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    “Roll over.”
    Two words. A command. An impossibility.
    Historians agree that Rex was not born great and in fact barely stood out in his litter. Neither a runt or the alpha, Rex just, well, was. He played with his brothers and sisters, listened to his mother as any good son would do, and strange as it may seem, gave only as much consideration towards his probable sire as the latter spent with Rex’s mother after the deed was done.

    Rex had a good life, a normal life…until the morning of January 30th, 1968.
    The details are lost, and while there is debate amongst scholars on the subject, most concur Rex would have been startled awake to the sounds of the shells as they whistled, cutting through air thick with the noxious fumes of gas. His mother likely was the one that saved him, commanding Rex and his brothers and sisters to flee their small home.

    One soldier, Josh Kitson PFC, recalls his first encounter with Rex:

    “I thought to myself, this is a nightmare. I said to my team, ‘You got a plan, right? I mean, we all got a plan. Even the enemy has a plan. Guess what? Plans don’t mean jack! Not when it hits the fan.’ Then the only sound I could make out was a whimper. To this day I don’t know why I followed that sound, but I did, and that’s when I saw him. Scared. Alone. I picked him up and gave him some of my water. Man, I must have held him in my vest for weeks until we were able to escape that jungle, but even all that time with him, I never knew.”

    The company of men who cared for that lost puppy treated him like a king, and that’s how they took to calling him “Rex.” Unfortunately that group of soldiers were deployed and knew a battlefield was no place for Rex, so they ordered him to leave. Rex wanted to stay but he did what they said. Again, the specifics of what occurred between when Rex wandered off the base and what happened next are unknown.
    Hungry and thirsty, Rex followed the smell of food to a small bazaar. A kind man there took notice to his surprise visitor and set down something for Rex to eat and drink. That’s when the child appeared. The child started yelling commands at Rex.


    Rex thought – what did I do?


    Rex thought – where are my brothers and sisters?

    “Shake! Why aren’t you doing what I say? You better do what I say or the next command will be ‘Play Dead’ only I won’t be playing!”

    Rex thought – where are my friends?

    “ROLL OVER!”

    The shopkeep watched steel resolve replace the fear in that puppy’s eyes:


    Whether the child, the kind man, or Rex himself were more shocked at the words coming out of his mouth, who can say. The child ran away at the sight of a talking dog. The shopkeep was slightly frightened too.
    As a puppy, Rex was commanded to leave his home and his family. While with the soldiers, he was commanded to leave his new home and his friends. Rex was through taking commands. He was through with a world that wanted to change him. Rex was going to change the world. Rex wasn’t going to roll over, not for anyone, not for anything.

    The story of Rex’s life continues, and perhaps some day it will be told. For now it’s enough that he is honored by being the symbol of REX-Ray. He refused to let anyone contain his will, contain his fight, contain…him.

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