Most of the time, when we get a pet, we look forward to taking care of them, loving them, and protecting them – not the other way around.
But our loyal furry friends will do their best to return the favor if they can, and the 16-year-old Javier Mercado from Des Moines, Washington, can attest to that.
Javier was home alone with his two-year-old German Shepherd, Rex, when he heard someone breaking into their house. The scared kid hid in the closet and immediately called 911 for help.
Being naturally brave and extremely loyal, Rex ran downstairs to attack the intruders. However, instead of backing down, the burglars shot the dog several times. They’ve beaten the poor dog, too.
When Javier heard the gunshots, he cried and wanted to run to his pet’s aid, but the 911 dispatcher stopped him from doing so.
The burglars left upon hearing sirens coming.
In an interview with KOMO-TV, Javier said that he wasn’t sure he’d survive the incident if it wasn’t for Rex. The boy even recalled one of the intruders asking his accomplice to ‘get the dog’ because it bit him.
The dog was immediately sent to Blue Pearl, an emergency pet hospital, after the incident. He has suffered three wounds from the gunshots: one on his neck and two on his legs.
The relief in knowing Rex survived was shortly followed by another problem for Javier’s family – they didn’t have enough money to pay for Rex’s surgery and his hospital bills.
Javier’s aunt, Susy Cadena, set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds for Rex’s recovery. And fortunately, lots of people has donated to help Rex get better, as soon as possible.
The initial goal of getting $10,000 for Rex was quickly surpassed, and the funds have reached more than $58,000.
Just a few days after the incident, Rex was finally sent home and reunited with Javier.
A pin and screw was fitted to one of Rex’s legs to hold it back in place, according to KOMO-TV. Doctors advised that Rex would need therapy in the future, they also said that the heroic dog is likely to develop arthritis because of the incident.
Julia Mercado, Javier’s mother, who was truly grateful for what Rex did, said: “He was trying to protect Javier. That was his whole mission there. My hero. My four-legged angel and hero.”
Sometimes, when we say heroes, our minds immediately picture soldiers, firemen, and other admirable people risking their lives to save others. But, time and again, dogs have proven that they can do the same for us.
The minute Rex put his own life on the line to save Javier, he’s just shown that dogs can be heroic as well — and deserve as much respect and care as humans do.