$$ This Boy Was In Imminent Danger, Before His Dog Came To The Rescue

 Javier Mercado was home alone when unexpected terror struck. His life would never be the same after his brave dog stepped in to save the day.

Man’s Best Friend

Dogs are amazing creatures. For centuries they have proved themselves as man’s best friend. Since their domestication, dogs have bonded with humans in a beautiful way. Offering companionship, love, loyalty, and work as hunters and shepherds. Sometimes, dogs can go above and beyond to help their beloved humans.

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Rex the Brave

Meet 16-year-old Javier Mercado, a Seattle resident, and self-proclaimed avid dog-lover. Two years ago the Mercado’s welcomed a new family member into their home; a German Shepherd they named Rex. Rex and Javier immediately bonded, becoming inseparable.

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That Fateful Day

On February 21st, something would happen that would change Rex and Javier forever. Mercado was home alone with Rex. At just after noon the teenager heard a strange noise. Fearing something was wrong, Javier looked through the living room window where he saw a car he didn’t recognize. Javier instinctively felt that something was about to happen.

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The Break In

“I then heard the sliding door break, and it is made out of just glass so it shattered really loud,” said Mercado. Javier was terrified, he was alone and defenseless. His neighborhood had always been a safe one, with very few burglaries reported in the area. Javier soon began to panic but the young man tried to remain calm and discern what to do next.

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An Emergency Call

Javier fled to the bathroom closet, quietly closing the door behind him as to not alert the intruders that someone else was in the house. Mercado dialed 911, desperately praying the burglars would not find him hiding in the closet. He could hear two voices – there were two men in the house.

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Terrified and Alone

Javier remained in the closet, terrified that he would be discovered. “I could hear them getting closer and closer through the creak in the floor,” recalls Javier. After what seemed like an eternity, the young man got through to a 911 dispatcher. He told the man on the phone that his home had been broken into, that he was alone and he feared for his life. Javier was assured that help was on its way.

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Rex to the Rescue

Rex was alert and instantly sprang into action. “My dog sprinted downstairs and started barking really loud, and I could hear everything,” Javier explained. Mercado could hear muffled movements and Rex’s barks. In a heroic act to protect the teen, Rex was facing off with the burglars.

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Dramatic Events

Through the crack in the bathroom closet, Javier desperately listened to the shocking events that would unfold. After some movement and Rex’s barking, Javier heard the voice of one of the burglar’s scream. “‘Get the dog, the dog bit me, the dog bit me,'” recalls the teen.

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Then, A Gunshot

“Then I heard one gunshot, then several after that. My dog cries after each shot. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever [heard],” shares Javier, his voice cracking with emotion. Javier was desperate to intervene and help his beloved Rex but the 911 dispatcher urged him to remain hidden and wait for the local police to arrive.

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Left for Dead

Mercado later told a local news station that he “thought (Rex) was dead for sure.” He had counted three gunshots in total. He knew that the chances of the animal surviving the shots at such close range was slim to none. “I broke down,” shared the traumatized teen.

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A True Hero

The burglars soon made their way upstairs and searched three of the bedrooms, searching for anything that might be of value. Javier remained in the closet terrified. To Javier’s absolute shock, he heard Rex charge up the stairs with the little strength he had left and throw himself at the intruders. The dog had miraculously survived the incident.

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Finally, Help Arrives

After Rex’s courageous attack, the intruders fled the Mercado residence. Police officers arrived at the house shortly after the burglars fired the bullets. Javier had remained in the closet for over an hour. The young man, finally emerged, hoping it was safe to make his way out of his hiding place. He immediately inquired after his dog – Rex had saved his life.

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A Bloody Scene

Javier and the first responders were shocked to see the state of the home. Besides the bedrooms and living having been ransacked, there was blood everywhere. “It looked like Rex was still trying to look for me even after he was shot,” Javier said.

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True Shock

To Javier’s relief he was told that Rex had survived. The German Shepherd was dangerously injured, with gunshot wounds to his neck and hind. The dog required immediate surgery and was rushed to BluePearl Pet Hospital in Seattle to receive urgent treatment. Javier cried tears of joy – as well as worry.

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A Grateful Mother

“I’m grateful Rex is alive,” said Javier’s mom, Julia Cadena. “I know Rex was able to hold these guys off for a while, until police could arrive, and Javier is alive because of that,” the mother gratefully shared with the local news station. The family waited in anticipation to hear whether Rex’s surgery would go as planned.

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A Survivor

Javier and his mother, Julia, weren’t sure Rex would make it. But the courageous canine hero pulled through. The family was told that the dog had survived surgery and was in a stable condition. Sadly, the relief would not last long. Rex’s medical bills were piling up.

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A Family in Need

The family could not afford to pay for the medical procedures that had saved their beloved dog. They needed help. Rex would still require rehabilitation and time at the local veterinarian hospital in order to recover and heal completely. The family turned to the public.

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Funds for the Mercados

Julia’s cousin, Susy Cadena stepped in, in order to help her family. She set up a Gofundme page to help the family handle vet bills with a goal of reaching $10 000. To the family’s delight, the account quickly reached its $10,000 target within a single day. Donations have continued to pour in and the page has since raised over $60 000.

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Horror Story Come to Life

“This is truly like a horror movie type of story because the details were just that horrible,” Susy said. Despite the trauma that the family, especially Javier has endured, the family has pulled through. “…The response we’ve gotten from people has been so overwhelming and just shows there’s a reason to believe in humanity,” a grateful Susy shared.

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A Long Road Ahead

Though grateful, the family has still experienced hardships since the incident. The Mercados have yet to return to their home, which has shown some signs of a second break-in since the initial shocking invasion. The family has been staying with close relatives until they can move to a different home and put the incident behind them.

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A Brave Survivor

Rex has also changed after the traumatic event. He is extremely sensitive to noises and sudden movements since the break-in. In yet another show of loyalty, the dog also appears to be more protective of Javier than ever before. He yelps whenever Javier leaves his side and is suspicious of any strangers who approach the young boy.

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A Difficult Recovery

The courageous dog still has a long road ahead of him. Rex, who turns 3 in May, sustained multiple gunshots, one of which caused a fracture to the tibia, which required the most intensive surgery.  His injuries will require him to undergo extensive therapy but the dog appears to be recovering as well as can be expected.

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A Happy Ending

“I will forever be grateful towards Rex. After this, I’m going to give him the best life he can possibly have,” Javier said. The family hope that Rex will make a full recovery and continue to live a full and active life. The family have joked that Rex can expect a lifetime of great meals, “Chicken and steak and rice!” Says Julia.

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Eternally Grateful

Javier and his mother will never forget the day that Rex’s bravery would save the young man’s life. This is a story that reveals the lengths an animal will go to in order to protect its loving owners, and Rex is not the only canine hero out there. “I feel like if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today telling you this story,” Mercado has said. This story, thankfully, has a happy ending.


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