Sixteen-year-old Javier and his dog, Rex, were home alone one fateful Wednesday afternoon in their home near Seattle when two robbers suddenly broke in. A frightened Javier ran upstairs to call the police and hid in a closet. Meanwhile, faithful Rex confronted the intruders, refusing to back down and trying his best to save his friend.
The intruders attacked Rex and struck him. Injured and bleeding, the dog raced upstairs to protect Javier and prepare for another fight.
"Rex stormed back to the upstairs floor all beat up and bloody from the beating to check on his master who was still hiding in the closet," said Susy Cadena, Javier's aunt. "Soon, the burglars proceeded to the upstairs floor and trashed all the bedrooms. As they entered the room where my nephew 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."
In his last-ditch effort to save Javier, Rex leaped at the two thieves; they opened fire on him and struck him three times. The men raced out of the house and got away. Although Javier was safe, Rex was not. The gunshot wounds were severe, and he needed immediate medical attention.
At the scene, authorities took Rex to an emergency veterinary clinic where he was stabilized. Veterinarians told Javier and his family that surgery was necessary for Rex to have a chance of surviving the damage the shots caused and the significant blood loss. The operation and subsequent medical treatment would cost $10,000, far more than Javier's family had to spare.
News spread of Rex's heroic efforts, and Cadena started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Rex's surgery and medical costs. Hundreds of people who were moved by Rex's unconditional love for his best friend donated. Within days, more than $62,000 was raised for Rex and his family.
Rex underwent surgery and began his next fight to survive. The operation was successful, and after hospitalization and initial therapy, Rex was released to his family. The brave dog had months of veterinary checkups, medication and treatment ahead, but a dog with the courage to take on intruders was unlikely to let this obstacle slow him down.
"Thanks to God, Rex is doing much better," reports Rex's family. "It's going to take a lot of therapy, time and lots of love from all of us for him to go back to be the sweet dog he used to be. But don’t doubt for a minute that we will do everything in our power to help him get there soon."
Follow Rex's progress on his Facebook page and cheer him on as he works his way toward a full recovery. Thanks to this dog's bravery, Javier and his family are safe and sound.
Watch the video below for more of Rex's story, his surgery and his recovery at home.