Humans often say they would give up their lives for we dogs, but often the reverse is true. We dogs put ourselves in harm’s way for our humans even when that threat comes from a gun. Our pup of the week, Rex, is one of those dogs.
Sixteen-year-old Javier Mercado was home alone with his two-year-old German Shepherd Rex at their Des Moines Iowa home. When burglars broke into the house, Javier grabbed Rex and hid in the closet. But the Shepherd knew there were dangerous intruders inside the house, and it was his duty to protect the occupant.
Rex escaped from the closet, ran downstairs and tried to attack the burglars, but he was overpowered and savagely beaten. The Shepherd retreated back upstairs to the closet while the criminals went room by room trashing the house room by room. Finally, they arrived in the room where Rex hid with Javier.
The beaten dog found the strength to attack the intruders again. Rex was shot four times in the neck, knee, and leg. The police, who had been called by Javier, were descending upon the house. As the sirens grew closer, the criminals fled. When the officers found Rex, they presumed he had passed.
Rex was taken to the hospital where he was stabilized. He was in surgery for several hours and then received round the clock care until his condition stabilized. If the story was not cruel enough while the family was visiting Rex their house was burglarized again. Rex’s parents are planning to move out of the neighborhood.
But the Mercado family also learned that there is kindness to match the evil in the world. They started a Go Fund Me page to pay for Rex’s medical care. They asked for $10,000 and received $60,000. They are giving the extra money to other families who are in debt to their veterinarians.
Finally, Rex and his owner walked out of the hospital. Rex only had a slight limp and a cone to show for his ordeal.
But there was more going on with the hero. He began to show signs of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder something that is seldom recognized in dogs. He jumped if there are any sudden movements around him, he barked at strangers who come into the house, and he is obsessed with his owner’s feet, always watching and barking at them because he had repeatedly been kicked during his assault.
Rex is now has a behavior consultant monitoring him. She suggested medication for anxiety and Rex being positively stimulated to help ease the stressful memories. They hope with that, and time, he will fully recover.
He will certainly get the love.
The idea that dogs need help after traumatic events can only make dogs’ lives better. People who rescue dogs know their pet has suffered in the past and work hard to get them over that trauma. Thanks to Rex’s heroism, and the publicity he has received the idea that dogs need emotional support just as much as humans do. Recognizing that may help dogs throughout the world.
That makes Rex a hero on many levels.