It’s said that a dog is “a man’s best friend.”
For Marine veteran Megan Leavey, her patrol dog was more than just her best friend, he was her everything.
Leavey first met her fuzzy companion in 2005 in the midst of her deployment in Iraq, where she was tasked with locating explosives before they were detonated. The 22-year-old corporal couldn’t shoulder this hefty responsibility alone, so she accepted the help of a bomb-sniffing dog, Rex.
According to People, Rex and Leavey were inseparable throughout Leavey’s journey. Every mission that Leavey was set on, Rex was firmly at her side. That was, however, until one tragic explosion tore them apart.
The military vet was awarded a Purple Heart and honorable discharge but was separated from the one companion that kept her going through two tours in Iraq — Rex.
But she was determined to not let her best friend slip through her fingers. Over the following four years, Leavy tried her best to track Rex down after he was deemed “non-deployable.”
Leavey’s ardent journey to reunite with her barking beau is captured in the upcoming film “Megan Leavey.”
She recently revealed her motivations for chasing Rex down all those years later to People. She hoped that after people see the film she inspired, they’d walk away with similar determination:
“I hope people take away the message, don’t give up on something that you love. If you have a certain feeling stick with it. Look what happened, I ended up getting Rex back, but it took four years. Four years is a long time to not give up on something that affects what you feel everyday. I feel strongly about it.”
She added that her service animal gave her “closure” during a particularly troubled point in her life. To Leavey, Rex was the confidant she needed to push through the pain:
“We were together all the time. Whenever I was going through hard times, he was the one constant in my life who was there. All the stuff I was going through personally he was always right there, no judgement.”
The film, which premiered on June 9, has been particularly well received by fans of film and military alike.
Many have taken to Twitter to show their support:
Just saw @MeganLeavey movie. Man was it good. Always incredibly proud and in awe of our troops. The four legged warriors too! ??
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) June 11, 2017
— Darla Murray (@twitla) June 5, 2017
— Scott Kirkwood (@scottkdc) June 10, 2017
Today, Megan Leavey enjoys a well earned slower paced lifestyle. According to People, she’s joined in America’s favorite pastime as a sales account executive with the New York Yankees.