Sheba, Schatz

In July 2008 I went to PetSmart to buy dog and cat food. I can’t stop myself from walking past the “Cat Romm” where several kitties are just waiting for that special person. I noticed tied to the table leg outside that room a Boston Terrier sitting very quietly all by himself. Over 8 years ago I was missing my little dog who had just died and began a search for someone who would fit into our home along with my Siberian Huskey Sheba. (Also a rescue) I researched the Boston and was intrigued by the breed but could not find one available. I brought home instead a Shih Tzu puppy we named Schatz. But on this day in July, this very sad looking Boston caught my eye. I went over to him and sat on the floor next to him stroking his head. A lady approached who was his foster mom and a member of AC Paws (rescue group) she told me that his name was Jasper and that he was 8 years old. She then showed me pictures of him from that January when he had been seized from his owners for abuse and severe neglect. Jasper was so malnurised that he was just a bag of bones and had no fur, only what looked like fish scales. My heart went out to this old man as he had lived through what no animal should ever endure. I told her a am the Human Resource Manager for the local Lowe’s store and I have a building full of dog lovers. I promised I would help find him the right home. I then attempted to stand up and leave. As I tryed to stand, Jasper got up and climbed into my lap making it heart wrenching to leave him. I gave Carol my business card and told her I check back with her in a few days.
When I called Carol, she told me I was the only one who had shown any interest in Jasper and that AC Paws had even featured him on the internet as their pet of the week. She asked me if I would consider fostering him for a week or so. I knew exactly what that meant. I brought him home and he and my Schatz hit it off great. I also had my son’s adoped German Shepard, Janie with me at the time and that was a handful. A week later, I called Carol to tell her I would give Jasper the home he deserved. Jasper’s eyes showed nothing but greatfulness in them as only a rescued dog’s eyes can show. Everything went along smoothly until one night in August when Jasper started throwing up and sneezing green snot out of his nose. I took him to the vets at PetSmart, an animal hospital inside the store called Banfield. These people are the kindest most compassionalte people you could ask for.
The Doctor Cooper looked at Jasper and told me that his teeth were in very bad shape and that he had 2 absessed teeth. She put him on anibiotiics and we scheduled him for a cleaning and extraction in 2 weeks. Jasper began to feel better. He went through the surgery to remove the teeth well and was on the mend. Then sometime in early November, I noticed he was peeing excessively. Back to Banfield we went. Test showed he had a nasty bladder infection and back on antibioitcs he went. It looked like nothing serious when on Thanksgiving night he had a really hard seizure. I called Dr Cooper on Friday and she said it would be hard to nail down especially in light of not really know his history. We talked about watching him and putting him on anti seizure medicine if they continued. The next day he had two more seizures and by early Sunday morning he had such violent seizures I thought he was going to die right there in my arms. I called the emergency vet who was in a local town and took him there with my son driving at 7am Sunday morning. That Doctor was was very kind but suspected a heart condition. I did not believe this was the case but told her I’d follow up with his vet the next morning. She sent me home with an under the skin IV and solution to administer every 4 hours. Thank God my son is a volunteer fire fighter/first responder and was willing to help. I was petrified to try it. We called our vet the next day and they seizures seemed to stop. Dr. Cooper had already run every lab and exray she could and with the seizures subsiding, all we could do was give him his medicine, the IVs and wait. Jasper seemed to rally and except for now only being able to walk in circles, stopping to stand in a corner and not being able to back out. Still Dr. Cooper said we would proceed and just watch. Then I got that phone call a t work no one wants to receive. It was my son saying, Mom, I just finished giving Jasper the fluiids, (we were weaning him off) and he just colapsed on the floor, let out a moan of pain and seems gone. There was no movement of his eyes. I left work, came home, he drove me while I held Jasper in my arns to Dr Cooper. She took him from me and left the room. When she returned, she was in tears and told me that he was still alive but his brain was shut down. She suspected a brain tumor. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. Not because I had never had to do this for another beloved friend in the past, but because this old boy had gone through so much more than anyone could bare. He finally had a forever home and a family that loved him and I so wanted more time to show him what he deserved. I had to say good-bye and I had to stand at his side because that’s what he deserved. To know that in his last days and moments, he was valued and loved. The next day my son John who never misses one of Mark’s shows. ( I’m not allowed to speak to him while “The great one” is speaking, presented me with a copy of Mark’s book, Rescuing Sprite. He wrote in the inside cover, To Mom, In Loving Memory of Jasper. I cryed. I couldn’t read any further. Mark your book has been sitting on the table next to my bed ever since.
This week I thought I could maybe start to read it. I want to tell you that I need glasses to read and it is impossible to read through tears. I had to stop cause I couldn’t see. Your Sprite’s story is in many ways paralell to Jasper’s. I did finally get past the introduction and was able to read along and enjoy your kindred heart. Then I came to the chapter where you had to say good-bye and had to stop because again I couldn’t see. I just want you to know that I appreciate your sharing your heart and your pain. When I am finally finished with your book I going to give it to a friend at work who on Christmas eve had to say good-bye to her best friend AJ, a 14 year old Beagle. Mark, my son is right about you and you are the kind of man I would whole heartedly support as leadership for our country. God Bless You, your family, four legged and two legged.
Christine from MI