On Wednesday, a crowd showed up in Muskegon, Michigan, to honor a dying service dog who embarked on a final ride with his Marine veteran owner.
Dozens of Jeeps and over a hundred people showed up at the USS LST 393 Museum to honor Cena, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever who worked side-by-side with Corporal Jeff DeYoung in Afghanistan, before retiring from bomb-sniffing duties and becoming the veteran’s personal service dog in 2014.
Recently, Cena was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer – the news was devastating to DeYoung, who told Fox 17 News, “To be frank, I hid under the desk in the vet’s office, I threw my phone against the wall and the vet had to leave the room until I could compose myself.”
After processing the heart-wrenching news, DeYoung created a bucket list for Cena – topping his list of activities, a ride in an open-top Jeep. DeYoung explained, “I want to go for a ride in a Jeep Wrangler with the top off, surrounded by green trees and my dog by me. Just one last good day.”
The final ride was Wednesday afternoon, hours before Cena’s appointment to be set free from his failing body. According to Mlive.com, Cena and DeYoung were accompanied by Patriot Guard riders, approximately 30 other Jeeps, and a police escort. Taps played at the conclusion of the final ride.
Watch a video about Cena, the dog credited with saving DeYoung’s life, below.