Jet the Wonder Dog–A Story of Foster Failure

Today was Jetski Kev T. Bronson’s Gotcha Day celebration. His true adoption date was May 22, but that was a Monday and who can have a proper party on a Monday? So today, we celebrated Jet. The wonder dog.

The story of how Jet, and his numerous nicknames, came to our humble home is not a long one, but was a giga coaster on emotional rails.

It started with a death. Jet came into the rescue because his human dad died and the family couldn’t keep him. At 13 1/2 years old, we knew it would be hard to place him in a new forever home, but we try to save as many as possible regardless, so we jumped on the opportunity to take in the old guy. My previous foster, Bugsy, had just been adopted by my next door neighbors, so my home was open and I’ve always had a soft spot for the senior dogos. Those who know me, know I can’t not love a grey face.

Old man Jet arrived at my house mid-March. We had just started our busy season at work and I thought a senior dog that was already trained and used to another dog and cat would fit in fine even with my long work hours. The granddaughter of Jet’s former pop brought him over and told me everything she knew about his personality and quirks. After an introduction to my girl, RJ, and a stroll around the yard, it was determined that he would do well with us.

I pretty much knew immediately that he wasn’t going anywhere. There was something in20170423_164023 the way his ears bounced when he walked and his foggy eyes that made me know he was home.

And he did fit in well. He learned our routines and went right along with the feed times, work schedule, treat times, bed times, and walks. During the day he’d sleep in the front room that he claimed as his own and at night he’d sleep across my doorway. We were now a pack of four and we were all happy.

I had noticed that Jet limped a bit and really didn’t like you to touch his side or his stomach. Figuring the limping and touchiness was due to age-related issues, I started him on high quality food and supplements of glucosamine/chondroitin and Wobenzyme. In a few weeks, there was a clear turn around in his ability to walk without a limp and get up off the floor easier. Seemed like we were on the right path to keeping him as mobile as possible.

Then he went in for his checkup and microchip. Our vet informed us that he had never been neutered, at some point he was shot and the bullet was still in him, and something bad was going on in his stomach. This was a Monday They wanted to do x-rays before the neuter, which was scheduled for Friday. Friday came and they put him just in twilight to do the x-rays first. They were shocked by what they saw—a softball-sized and shaped tumor in the area of his spleen and possible swollen pulmonary arteries. There would be no neuter that day. I remember, I was stuck at work where I couldn’t check my cell phone or email, but a note was sent to me that he was “okay.”

After the call to tell me the full facts, we immediately scheduled an appointment for an echo-cardiogram and ultrasound for the following Monday. These showed that he had a slight heart arrhythmia, but his pulmonary arteries looked okay. The tumor was clear and it was on the spleen. Once they had the results, our vets wanted to go in and do the surgery Tuesday morning. No waiting. It was too risky with a tumor that size. Even if benign, it could have burst  at any moment causing him to internally bleed out.

By this time it was the first week of May—our absolute busiest week at work. My emotions were out of control and I’m not one to ever show much emotion. I was so scared that I would lose him after he just came into my life.

Two amazing vets went into surgery to remove the spleen, tumors, and do the neuter on Tuesday morning. Again, I was away from all communication at work and having to try and focus on what was happening before me instead of getting caught up in my thoughts of what was happening to my Jet boy right then and whether he would make it through. At his age, putting a dog under is dangerous, but I knew he was in the absolute best hands for the job. And I was right.

20170505_113129They took the spleen with the massive tumor, which also had two other smaller also perfectly round tumors on it…and his balls. So in total, Jet lost five balls that day. But he made it through the tough surgery and was awake and grumpy! I took his grumpiness as a good sign. The next day, another note was delivered to me at work where I was once again away from communication that read, “Jet is eating, but only if hand fed. He’s being spoiled.” He ended up spending the rest of the week at the vet’s office and they continued to spoil and fall in love with him. It’s really impossible not to. By the end of the week, we were all missing him at the house, even RJ.

Jet was home. Finally. Again. He started his slow healing process with a lot of rest and painkillers.20170416_093556 Each day he got a little more mobile, ate more food, and his personality started coming back. I remembered his Easter morning face that I captured right as he woke up. He had the biggest smile and looked like my own little pun dog pup. That boy was coming back little by little. The biggest difference was his mobility. Once off the heavy duty painkillers, he was walking without any limp and even trotting a bit! Another new revelation, he enjoyed a belly rub. Before, I couldn’t get near his belly.

And then, on my birthday, I got the call from the vet that the tumor was BENIGN. Best birthday present ever!

Needless to say, Jet has made a wonder-dog recovery. He demands nightly walks now and is so much more comfortable. No more constant panting or barely being able to make it up one stair. He still has some pretty intense arthritis in his spine, but we’ve got the right combo to keep him pain free and moving.

