The ruff life, remembering a lost member

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Chase Cannon
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
(Editor's Note: This is the third part of a series on Military Working Dogs.)

On Nov. 7, 2007, the life of an important U.S. Air Force member began. His name was Luxi, a 49th Wing Security Forces Military Working Dog.

Sadly, however, his life was cut short on Jan. 12, 2015, when Luxi passed away from illness.

"The death of Luxi was devastating to the 49th Wing," said Senior Airman Rebecca Kenny, 49th Wing Security Forces Military Working Dog Handler. "Unfortunately, this is the worst part of the job."

Luxi became a member of Team Holloman in 2009 after completing his training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Since September 2014, Luxi was partnered with Kenny. They cared for each other on and off duty. It is common for handlers to visit their MWDs during their free time to ensure a regular schedule is kept with the dogs.

Kenny and Luxi spent day's together training, working and playing. The life of a MWD is nonstop in that sense, but that is what they live for. The dogs that are produced from Lackland have the strongest drive and sense of loyalty to their handlers.

Luxi deployed to several locations including Kuwait and Sather Air Base, Iraq. He was also involved with multiple global secret service missions, all of this making him an irreplaceable member to the armed forces.

The relationship between a handler and an MWD can easily be compared to that of a family. While the handler is there to direct the mission and decides what needs to be investigated, the MWD has eyes, ears and a nose that keeps them both safe and out of harm's way. These qualities, combined with the trust between Luxi and his other handlers, carried them through his deployments.

Kenny, who has worked with Luxi for the last five months, wrote a poem dedicated to his life.

"While you could not speak the words, I could hear the whispers of your voice. Telling me it was time to go, to celebrate your life and rejoice. You fought until the end to find your resting ground. You lay down your tired head and went without a sound. In my heart I know you loved me, as much as I loved you. I pray you've found the peace, that's helped to see me through. I thank you for all the joy in my life, and the smiles you've brought to me. May God guide you on your journey, and may your spirit always run free."

Col. Robert Kiebler, 49th Wing commander, said, "The untimely death of Military Working Dog Luxi was a tremendous loss for both our K-9 section and Senior Airman Kenny. Although one of our younger dogs, he had conducted countless training and search hours in support of the home security mission and while deployed. Luxi was a true defender and a vital police asset. He will be greatly missed, but his devotion to duty in support of the 49th Wing will live on in spirit."

Rest in peace Luxi, the Air Force appreciates your service to your country. You will be missed.