Real Rescue Dogs Are Talking…
LIFE CHANGING INTERVIEWS WITH SAVANNAH
Hiya! Savannah Here Again with Another Wonderful Adult Rescue Dog!!
This is a special guest for me because this dog is my ever faithful Champion Jetty, of Hey, It’s Jet Here!
Please give him a warm welcome!!
APAWS! APAWS!! APAWS!!
Let’s get started…
Savannah: Hiya Jetty! I am really tickled to have my Big Guy Champion with me today!! Thanks lots for stopping by and having a chat with me
Jetty: Hi Savvy, I’m so excited you invited me to participate in your REAL RESCUE CATS AND DOGS ARE TALKING series (blushing a little). Since you and I know each other well, call me any of my names you like!
Savannah: awwww…you know I luvluvluv calling you Big Guy! But, guess I outta be more formal…so I’ll use Jetty. My first question is really just asking you to tell us a bit about how you arrived at your furrever home.
Jetty: hmmmm…it was 2008…and Mom was checking the Golden Rescue South Florida website in October for driving directions to their first Rescue Reunion that November. Mom visits the site a lot to read the stories of the current K9s available for adoption.
She quickly scrolled down, saw golden, golden, black dog, golden… huh?…”black dog”??
She read, “Hi, I’m Obie, I know I’m not a golden but I’m a flat coat retriever”. Mom was cooked! She always wanted a golden and a flat coat but believed in rescue and flat coats are hard to find, let alone in rescue. So, she called the group, learned that I was saved from Miami Dade Animal Services with 4 days to spare because Miss Carol liked my face. I was in Palm Beach at the time, so arrangements were made for Mom to meet me in Ft. Lauderdale.
Mom learned that “meet” in rescue world meant bring a leash, a check and I’m yours! She brought Rachel, my human sister, and even though finances had tightened since Koko’s adoption in 2004 (Koko was a golden), she took one look at me and next thing I knew, I was in the backseat!
…this is me withHuSis Rachel about 3 years later…we are really close…
Savannah: Do you remember about how old you were back then Jetty??
Jetty: well, they think I was between 6 months and even 18 months old. It might have been tough to tell for sure because…shifts paws on the floor…scruff, scruff…well, errrrrr…my legs had a lot of muscle atrophy…you know…they were weak and not exactly normal size and strength I guess.
Savannah: (reaches over with paw, gives pal Jetty a soft paw pat)…I’m sorry Jetty. Do you feel like going on…
Jetty: (wiping leaky eyes with paw…he has handsome paws with little white tips)
Oh sure, Savvy…let’s go on…I’m OK…after all…I have to maintain my Champion like behavior so readers know I am perfectly fit to protect your honor.
Savannah: oh Jetty, you silly…(gives his paw a squeeze to reassure him)..What are some of the toughest challenges you and Miss Lori have had to get through to help you be your Real Self?
Jetty: Well, I was super nervous the first few months. I ate Mom’s couch arm the first week, a basket the second, and a bag of treats AND the bag they were in during the third week…ooopppsss!
Golden Rescue told Mom that they thought I was abused and heard that I had been confined in a small space…like a cage, a little room or some little cemented place??? Not sure…sigh.
Mom noticed that anything resembling a stick—like a pressure cleaner hose thingy, a broom, etc., made me shiver and shake like a leaf. Also, I could not jump onto Mom’s bed, which was not high off the ground—probably because my hind legs were not strong enough.
Mom noticed I drank copious (vocab building project VBP) amounts of water, too. Mom thought I had hip dysplasia and diabetes and took me to see Dr. Schaffer right away. Thank goodness I had neither, just results from fear and muscle atrophy. As storm season approached the following April/May, Mom noticed I was beyond terrified of thunder and lightening.
Slowly, as Mom took Koko and I to the dog park, it was winter and comfy out, I learned to run again; play and enjoy other K9s (Mom called me Mayor of the Dog Park); and I learned to swim and feel safe.
…here’s a couple of early photos at the dog park and me swimming and learning about using my legs again…
…and swimmies are the very best!…
Savannah: Oh Cat! Swimming must have felt so great for your leggies! Jetty, can you talk with me about some of the ways you and Miss Lori worked together to help get you into your recovery and try to overcome your issues or challenges?
Jetty: Like I mentioned above, Mom took Koko and I to the dog park a lot because we don’t have a fence. And, I learned about chew toys—Mom ordered American hooves, CET Hextra chews, marrow bones and eventually antlers—and my destructive chewing decreased over time.
