Saturday, May 11, 2013

Crazy Jake

People with giant hearts do crazy things.
Take my friend, Ashley.  She's one of the most kind-hearted people I know. A huge animal lover. The type of person who spends her spare time walking dogs at the local shelter.
One day in January Ashley (I call her Ash) was on Facebook and saw a picture of a 6 yr old mastiff/boxer/bull dog mix named Eeyore who was living in a high kill animal shelter. The dog was going to be euthanized the next day. He had hours to live.
Ash contacted the rescue organization and saved him.
Now here's the thing.
The dog was in Miami. 
Ash lives in New Jersey.
A little crazy, right?
It turned out that Eeyore had a lot of health problems. They were the type of things that were typical of a dog who had been on his own for a long time. Heart worm. An ear infection that was so bad that he needed an operation.  Scratches on his face. If they were treated, they were not life-threatening. But treating them was expensive.
Ash is a full-time college student who works part time at the library. She lost her home in Superstorm Sandy so she is not exactly in the financial position to pay for all of this. 
And now she was responsible for a dog in Miami who has thousands of dollars in vet bills.
It all seemed unsurmountable.
Ashley turned to internet. A whole bunch of people with giant hearts donated money for Eeyore, a dog they'd never met.
Down in Florida, he was fostered and cared for and nursed back to health by more kindhearted people. It took months.
To be honest, I wasn't paying all that much attention to Eeyore and his story. Oh sure, I asked about him and I donated some money to his cause, but  I was too preoccupied with things that were happening in my own life.
I didn't even know that Eeyore was ready for his trip to New Jersey and that Ash was frantically trying to find him a place to stay until another animal-loving co-worker mentioned it to me at the library.
It wasn't like we weren't looking for a dog. Our beloved German Shepard mix, Chi, had passed away in December. During the months that Eeyore was in Florida convalescing, I'd go with Ashley to the local animal shelter. I knew exactly what I wanted: a golden-haired large breed Chi. There were some great dogs at the shelter but the ones that I liked either were about to be adopted by someone else or they were way too high energy for us.
Since we didn't have a dog, and Eeyore didn't have a home, it seemed like a natural fit. After a short conversation, my husband and I decided to foster Eeyore.
We met him on Easter morning.
By Easter evening, it felt like he had been here forever.
We renamed him Jake.
And he was no longer a foster dog.
There is nothing dainty about Jake. He is a bulldozer of a dog, who will jump on your lap if you let him.
His favorite game is when one person stands on one end of the yard and the other stands at the other end. Jake runs back and forth to get pet.
Mostly, he likes to chill with his people. Every so often he runs around like a crazy dog, excited, happy and ready to play. He tends to be a goof ball.
But that is not why I call him Crazy Jake.
You'd think that a dog who had been abandoned and mistreated, a dog who ended up on death row at an animal shelter would be wary of humans. You'd think he'd keep his heart to himself.
But Jake is all about love.  He rolls over on his back. He gives kisses. He presses against people, waiting to be pet.
He charms everyone he meets. He has a whole group of people who helped with his rescue and every time Ashley posts pictures on Facebook, they cheer him on.
I've never seen anyone (dog or human) so determined to make a relationship work.  From the moment he got here he seemed to love and accept us, and the only thing he wants is to be loved back.
When you think about it, that's a little crazy.
A dog who has been abandoned and mistreated being so trusting and so willing to love again.
But obviously Jake is a dog with a giant heart.
And dogs with giant hearts do crazy things...

Jake in his new home.
Friday morning deep thoughts. 

Being chill


Clay Carmichael said...

I love this story. Am petting Jake from afar. xoxo Clay

nanmarino said...

You would love him, Clay. Talk about good "dog energy", this guy is filled with it.

Anonymous said...

Ashley isn't the only one with a huge heart! Jake is lucky to have found his forever home

nanmarino said...

And we are lucky to have found Jake!

Kathleen Tortu Bowles said...

Wow what a truly great story. Jake is how I met Ashley, sort of...I had JUST rescued a mixed breed puppy from Miami Dade and Eeyore was there too. I saw Ashley on this shelter thread as wanting him, and started talking to her over the internet. Turns out we had a LOT in common, we were both from NJ for one thing and only about an hour from each other, and we both wanted to save dogs from Miami Dade. I followed Eeyore"s story and progress, talked with Ashley regularly, and prayed he would get better. I am so so happy for Jake. Ashley, you're one in a million for always being there for Jake, and your friend is too, for giving him a loving home...okay, get me some tissues now...thank you everyone who supported Jake and his journey!