put down this Christmas holiday on Long Island.

The scene was very emotional at Paws of War when Dawn Amato met her new best friend, reports CBSN New York’s Carolyn Gusoff.

WEB EXTRA: See the emotional moment when Dawn meets Peaches


Amato was in the army for 20 years and acknowledges she has severe post-traumatic stress disorder after her difficult return from Iraq and Germany.

She matched up with a 3-year-old pit bull mix named Peaches who was saved from a kill shelter in Georgia.

The dog found was emaciated and on the verge of death from parasites, but now the two will begin a new life together.

“It’s the best ever,” said Amato. “I don’t need anything else, this is my present for life, for life.

“I think we are going to be best friends,” she said. “We will never not be separated, she will be everywhere I will go.”

Peaches will receive 300 hours of training.

“She will wake her up from night tremors, help her balance if she has attacks from PSTD,” said Robert Misseri, Paws of War co-founder.

Paws of War has rescued more than 70 dogs and trained them to be service dogs, with the veterans taking part in the training.

Amato said volunteering with the group has changed her life, and now the next dog she helps train will be her own.


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