The military community is mourning the death of Retired MWD Brix D141, who passed away on June 27, 2013.
Brix was an eight year Navy veteran, who after deploying to Iraq and stateside retired due to Canine PTSD. Brix was blessed to have been adopted by his former Vet Tech and current President of Retired Military Working Dog Assistance Organization(RMWDAO), Cassandra Gardner. She and her family had the pleasure to adopt Brix in 2010.
Cassandra and Brix had worked together in the past, during Cassandra’s time at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.
Brix was retired in January 2010, and Cassandra and her family took him home where he could enjoy a new life as a family dog.
Cassandra was a veterinary technician in the U.S. Army for eight years, working for these hero dogs everyday. In November of 2011, Cassandra learned of RMWDAO from a former co-worker and knew that she and Brix were destined to help. In December 2011, Cassandra was voted President of the Board and soon after Brix was knighted, RMWDAO’s senior mascot. Together they have made a difference in the lives of all retiring MWD’s.
For those of you who don’t know, Retired Military Working Dog Assistance Organization is a non-profit organization based out of Universal City, Texas. The RMWDAO team is dedicated to helping our nation’s retired military working dogs live a better, more comfortable life after retirement. RMWDAO is currently pending 501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the IRS.
Cassandra tells of Brixs’ last days in her personal blog dated June 28, 2013.
Yesterday morning was a rough one. Our family lost one of the best dogs we have ever had the pleasure of living with. He was loyal beyond belief and he had a heart of gold. Brix was far more than a pet and even managed to work his way into Smitty’s heart. Smitty assured me that it was Brix’s time to go. That he was ready and I should be happy knowing I did everything I could to make his retirement years comfortable.
Earlier in the week I was outside with Brix in the yard. I threw his ball for him and he didn’t respond. Thinking he may have not seen it (his hearing and eyes were really bad) I walked over and threw it again. Brix walked over to the ball, picked it up and walked away. He had no interest in playing fetch, which is not at all normal for him. The last few weeks I have been sleeping on the floor with him most nights to help keep him calm. His anxiety was way out of control. Wednesday the movers came to the house to get our stuff and Brix was more anxious than ever. As soon as they had taken the last of the stuff he freaked out. I couldn’t even keep him from breaking the door off the kennel. He ended up falling down the basement stairs again. I decided to take him to the vet and see what could be done. Was it his time? Could he make the trip? Can he get medication or a thunder shirt to help? Dr. Randy did some tests and let Smitty and I know that Brix’s spin was not good, his eyes and ears did not work hardly at all and that his anxiety was also related to the fact that he was showing signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome and that he was only getting worse. Brix was also showing signs that he was no longer aware of where his feet were. He had started walking very strange. After hours of working with Dr. Randy, he told us that it was the best time to let him go with dignity, that a dog like Brix would probably not make the move and shouldn’t have to die a messy death. So, when Brix calmed down, he lied down on the clinic floor and fell asleep. The Doc administered the injection and he never woke up. My world was crushed, but I know it was for the better. That afternoon we broke the news to the kids and a few friends. The kids were crushed, but more understanding than I thought they would be.
But, Brix was not done just yet…………
Yesterday our family cleared out of our house in preparation for our big move. A friend had come to help Smitty and I sweep the empty house and housing came to check that it was empty and ready to turn in (there was nothing left in the house). Last night, Smitty had stopped by the empty house to drop off a box of light bulbs. When he came through the front door, in the middle of the floor was Brix’s favorite orange ball. Just sitting there in the empty house as if he was reminding us that he was still around even if we can’t hold him or pet him physically.
Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.
Rest easy my friend, you have earned your wings!
We all feel the loss when one of these amazing dogs leaves us for their final reward-the Rainbow Bridge. Fly Free, Brix. You have served your country and your family well. You’ll never be forgotten, as you join Emir, Freddy, Beyco, Apollo and all of the other MWD’s who are now playing by your side for all eternity.
Rest in peace, dear boy.