Happy Adoption Day, Jett!

Happy Adoption Day, Jett! In honor of the anniversary of Jett’s adoption, 5% of our sales from 12-17-12 to 12-23-12  will be donated to the Delaware County, PA, SPCA. I always grew up with dogs, but my husband’s family never had pets. For years, possibly 10, my son put a dog on his Christmas list, and last year my husband finally caved.  Just goes to show you, Santa finds a way eventually!

The day Jett came home.

So one Thursday last December, my 16-year-old son and I headed out to the SPCA. They had recently brought in a litter of abandoned German shepherd/lab puppies which had been all over the news, and while I knew my son was really hoping for a puppy, I definitely preferred an older dog.  The puppies weren’t available yet, but we walked through the kennel anyway.  All the dogs were barking and jumping, and there was Jett, quiet as could be, with his head down between his paws and a look on his face that said he had given up on finding a home. We noticed that he had stitches on the side of his face along his jaw line, plus plenty of scars and somewhat mangled ears. We were told that he came into the SPCA with a wound on his face that hadn’t been treated, so they did surgery to remove a mass of scar tissue. The other scars probably came from a rough life on the streets. There also some speculation that he could have been a bait dog, but we have no way of knowing for sure. He absolutely LOVES other dogs which seems inconsistent with that theory, and he’s safe with us now which is the important thing. 

We visited Jett a few more times over the next few days and learned a little more about his story. He had come to Pennsylvania with other rescued dogs from North Carolina and had apparently come in with a brother. (I’m still not sure how they knew they were brothers, but he must have been close to another dog.) That’s how he got his name.  They named him Jett, and his brother Bennie – Bennie & The Jetts, get it??  Bennie was adopted while Jett was in the hospital. I wonder if that’s why Jett gets so excited when he sees other dogs. Maybe he’s used to having a full-time playmate. He also had heartworm and would need a final treatment in a few months. I honestly wasn’t very familiar with heartworm and since they said it could be treated, I didn’t give it too much thought at the time. It turns out it was pretty serious, the treatment is very serious, and there was a shortage of medicine! The heartworm ordeal is a blog post in itself, but he was successfully treated in March. Although a chest X-ray showed some type of pellets under his skin. The first vet thought perhaps BBs, but we now think maybe birdshot/buckshot?  (I’m a city girl. I don’t know the difference.) Perhaps he got in the way of a shotgun blast which is how his face was wounded? We’ll never really know.

Jett being spoiled on the old couch. He’s not allowed on the new one!

The entire family had to meet him before he could be adopted, which meant we had to wait for the weekend so my husband would be available and we needed to drive up to NY to bring my daughter home from college for the holidays. The puppies were being released for adoption on Saturday, and it turns out they had people lined up outside the door before the SPCA even opened. Those puppies were all snatched up in a few hours, but Jett was still waiting for us. Health-wise, his wound was still healing, the heartworm had caused enlargement of his pulmonary arteries, his left knee would pop out fairly frequently, and his breathing was sometimes noisy and labored because of the heartworm.  He also would tire easily on his walks.  I am very happy to report that the heartworm is cured, and he is developing so much more stamina and energy. I attribute it to regular walks and play. Just like a human, with repeated exercise, I think he’s built up his endurance. His knee hasn’t popped out in months, and since the summer heat has gone, he’s walking further than he ever did before. He still sleeps a lot, but he is a dog, and there’s no more troublesome breathing noises.

Getting ready for Christmas. I think he looks like the dog from the Grinch!

He’s brought so much joy into our household – well, maybe not so much for my husband, who is still getting used to life with a dog, although Jett’s definitely growing on him. When I see my son drop his backpack and immediately start playing with Jett the second he walks in the door, I wonder why we didn’t do this sooner. Jett & I are both going to have a very tough time in August when my son goes away to college. The cat, on the other hand, is not happy at all with the whole situation. After almost a year, he is finally venturing downstairs from the attic bedroom he now calls home. Granted he’s 12 years old, so he may prefer one-floor condo living! Jett is absolutely terrified of the cat and slinks away whenever he sees him. I still haven’t given up hope that they’ll one day be friends. In honor of Jett’s adoption, I’m donating 5% of this week’s sales to the Delaware County SPCA. Like so many SPCA’s around the country, they do wonderful work with very limited resources. They have also recently become a life-saving organization which means that they will only euthanize animals that cannot be rehabilitated either medically or behaviorally, not because of an arbitrary time limit.

Jett with his raincoat by Taryn of Recycling Zychal on Etsy.com

By the way, do you like Jett’s raincoat? It’s made from discarded umbrellas by Taryn at Recycling Zychal on Etsy. Taryn finds umbrellas throughout Philadelphia and turns them into waterproof pet coats. What a great idea!  Please post a comment if you’ve adopted a rescue. I’d love to hear about it.