Thursday, February 02, 2006

This dog got to go to the State of the Union...?

Rex, a 5-year-old German shepherd, was one of Mrs. Bush's guests at the State of the Union speech. How he landed such a coveted seat-actually a spot in the aisle labeled "Rex" on the official seating chart-is quite a tale.

His owner, Air Force Tech Sgt. Jamie Dana, awoke in a military hospital last summer badly injured by a bomb in Iraq and crying for her bomb-sniffing dog. Someone told her Rex was dead. Later, Dana found out that wasn't true. But it would take an act of Congress before she could take him home to Pennsylvania.

The Air Force had said it spent $18,000 training Rex and that, by statute, he needed to finish the remaining five years of his useful life before he could be adopted. Dana's congressman, Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., helped include an exception for Rex in an end-of-year defense bill.

We spend this much on training dogs? Wow, money well spent right? Article here.

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