Dogs can do extraordinary things that never cease to amaze us. But, sadly, all heroes must eventually say goodbye.
Diego was a Belgian Malinois that worked hard to serve the land and the people that he loved. He was the last born in a litter of 10 puppies. He may have arrived late, but that never held him back. Little did Diego know that his life was destined for something much bigger than most pups ever get to experience.
A Protector, A Warrior, A Best Friend To Many
Diego called the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya his home. This is a non-profit wildlife conservatory that aims to protect animal populations that are at risk of harm. Diego worked fearlessly alongside rangers to protect the lives of rhinos and bring awareness to his community. Yep, you read that right! Diego was a trained attack dog that put his life on the line every day to help keep his community safe and save rhinos from extinction.
“Diego was instrumental to security operations in the region. During his years of service, he assisted in firearm and ammunition recovered from cattle rustlers at Wamba, Samburu County,” the conservancy said in a statement. “He took part in a poacher recovery operation at Lake Nakuru National Park. At Shaba National Reserve and Westgate Conservancy, he took part in tracking cattle rustlers where two national police reservists were shot dead but the stolen cattle recovered.”
There Was Just One Battle That Diego Struggled With
Diego was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. This came as devastating news to Diego’s coworkers. They felt like they were losing a family member instead of a co-worker. Diego had proudly and valiantly served with them over five years.
Diego, just 8-years-old, touched so many lives. He was described as “man’s best friend.” They also said he was obedient, intelligent, and calm. The conservancy released a statement:
“It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Diego, the Belgian Malinois who has been the star of our K-9 Unit for over 5 years. Diego had to be euthanized on Monday, October 19th after being diagnosed with bone cancer,” they said. “The team of vets considered a leg amputation to save his life, but unfortunately his blood tests revealed that he was also suffering from liver and pancreatic failure and that the disease was much more advanced than we thought.”
Diego was surrounded by love as he took his last breath on October 19th. His death has devastated everyone who was lucky enough to call him a partner and friend. It is without question that Diego helped make the world a better place. He was a lucky pup but the world was even luckier to have him in it. His love and compassion will continue to live in the hearts of those who knew him.
Featured Photo: @OlPejetaConservancy/Facebook