After settling in for a quite Saturday night at home, I stopped by some of my favorite blogs to check in on their latest posts. The Elka Almanac had a wonderful post about a new bill to protect dogs in the military and ensure they make their way home after their services.
It was pure coincidence and serendipity that after reading Jen’s post, I checked my Google Alerts for White Shepherds and German Shepherds (They come in handy for the stories I write as the Atlanta German Shepherd examiner). In the listed articles, I found the amazing story of Marine Megan Leavey, and her fight to save the life of and to adopt her canine military companion, Rex.
Leavey was a dog handler in the military that worked with Rex, a bomb-sniffing dog, very closely. The two even survived a roadside bombing together.
“‘Rex is my partner; I love him,’ Leavey told Msnbc.com ‘We have been through so much together … I’ve spent day and night with this dog. It’s a very strong bond.'” (via Mail Online)
Leavey has tried several times to adopt Rex, but was denied because he was still considered a valuable active work dog. Rex now holds status as the oldest dog still in service at Camp Pendleton at the ripe age of 10, which makes him an elderly German Shepherd. Rex is now facing health complications with Facial Palsy that cause his to be unable to serve. This complicates the matter even more, as his illness could be another reason to deny his adoption outside of service, and also a reason to put him to sleep because he cannot be used in service anymore–Not because he’s not capable of living in fair circumstances.
Leavey is now working with several vets and members of the Air Force who train the dogs used within the military to get approval for Rex’s adoption. For more information on the story, you can read about it via the NY Post or Radar Online.
While we’ve discussed canine members of the military before, now we have a chance to help these dogs get the recognition they deserve. Call your representatives and discuss S.2134 — Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act (Introduced in Senate – IS) as a way for them to help dogs in the military.