Veteran makes bucket list for service dog’s final weeks

A Marine veteran and his bomb-turned-service dog are in the midst of completing their final mission together, after a veterinarian told Cpl. Jeff DeYoung that his trusted pooch has just weeks left to live.

DeYoung and Cena were first introduced after a personality test paired them together in 2009. They deployed to Afghanistan together where they were charged with walking in front of infantry units to patrol the area for improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Fox 17 reported. While DeYoung retired in 2013, Cena completed two more tours with different handlers, but they reunited in 2014.


DeYoung adopted Cena, who became his service dog after he started suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Fox 17 reported.

“I started noticing that going out in public was easier, less anxious, I could do more things when I had him once again by my side,” DeYoung told the news outlet.

But last week, DeYoung noticed Cena was having trouble putting weight on his back leg, which doctors eventually diagnosed as bone cancer.

“To be frank, I hid under the desk in the vet’s office, I threw my phone against the wall and the vet had to leave the room until I could compose myself,” DeYoung told Fox 17.

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