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Fri Dec 7, 2018, 09:07 AM

Dyngo The War Dog Is Having Trouble, And We Could Use a Little Help

The morning after Thanksgiving, my dog, Dyngo, was having trouble walking. He’s a strong, happy dog, so with some coaxing, he managed a walk outside. By that evening, he couldn’t stand, laying with his eyes closed, crying — something he never does. I sat on the floor stroking his large head, crying too because I thought he might be dying.

We made it to the emergency animal hospital and, after a host of tests, were given relatively good news: Dyngo had a large, infected abscess in his right leg above his elbow joint. The infection would resolve with antibiotics and the abscess could be removed. Surgery was scheduled for the following week, and we brought Dyngo home. But the next day, his leg swelled three times its normal size, the abscess opened, and we rushed back to the hospital for emergency surgery.

All dogs are special, but Dyngo isn’t like most dogs. Dyngo is a retired Military Working Dog who for ten years was a patrol and explosives detection dog for the Air Force. He deployed to Afghanistan for three combat tours. In 2011, his handler, now-Master Sgt. Justin Kitts, was awarded the Bronze Star for their 63 outside-the-wire missions, found over 300 pounds of IED material, and were credited with protecting 30,000 lives.

Like many combat veterans, the medical problems Dyngo is facing, are linked to his hard-on-the-body military life sniffing for bombs. It was a life I know he relished right up until the end of his career (watch him with his final handler, Staff Sgt. Nofo Lilo, right before retirement).


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Reply Dyngo The War Dog Is Having Trouble, And We Could Use a Little Help (Original post)
douglas9 Friday OP
douglas9 Friday #1

Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2018, 11:56 AM

1. Team Dyngo: Ret. War Dog's Medical Expenses (gofundme link)

The first surgery went well and he was sent home Sunday evening. But his wound care is difficult to manage, requiring lots of sedated tie over bandage changes. Dyngo and his owner, Rebecca Frankel, have spent the past week in and out of the hospital every day, sometimes staying over night.

I served with Dyngo, a bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan in 2011 where his powerful nose rooted out over 300lbs of IEDS and saved thousands of lives. (You can read about our combat tour below.)

Dyngo's contributions to the war on terror do not come without sacrifice. Just like any war veteran, Dyngo's body took a beating over the years and now at the age of nearly thirteen he is feeling the effects of war.

When Rebecca called us on Friday, my wife and I rushed to Washington, DC. If it was time to say good-bye, we wanted to be there. After a red eye flight from Las Vegas, we arrived at Rebecca's place around 10am Saturday. Dyngo was in rough shape, laying helpless on the floor. He was not able to walk or even stand at this point. I had to carry him in and out of the house in order for him to use the bathroom. Through all of this, I realized the strength Dyngo still has and I know with the right care that he will make it through this.

Rebecca made the decision early on that if Dyngo can heal and return to his happy, healthy self without diminishing his quality of life, she would do whatever it takes to give him the best shot he has. Despite a rough week, Dyngo is in good spirits, sweet-tempered and loving. He's showing no signs of giving up! (Rebecca is sending daily updates, which you can read at the bottom of the page.)

But his medical care requires daily bandage changes and costly surgeries, as well as a lot of home care and walk challenges ahead. So far this week Dyngo has has six hospital visits, two over night stays, six bandage changes, and one surgery. In the next week he is scheduled for his second surgery, this time to close the wound so he can fully recover. His bills are going to total upwards of $15K, not including the aftercare he may need. Every little bit will help Dyngo—whether it’s small or large donations here, or helping to spread the word.

(**UPDATE**: I heard from Rebecca. With the cost of today's surgery, Dyngo's hospital bills to date is hovering near $15k. Adding to that the next two weeks of aftercare—from bandage changes to the custom-fitted leg braces Dyngo will need to wear—the total costs will likely hit $20k or more, exceeding early estimates. And this is why we have just upped our goal. It may be tough to meet, but we've come so far, SO fast thanks to the incredible generosity of everyone here!! And regardless of the outcome, Rebecca is committed to raising awareness for retired service dogs like Dyngo, who find themselves in a similar situation. And Dyngo's campaign is a great start. **UPDATE**)


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