One Foster Mom’s Story: A Golden Thank You

Jessie: From Fleas and Neglect to Sign Language and Pampered

Jessie 2502Back in October of 2014, I was asked to foster Jessie (#2505) who’d been seized from her home by Animal Control for legal reasons. Health-wise, she was neglected–smelly, fleas, skin infections, ear infections, and so scrawny you could see her ribs poking out. A couple months later, Regina adopted Jessie and I have enjoyed getting emails with updates and photos. When I got her last email, I got to thinking about the tremendous changes in Jessie’s life in just 15 months.

Here is Jessie’s story–a thank you to all the Golden Bond foster families who make the decision to forever change the life of a foster dog. And a thank you to the special angels who adopt special needs goldens, dogs that bring such joy, in their own special way, to their forever families.

Memories of Jessie from my 2014 journal:

  • “ … The vet said her legs “hadn’t been used much.” Was she kept in a bathroom or closet? Why’s her rear end so weak? …
  • I measured her waist today–only 17” around! Did she not get fed everyday? …
  • Her skin, coat and smell are starting to improve …
  • Her energy’s better, now she can walk almost 25 minutes …
  • Jessie’s getting more attached, sociable and affectionate …
  • This is the SWEETEST dog!! …
  • No problems with the mass removal so now I can put her on the website …
  • There’s already someone interested in Jessie! A retired lady from Seattle who sounds perfect …
  • Talked to Regina, she’ll be great for Jessie …
  • Jessie got adopted today. I’m sad for me but happy for her … ”

Jessie 2502What an amazing 15 months this little dog has had. So many changes—neglected and left alone, seized by Animal Control, hating the shelter so much that this scrawny little girl pulled like a sled dog to get out of there. In foster care, she got happier and stronger. Jessie’s brand new life began last December with a new name, Rosie (because she had a rosy new future in front of her). Her new mom is a big-hearted woman who fell in love with a deaf, 12-year-old dog with a partially torn knee ligament and other health issues. Now Rosie gets lots of time and attention from Mom and neighbor, Aunt Annabelle. Deaf Rosie knows sign language to get treats. There’s daily walks around Lake Washington and the Arboretum (she can walk for an hour!) where she loves meeting other Goldens. Lots of toys, lots of pampering, lots of love. Two dog beds, one in front of the fireplace. Vet care. And she gets fed every single day.

“Rosie’s so funny,” her mom says. “She responds to signs like ‘sweet girl’ by laying on her back and wiggling with a huge grin on her face! She drags her leash when she wants to walk and sometimes to sleep with. She carries her two favorite stuffed animals from bed to bed … so cute … maybe her way of saying, ‘This is my little nest, my comfort zone.’”

This is what dog rescue is all about. If Multnomah County and Golden Bond Rescue hadn’t stepped in, Jessie could be dead by now. Instead, she’s a pampered pooch with a loving mom. Rosie’s got a brand new life!

Kathleen Howlett – Foster Mom