Adoption For Rambo

Photo Above SSgt Vasquez & Rambo during a deployment to the  Persian Gulf. 

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Rambo # T058, a Belgian Malinois was born in January 1991. He served his military career with distinction. Rambo was a patrol/explosive detector dog at Vandenburg AFB, California. During his career he worked with nine handlers. Old age (and bad hips) finally caught up with Rambo. He'd reached the end of his military career.  Years ago, he would have faced the last walk to the vet clinic to be put to sleep. However, thanks to the military's new MWD adoption policy he did not share the fate of thousands of dogs before him. 

His last military handler, SSgt Jennifer Vasquez, had worked him for two years. She was also the first female handler assigned to him. When Rambo could no longer pass the physical exam,  SSgt Vasquez decided to adopt him. 

This decision was not taken lightly. The person adopting the dog not only assumes all medical bills but also assumes liability for the dog. The liability issue alone requires careful consideration.

As best described by SSgt Vasquez:  

" He is my heart and soul...listened to me cry, talk, complain through a 4-month deployment, and some pretty lonely times.  He never once complained, was by my side and protected me, never talked back, never told a secret, and had unconditional love and loyalty to me. What more could you ask for?"

Photo Below: Rambo (Right) shares Jennifer's home with another pup..

Above: Rambo's first night as a civilian.

Photo Above: Rambo at home puppy sitting.
 Jenn was overseas deployed to the gulf region.

Photo of  Frank Vasquez & Rambo, sent to Jenn while she was deployed.

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My eyes have seen many things in the darkness of the night. Some of which you never saw as you held my leash so tight. I protected you, and as a team we feared none.

My ears have heard the sounds of things that made you freeze at night. You trusted me and used my pointed ears like battle sights. I protected you, and as a team we feared none.

Over the years many have held my leash. Several of which held it loose and a few who held it tight. No matter how you chose to keep me, I protected you and as a team we feared none.

I have heard the highest praise and felt the heaviest correction. Regardless the tone of your voice or the weight of your correction, I protected you, and as a team we feared none.

When evil crossed our path, I never backed down! I will fight to the end. My loyalty to you is unconditional. I protected you, and as a team we feared none.

Many years have passed. My muzzle is now full of gray. When it is time to face my final battle let me keep my pride. Know that I loved no other place than that of by your side. When it is all said and done, remember the battles that we’ve won. Never forget, I protected you, and as a team we feared none!

By SSgt Jennifer R. Vasquez
Dedicated to Military Working Dog Rambo # T058

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Our Message to Jennifer: All the dog handlers who've preceded you are both proud and envious of you. We look at the photo of you in BDUs with Rambo and remember the dogs we worked in our past--our dogs in Vietnam, Thailand, and other far away lands. Best of all, we look at the photo of Rambo at home enjoying a richly deserved retirement and can only dream that our dogs could have had the same opportunity. 

We all thank you for sharing Rambo's story with us. 

Photo Above: SS Vasquez with Military Working Dog Duuk, her current explosive detector dog while deployed to the "Sand Box" during the Iraq War.

The end of the story!



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