Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Once, there were two... Jake's story

Maggie was our first rescue dog. We got her shortly after our previous border collie, Murphy, passed. Adopting Maggie from Missouri-Kansas Border Collie Rescue not only began my association with the dog, but also with this great organization and an entire network of people dedicated to caring for the homeless and needy members of this wonderful breed.

Just before Maggie's first birthday, in early July, I got an email from another rescue group asking to help with a transport. A young, needy male was being pulled from a shelter in Oklahoma and needed a ride to Chicago to an adoptive family. This photo accompanyed that email:

Something about the photo struck my heart, and I volunteered to give him a ride from Rolla MO, and give him a place to stay for a few days while we organized the rest of his transport. Jake was a little shy, very wormy, didn't want anyone to touch his feet or hindquarters and was wearing a cat collar. After a bath and a good meal, I took some digital photos and emailed them to his new family. My heart dropped when I read their reply. "Uh oh, he doesn't look like what we thought" "do you think his hair will grow?" "I'm not so sure...." I immediately called them and said the deal was off. If they were not jumping up and down to have him, I would not bring him to them. They said they would take him "if they had to" but otherwise, thanks but no thanks. Now, I have an intact male dog with no place to go... what had I done.

I immediately started taking photos and put him up for adoption on the Mo-Kan site. As you can imagine, he wasn't the most popular orphan. The majority of people want those beautiful rough coats and we couldn't be sure that Jake was even a purebred. But applications for adoption did arrive and we read them carefully. None of them sounded just right, so Jake continued to stay with us.

From July to October Jake lived with us "temporarily." We had him neutered and taught him manners. It took countless hours of patience to get him to lie still for a nail trim, and he started looking better. He still would not let us touch his hindquarters, but a visit to the vet and a quick x-ray explained it. Jakes hips were riddled with pellets from a pellet gun (not shot from a shotgun, but multiple pellets from different directions). There were several that were on pressure points... elbows and such that were removed and this seemed to help. We continued to read applications and wonder what had happened in this sweet young boy's life.

In October, I went to Kansas City for the weekend and took both Maggie and Jake. We stayed at a hotel that had a sliding door to a courtyard that allowed us quick access to grass to take the dogs out. Sarah was 16 at the time and took both of them out around midnight for a potty trip. Several drunk young men came around the corner and started toward Sarah, calling to her to come with them. At some point they got too close for Jake's comfort and mild-mannered Jake turned into Cujo. He snarled, snapped, pulled at the end of his lead and frothed at the mouth. Needless to say, the drunk guys didn't want to push their luck and left.

On Sunday night during the drive home we talked about how Jake had protected Sarah and how, though we only wanted two dogs, he was fitting in well with the family. And even though we never really wanted a new dog, we just could not imagine our home without him. So, on our way home, we stopped and bought him a good collar and tags. We told Mo-Kan to take him off the adoption page, and we told Jake that he was finally home for good.
Happy Anniversary Jake...we are so glad that you found us!


  1. What a heart warming and heart tugging story!!!! I don't know you is luckier, you or or Jake. Thanks for posting his story and I will enjoy this boy even more as I watch him and Mizzou Girl get ready for their debut in the agility ring. Can't wait for this weekend. Hopefully Jake and Mizzou Girl can come join us.