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Jake, PA

National, 2012


Please donate to the wonderful Brown Dog Foundation!  In this economy especially, families really need financial assistance when they are faced with the unnecessary death of a beloved pet because of their inability to pay for care.  Our own family faced this situation and the possible euthanasia of our five year old lab mix, Jake, this past year. 

Jake was a rescue dog.  We adopted him as a puppy, the only male in an abandoned litter of puppies who bonded with our slightly older dog, Yogi Bear.  Yogi and Jake immediately took to each other, and Yogi showed a lovely big brother quality as he and Jake grew together.  Both also grew up with our now thirteen year old daughter, Maggie, and in caring for our pets, she has learned about responsibility, patience, and giving and receiving love.

Jake is a life force.  He is an eternal puppy, happy, curious, and strong.  Unfortunately, he also eats almost anything in sight.  We have taken him to trainers and veterinarians and are always working with him on this serious problem. 

This past summer, Jake began vomiting repeatedly.  When we took him to an emergency vet and subsequently to our own vet, they determined that without our knowledge, he had eaten some sort of fabric that caused an obstruction in his intestines.  The vet tried fluids to help Jake expel the foreign body, but eventually came to the conclusion that Jake would require an operation to remove it or be euthanized.

Throughout the diagnostic process, our family feared that Jake would require surgery and in no way could we afford it.  Maggie’s dad had been laid off twice in the previous couple of years, and also in recent years our family had been caring for four elderly parents suffering through heart attacks and cancer.  We had used all our savings and we were living pay check to pay check with only one car, no vacations, and worrying about home foreclosure.

We cried and talked and struggled to find a way to face the decision to operate or let Jake pass away. Sadly we had to base our decision solely on financial considerations.  In the end, we were fortunate to receive some amount of Care Credit, and we were also able to borrow money from a family member who loves animals, yet a woman who truly needs the money herself for everyday living expenses.  We were so close to ensuring Jake would receive the surgery and could once again be a healthy, happy pet!!  And although we thought we'd figured out a way to take care of Jake, it would leave us in the difficult decision of putting our everyday expenses on hold.  Groceries would become a luxury item.  And the stress of this all weighed heavily on us.

Blessedly, in researching online for possible help, we discovered the Brown Dog Foundation.  The Grant Manager led us through the thoughtful process of applying for financial aid and we were awarded a grant to help us pay for Jake's surgery!  We can hardly express our gratitude to the Brown Dog Foundation.  While we still paid what we could toward Jake’s care ourselves, the Foundation agreed to make up the difference.  And the relief this has provided our family is great.  We have been able to show Maggie that there are people in this world who care about others and animals, and that saving Jake’s life was in no way a decision to regret.  Who knows how these life lessons will affect her and the contributions and choices she will make as an adult?

In the meantime, Maggie is just so very happy that she and our family have the opportunity to love, and play with, and take care of Jake for many more years.  As we said, Jake is a life force, and one well worth saving.  So, if you can, please contribute to the Brown Dog Foundation.  This organization is also a positive life force, and well worth supporting for their ability and willingness to provide financial help to families in need like ours and dogs like Jake.

Thanks again, Brown Dog Foundation!


Jake's life was saved by proceeds from the 2nd Annual Holiday Howler hosted by JT Hodges, and featuring Whitney Duncan, Chris Stapleton and Jonathan Singletary!