Lab-Pointer Mix, 5 years old
Griffin keeps a constant eye on Mason Crosslin, a combat-engineer veteran who spent a year in Iraq and "can't remember a day we weren't attacked." On Crosslin's good days, Griffin climbs boulders at Joshua Tree or trots beside him along the Salton Sea. On bad days, Griffin just lies next to him. Griffin was dispatched to Crosslin through Shelter to Soldier, a San Diego nonprofit that rescues dogs about to be put down and trains them to be service animals. Griffin has since become as essential to Crosslin "as my spleen," the veteran says. And now the two are readying themselves for this summer, which they'll spend in an RV traveling between national parks. "I want to give her the best life I can," says Crosslin. "That means getting outside. But it's not just for her; it's for me, too."