Rex our K-9 Veteran Statue
To date, there are only a few Cities and States that have recognize the War Dogs (K-9) in their Veterans’ Plazas and this memorial will honor dogs that have helped our Military and/or died while in service.
O.L.A.E. worked with Master Sculpture Lena Toritch to create our K-9 War Dog sculpture ( http://lenatoritch.com/) and http://www.veteransmemorialstatues.com/) to create our rugged war dog known as "Rex".
At the unvelining of Rex on 10/21/17, Ms. Toritch's stated the following thoughts: "Rex is a rugged war dog and you can imagine the storyline as there are so many Military Working Dogs. Each MWD has their own unique story of courage and sacrifice. Ms. Toritch worked on the specific expression of Rex’s face to make him look both strong and gentle and that he is a soldier who serves and is both brave and kind.”
O.L.A.E. became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in August 2005, to fulfill our mission to educate park users, steward and fund-raise to maintain the off-leash dog area in Edmonds and be a loyal voice in the community for dogs. The small group of volunteers work closely with the City of Edmonds Park and Recreation Department and during the past 13 years, with tons of yard debris being removed to bring the park to the pristine gem that it is today.
The group has sponsored seven Eagle Scout Projects and has a very popular agility course and a small dog area.
Each year, O.L.A.E. donates over 500 pounds of dog food to the local food bank and in 2013 provided $2,000 to the new City of Edmonds’ K-9 Police Officer. Future funds after part operating will be put to scholarships for training dogs for PTSD soldiers.
“I was particularly struck by the gravesite honoring the cavalry horses killed during the battle,” she recalled. “I was so moved thinking of all those beautiful animals who suffered and died right alongside the men with whom they fought.”
Coincidentally, at about the same time National Geographic published an article on War Dog Heroes, and in Edmonds the energy was starting to build for creation of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza.
“The convergence of those three things got me thinking about how great it would be to have a place of honor for K-9 veterans as part of the plaza,” she added. Of course, the rest is history and it was a herculean effort raising the funds requiring us to tap into all our 13 years of accumulated reserves from various donors to the off-leash area.