Lucas and Juno: Special bond of a rescue dog and dying boy.

As nearly anyone who has adopted a dog or cat…

As nearly anyone who has adopted a dog or cat from a shelter can attest, there’s something special about a rescued pet; it’s as if the animal senses he’s been given a second chance at life. That’s certainly the case with Juno, a Belgian Malinois who was rescued from a shelter just days before she was to be euthanized. But since coming to live with her family in Alcoa, Tenn., Juno has taken on the role of rescuer to four-year-old Lucas Hembree.

The whole family made the two-hour trip to meet Juno, who was being held at an east Tennessee shelter. “She was emaciated, and was days away from being euthanized,” Chester says. “She had been surrendered to the shelter because her previous owners didn’t understand the Belgian Malinois.”

Chester Hembree training Juno to bark on command. He said Juno was “phenomenal” and “exceeded all expectations” during the training. She picked everything up very quickly.

Fortunately, Chester did. He’d gotten to know and love the breed while working as a law enforcement officer years earlier.

“I used to help with the training of police K-9s, and our dogs were Belgian Malinoises,” he says. “I loved their desire to work and their ‘never quit’ attitude.” In addition to being a popular choice for police dogs, the breed is often used in combat. In fact, it’s believed that the dog that helped Navy SEALs take down Osama bin Laden was a Belgian Malinois.

Source: Michelle Leifer for Vetstreet.com via MSNBC.

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