The farewell between Lance Cpl. Jeffrey DeYoung and his closest companion, Cena, was extremely poignant and difficult. After serving as a Bomb-Sniffing dog for the U.S. Marine Corps for four and a half years, the Black Labrador Retriever was laid to rest.
DeYoung’s half-year deployment to Afghanistan with Cena resulted in an unshakable connection between the two. They experienced many instances that brought them closer together, such as when DeYoung carried Cena across rivers, kept him warm during frigid nights, and shielded him from Taliban fire.
In contrast, Cena provided solace to DeYoung after he lost seven of his dearest companions in a span of three weeks. Although they were forced to part ways and the distance between them was challenging, as DeYoung was honorably discharged, the dog remained on active duty as a bomb-sniffing Marine for four more years.
In 2014, Cena was finally able to retire and was immediately adopted by his closest friend, DeYoung. They shared a unique and wonderful life together for the following three years. Unfortunately, this was interrupted when Cena was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, leaving DeYoung feeling entirely powerless.
It was a difficult decision for DeYoung when he chose to spend each day after Cena’s diagnosis creating an adventurous bucket list for him. DeYoung expressed his confusion about their final night together, but he promised to be strong as Cena had blessed his life with joy and love. The day following Cena’s passing, DeYoung posted a heartfelt message on his Facebook page to honor him.
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