The emotional roller coaster seems to have rolled back into the station. For now. Nobody knows or is promised the future though, so today we celebrated Jet and his official adoption into the Bronson family. And it truly has been a family trip. Without the emotional and financial support of my huge-hearted parents, none of this would have been possible. It’s things like this that make me believe in the connectedness of everything. Jet landed exactly where he needed to be. And more so, where I needed him to be. The pack grew unexpectedly, but we can’t imagine how we were before him.

Jet’s Gotcha Day party included his sister, Ruby Joon, and two former fosters, Lolly (and her mom) and Bugsy. Ol boy didn’t really want to play or have anything to do with the young’uns, and he wasn’t overly thrilled about the doggie cake with the candle, but I did catch him a couple times with a smile on his face.

We all wished for many more healthy years for Jetski Kev T. Bronson when blowing out the candle on his Gotcha Day cake.

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Capers in Fostering: Remington!

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Hi, everyone! This is Remington, my current foster dog. I volunteer with an awesome organization called Last Hope Rescue Florida and fostering is a huge part of how we are able to save dogs.

I got into fostering after my first dog love, Morgan, died and I missed having a dog in my life, but wasn’t ready to choose another perma-pet yet. Fostering was the perfect way to transition through the immense grief of Morgan’s death. When you meet a dog that has been rescued from a shelter or bad situation, you can feel and see their gratefulness. They are full of love and that is healing when you might be grieving yourself.

People often ask how I’m able to let them go after having them in my life and the answer is that you have to go into it knowing you are their middle ground. The bridge to their forever family. Of course, there are times when fosters fail and do fall in love and adopt the dogs themselves. I knew when I volunteered to foster Ruby Joon that I would fail, but that’s a story for another day.

11167798_10153278262982310_1596572156339721948_nBack to Remy! We think he looks like a Brittany Spaniel/Pointer mix. Whatever he is, it’s a package of cuteness. At about a year and a half old, he’s still full of energy, but also settles into nap times and relaxation easily. He has proven to be a great running partner, jogging along right by my side and not darting in front or behind me. Remy also likes to go on long, investigative walks on which he can smell out all the smells of the neighborhood.

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He gets along great with my dog and also enjoys going to doggie daycare to play with all the different types of dogs there. Fetch and bones are a few of his favorite things and he likes a good back scratch. Remy knows basic commands and is a good listener. I think with his energy/agility and his need to please, he could be trained to do all sorts of tricks. He’s crate and house trained and has never chewed anything he wasn’t supposed to while with me.

Overall, he’s an awesome dog and I really am surprised he hasn’t found his forever family yet. They are out there and networking will find them. If interested, he is available for adoption through Last Hope Rescue. Check out their Facebook page here.

Remington is patiently waiting to bring all his happiness and love to one lucky family!

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Spring’s Snowflake

Spring may be here by the calendar, but there’s one last Snowflake you’ve got to see.

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I am fostering this precious little pup for Last Hope Rescue. Snowflake is my twelfth foster and she is bringing the cuteness like no other. Some of my fosters have been temporary–like Snowy who is only with me while her other foster mom is out of town–and some have beensnowy2 long term. They have ranged in size from an 85-pound American bulldog named Georgie who just wanted to give slobbery kisses and flop his big head on your lap for a nap, to this tiny princess that weighs in at 11 pounds. She’s so small, I can put her in a flower pot.

Snowy enjoys the sunshine and exploring the yard. She likes to see what her big foster sister is checking out and will follow her around to make sure she gets to smell the smells as well. She’s just as happy to be inside sleeping, pressed right up against her human. I swear sometimes that she presses herself so close that she is trying to become a part of my leg.

One of my favorite parts of fostering is watching the dogs become comfortable and how they change when they know they are safe and loved. Snowflake started out a little growly at my girl, Ruby Joon, but just last night started showing more acceptance, and today I saw her allow Ruby to give her a doggie kiss! I don’t blame Snowy for being a bit fearful at first since Ruby is much larger than she is, but it seems like Ruby’s insistence of friendship is working.

snow and rubyOne of the ways to introduce a foster into a home with a permanent pup is to take them on a walk together so they can meet and sniff before bringing them into the house. I find that this also helps them bond throughout their time together. I have been consistent about walking them daily around the neighborhood and I believe this is part of the reason Snowy is now accepting Ruby. They are best buds on walks. Sniffing out all the smells, stopping to pee on the same spot, barking at other dogs they have decided they don’t care for and quietly prancing by other dogs they seem to be showing off for. RJ, like a good big sister, will walk on the side closer to traffic and if Snow tries to get too far out into the street, RJ will herd her back toward the side of the road. They tend to remind me of Arnold and Danny in the movie Twins, however; I really like to belt out the song Ebony and Ivory at any given time, which I’m sure the neighbors find highly amusing.

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At five years young, Snowflake is such a sweet girl that is already house and crate trained. I hope she finds her perfect forever family soon. If you are interested in this happy pup, please email Last Hope Rescue at lasthoperescuefl@gmail.com.

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