Dogs are incredible creatures, not only for their kindness, loyalty, and companionship, but for their bravery when it comes to protecting their loved ones.
One 16-year-old learned just how much of a hero his German shepherd, Rex, really was when armed intruders broke into his family’s Des Moines, Iowa house on February 21. Javier Mercado had been home alone with Rex when he heard something, looked out the window, and noticed an unfamiliar car outside. That’s when he found himself trapped in the middle of a life-threatening situation.
“I then heard the sliding door break, and it is made out of just glass so it shattered really loud,” said Mercado. “My dog ran downstairs, and it just started barking and barking. I heard one guy scream, ‘the dog bit me, get the dog.'” Mercado dialed 9-1-1 and ran to hide in a closet.
“Rex stormed back to the upstairs floor all beat up and bloody,” Javier’s aunt wrote. “Soon, the burglars proceeded to the upstairs floor and trashed all the bedrooms. As they entered the room where Javier was hiding in the closet, Rex came out with the little strength he had left in him and threw himself at them as he knew my nephew was in danger.”
Mercado stayed in the closet for nearly an hour. By the time he came out, the intruders were gone, scared away by police sirens. It was then that he learned his beloved buddy, Rex, had been shot four times.
Amazingly enough, his furry hero survived, though the wounds in his neck and legs would require expensive surgeries. But friends, family, and members of the community came through in a huge way when they set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Rex’s medical bills.
Rex, now known as “The Hero Dog,” just made it through his first surgery. Vets are also optimistic that he’ll make a full recovery.
But he still needs a lot of care, including therapy for post traumatic stress disorder. His family is also in the process of finding somewhere else to live following the burglary.