Army Specialist Henry Alvarado of Los Angeles was being re-stationed in Alaska. His family pet, Dukey (A German Shepard) was hit by a car and badly injured before Alvarado left. Dukey needed hip surgery and there was a good chance without it, he would not survive. Dukey could not fly in his condition and it looked as if the pair had reached the end of their road together. When you are military, orders are orders. Specialist Alvarado had to go. Dukey was a much loved pet, but he was a pet. He was not a service dog, or a child. As soldiers do for us every day of our lives, Alvarado put his desires and needs away and went to serve and protect the rest of us. I cannot imagine how his heart was breaking. People began talking about Henry and Dukey and as good people do, they wanted to help. Animal Protectorates contacted “Rescues from The Hart.”
They sprang into action. A fund raiser was quickly set up to fund Dukey’s surgery. Literally, overnight, thousands of people from all over the world donated money to help. These generous donations allowed Dukey to have his surgery. An organization called TAPS stepped in and for six weeks, Dukey got physical therapy to recover. After six weeks, Dukey was recovered enough to fly to Alaska to be reunited with Army Specialist Henry Alvarado. The video below shows the wonderful reunion as the two found each other.
Many people donated time, work, services and money to help this soldier and his family pet. In a world where we hear of so much pain, it is nice to hear of a good outcome for dog and human. In recent years, we have become more aware of the issues military people face daily. We are seeing the pressure this puts on them. They sacrifice for us. Their families sacrifice for us. When they return, we do not show them the respect and honor that they deserve. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is on the rise and people are not getting the health care they need.
So when we see a story like this, we want to help. We want to reach out. We want the animal to be cared for and we want the stress to be removed from our soldiers who are facing danger every day.