Jacob has had a rough life, all two years of it. While we will never know his full story, from what I was originally told was that Jacob was repeatedly attacked by other dogs in Mexico. Jacob did not receive treatment for his injuries and the attacks were allowed to continue. Sadly we learned later that his injuries were a result of chemical burns.
When I took Jacob’s case on, I knew it would be a difficult one. The poor dog had been through hell, and after having just lost Huey, I wasn’t sure I was mentally or emotionally strong enough to offer him the help he needed. However, from the moment I saw his picture, I had an nudging feeling that I needed to help him. I can’t help but believe that this “nudging” came from Huey himself. The first time I saw Jacob, I questioned what I had gotten myself into. He was so beaten and battered, it was a wonder to me that he was fighting to live.
I’ll never forget the day that we were visiting Jacob in the hospital. The vet staff had surprised me by giving Jacob a bath. When they brought him in to me and his spots were revealed, I cried. Jacob had been so filthy when we picked him up, I had no idea that he had a spotted coat, just like my polka dotted Huey had.
As many of you know, Jacob would go on to survive his reconstructive surgery, however his irregular heart beat worried the specialist. Jacob was seen by a cardiologist, who performed an electrocardiogram. The results were devastating as Jacob was diagnosed with Pulmonic Stenosis, a condition that given Jacob’s health condition, was deemed non repairable.
Jacob was given 6 months to live. I had a difficult time understanding how a dog who had already been through so much, could be subjected to such a cruel fate. We started Jacob on medication, and hoped that somehow we could change the bleak future that he had been given. We decided that in fairness to Jacob, he would live out his life with us, as he had learned to trust, and I like to believe, love us.
Over the next few months, Jacob blossomed. He played like any normal dog would, and displayed an abundance of energy. For a while I actually believed that Jacob had once again beat the odds and would go on to live a long life. He and Baxter had epic wrestling matches, as I watched and acted as the overly protective momma. He would catch a glimpse of one of the cats and take off running down the hall, jumping and clearing the dividing gate, with the grace of a gazelle (ok, maybe more like an elephant at times). Jacob seemed headed for a happily ever after.
But Jacob started showing changes in his personality. He became aggressive at times, and didn’t seem able to control himself. He would look at me with his one eye, as if the Jacob I knew wasn’t there. This behavior led me to putting a stop to new intakes, as I feared he was overwhelmed by the pack in our care. Jacob was then started on two new medications. The medications seemed to make Jacob sluggish, and he became even more different than the dog we had known just a couple of weeks before.
About a month ago Jacob started fainting. He would go outside to play, but stumble and the fall to the ground. He would be inside playing and get too excited, then faint. If someone came to the door, this caused enough commotion that Jacob would faint. Toward his last days, Jacob was fainting numerous times per day.
While Jacob didn’t have the life that I wished for him, I truly believe that even at the end, he knew he was loved. I’ll never forget him nor the strength and forgiveness he showed me. He battled his demons like a warrior and inspires me to do the same.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller