Thank you for your service Rex, Take a Break K9, Job Well Done ♥
“Unfortunately today at 10:56am Rex passed away. I was faced with the decision that no pet owner wants to hear, but I know I made the right choice. This is all very sudden and thankfully he did not suffer for long, this all came about late last night. I am so grateful for the last 8 months I got to spend with my partner & my best friend. Rex got to swim in a pool and play with my other dogs. He got to roam the yard & bark at deer, play with as many toys as he wanted all day everyday, sleep in a cozy bed next to me every night, chase and eventually make friends with my 2 cats, enjoy & play in his first snowfall…and so much other great stuff that he would have never had the chance to do if he was never retired. He knew I was with him the whole time and I laid next to him & held him & spoke to him & he was at peace in the end. He is now my guardian angel…even though he already was. So thank you to everyone who supported me & made it possible for me to spend those precious 8 months with my best friend. He was one hell of a dog, one tough ass Marine, and one very special soul. He will no doubt be greatly missed & never forgotten.”
If you haven’t heard of Megan Levy and Sgt Rex, read this:
Megan went to Paris Island for basic training, signed up for the military police and was accepted into the K-9 unit, where she was paired with Rex, who had been trained both to sniff out bombs and attack. They were deployed to Iraq, in Fallujah, for seven months in 2005, and deployed again to Ramadi in May, 2006. Bill Leavey, a Bronx-born Teamster in the theatrical business and longtime Daily News reader, wrote a letter to Bill Gallo about his daughter the Marine, sending along a photo of Megan and Rex.
Gallo was so touched he drew a cartoon of them and sent the original to the Leaveys in the Rockland town of Valley Cottage, where it now hangs in the Leavey living room.
Rex’s training taught him to lie down whenever he sniffed any of the ingredients of an explosive. Megan and Rex went on hundreds of missions, tethered to each other with a cord. Each time Rex lay down, Leavey would call the bomb squad. On Sept. 4, 2006, Leavey and Rex set out from the base, ahead of five Humvees, clearing an area that had been unoccupied. Rex found four bombs along the road in short order. Four hours into the mission, Leavey, armed with an M16 rifle and a 9-mm pistol, approached an intersection. Leavey and Rex kept walking, but before Rex could sniff anything out, the enemy set off a bomb via a remote blasting box, Leavey and Rex taking a direct hit, getting thrown 10 feet and winding up in a roadside ditch, still tethered, somehow alive.
A Marines explosives expert told Leavey, “You are lucky. They buried it too deep. The ground took the majority of the shrapnel and blast that was meant for you.”
Leavey was airlifted to a hospital in Baghdad. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury and hearing loss from an exploded eardrum. Rex suffered a shoulder injury and his own hearing loss. They flew back to Camp Pendleton. Leavey was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and began treatment. She received her Purple Heart in a plastic case and put it by her bedside in her Camp Pendleton, Calif. barracks. She went out one day and came back to find the Purple Heart stolen.
She never got it back.
“I can’t believe somebody would do that,” Bill Leavey said.
With under a year left in her hitch, Megan Leavey submitted paperwork to adopt Rex as her own pet. Her commanding officer said it wasn’t possible yet, as Rex was still working, not ready to be retired. At the end of her tour in 2007, Megan packed up her belongings and went to see Rex in the kennel. She wished she could convey all she felt to him. She started to cry.
“I hope I see you again,” Megan told Rex.
So sad just before Christmas, but if God lets dogs in Heaven, Rex is helping guard the gates.