Storm anxiety—oh, I’ve got this BAD! Mom’s tried homeopathic drops, thunder shirt, pheromones, desensitizing, man cave#1 and man cave #2, cotton in ears, Benadryl (under Dr. Schaffer’s guidance) and any other suggestion she received!
Of course, Mom’s really affectionate and loving, so I learned I could trust her. Also, if your readers will permit…ummm, errrr…ahem..koff, koff…Mom tried some alternative stuff to help me. No, really…she did!!
She consulted a nationally known animal communicator after I went for a year plus with less than 5 hours/night sleep because of my severe storm anxieties. You see I wake up @ 5:00 a.m, and if I was up most of the night pacing and acting out because of a storm, then Mom wouldn’t get hardly any sleep either. The three of us communicated (details upon request!) and Mom learned:
- I liked living with her and my new family.
- I would be willing to try swimming and the treadmill to get more exercise.
- I would like to try pet therapy.
- I would try to let her sleep a little more.
- If she communicated in a certain way one to two times a day that I was safe and loved (details upon request), I would learn to trust her, bond with her and therefore believe her when she told me I could do something because I was safe.
Mom found the right type of brush for my coat and then I learned to LOVE our special brushing time.
Oh, forgot to say that Mom kind of put 2 and 2 together after about 9 months and discovered I was probably a flat coat/border collie mix aka “follie”. When she researched border collies, she learned about anxiety, herding and other behaviors that matched me to a “J”! She then had a deeper understanding and honored this part of my character. She even tried to find a herding spot in Miami! (doesn’t exist!)
Savannah: Meowsie wowsie! Miss Lori certainly tried everything she could to help you feel safe enough to show up as your REAL SELF Jetty! What a great day when you two found each other!
You mentioned some ‘alternative’ methods and other stuff you guys tried, so can you help us understand how successful you have been in managing your anxieties, etc.?
Jetty: hmmm…raises one paw and starts to tick off progress…
- Chewing—all better.
- Grooming—all better.
- Muscle atrophy—all better.
- Copious drinking—I now drink with a purpose, more measured and timely.
(switches paws to keep ticking off progress)
- Bonding with Mom—super duper.
- Fear of sticks—improved.
- Storm anxiety/loud noise anxiety—smidge better, sometimes my man caves help, especially if Mom hangs out there with me!
…oh, take a look at this to see how far I have come…this is me in my Hannukah crown…(Savvy whispers ehind her paw…see his cute little white tips on his paws???)
Savannah: High Paws Jetty! (reaches over to exchange high paws with Jetty)That is some great progress!!
Last question, can you offer any advice to our readers to help them support their adult rescue dog, or one they may be thinkin’ about bringing into their home?
Jetty: We’re worth it!
Know that an older rescue arrives with more luggage! We also arrive potty trained! (usually).
Know that a commitment is required to build a bond. Don’t believe everything you read in the paper! (or everything you are told about our “issues” when you adopt up)
Observe negative behaviors and try to discern (VBP) the cause and modify constructively. (i.e. after new guardian freaks out that K9 has eaten arm of couch, guardian realizes that they have a nervous chewer! Provide chewies and understand the issue may decrease over time.).
Observe resistance and honor it, allow for baby steps…we are all a work in progress.
Assume the end result will be harmony in the house…know that we pick up on our Guardian’s energy.
Savannah: What great tips!! You and Miss Lori, sorry…’Mom’… have worked really hard and always together Jetty.
Any last thought or words of wisdom you want to share?
Jetty: Thank you Savvy, very few beings ever want to know my whole story. In Casa Jet, we hope that if we share, we may help at least one creature have a safe, loving forever home sharing unconditional love with their Guardian (s).
Mom wants everyone to know that she feels that we’ve helped her in equal measure. JJ, Puffy (and Fluffy) have/had their own tales to tell. If you ever want them to share, let me know!
…here’s a shot of me and JJ (…ahem…ahhhh…Savvy, I may not have mentioned that I lost my first sisfur, Koko, 3 years after I came to live with Mom…then Mom and I adopted Miss JJ in December 2011. I love Miss JJ , just don’t print that..ok?…JJ might use it for leverage to get my share of the cantaloupe and yogurt…)
Savannah: Of course our readers will want to hear their stories. And, ummmm…Jetty…I know that you recently lost sweet Fluffy…but his story is impawtant nonetheless.
Let’s have another round of APAWS, APAWS!!! For Jetty!!
Thanks everyone for stopping by to learn about Jetty’s path to gaining trust and confidence in his furrever home…he is showing his REAL SELF as much as he can.
Let me know if you have a cat or dog furriend with a rescue experience we can all learn from. Until next time…
Paw pats, Savannah