We are kicking off our newest online auction tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. All items (mostly jewelry, handbags and JRT items) have been donated and every penny raised will go directly towards the $5,000+ vet bill we owe towards Hartley’s surgery, cleanings, treatments, medications and special diet.
We all knew there was something very special about Hartley the first moment we laid eyes on him in his shelter photo back in August of 2012. Maybe it was his gray mask. Maybe it was curled-over nails. Maybe it was the fact that he was sick with a terrible ear infection; had been hit by a car on his leg, which was never treated; and had arthritis.
Maybe it was knowing that this sweet, old man had very little hope to make it out of the shelter alive at his age and in his condition.
Somehow, someway, everyone was determined not to let him spend his last days in the shelter. He deserved better than that in this lifetime.
Our sister site, Georgia Jacks, posted him on their wall. The shelter had him listed as a Jack Russell (every brown and white dog seems to be a Jack Russell these days), but he was really a Blue Heeler/Cattle Dog/Terrier/anything-else mix. We just could not stand to see this boy suffer anymore. Immediately, the shares began to blow up. Within days, he had more than 200(!) people stepping up to spring him, transport him and sponsor him
We were already flooded with dogs at the time after a huge intake over the summer … and, of course, the last thing we needed was another sick senior. (You know we say that with all the love in the world; we were just over-budget and struggling to take care of our sanctuary dogs.) Several options came up, but as it was, nothing panned out. Neither Mama Donna nor the volunteers could stand to see him suffer, soooo … Dale and Regi Poke stepped up to pull him from Warner Robins at the last moment and brought him to us.
We knew it was going to be a long road to recovery for this little man … We just didn’t realize how long … or how difficult for him … or how expensive for the rescue.
A New Hope
Those nasty nails were cut and what we thought was just an ear infection was immediately treated. Unfortunately, it never went away. We tried several things, for several months, with little improvement. His ear canals were closed. Finally, the vet recommended ear canal surgery as the end-all to his woes. We knew it was risky, but he was such a spunky, sweet guy with a smile that just killed us. We hadn’t rescued him just to let him suffer more.
The surgery took place in December 2012 and was pretty intense. It required parts of his ears to be cut and reshaped. Restitching of the inner ear to the outside of his ear was also required. He was quite miserable in the days and even weeks following the surgery, but started showing improvement, thanks to antibiotics. Unfortunately, the latter were taking a toil on his liver and kidneys and we had to stave off on them. He had another laser treatment in February and, once again, he seemed to be showing improvement. But, once again, he started scratching at his ears and crying by early spring.
Thinking it may be allergies, we had him tested for those. Unfortunately, he had plenty, including barley and potatoes. Intown Healthy Hound worked with us to find a diet free of all of these things and, once gain, he seemed to improve considerably … but continued scratching. No more crying, though … thank goodness.
The next recommendation was to close/remove his ear drums. We know it’s been done with success, but it just seemed too drastic to us. So we took him to more vets for more tests.
One vet started him on a low dose of steroids to help with the swelling and a low dose of antibiotics to stave off the ongoing infections, but spare his other organs. He also went in for a thorough cleaning of both his ear canal and his teeth. He came back home, bright-eyed and ready to eat!
The Road Ahead
This time? We are keeping him on his special, allergy-free diet, deep cleaning his ears once a week and keeping him on his low-dose steroids/antibiotics. Once again, it seems to be working … and we hope, more than anything, this truly is the end of suffering for this poor man. We really don’t want to think about removing his ear drums.
That brings us to the here and now … and the incredible financial strain it has put on our already-strained budget. We, of course, would have it no other way. We’ve had many “million-dollar dogs” before … We’ll have many more.
If Hartley is, indeed, stable now (and we think he finally is), we would love nothing more than to find him a foster or forever home. If you are interested in either, please complete our foster application or our adoption application.
Thank You for Your Support
We know this is long-winded (especially for “Jack people”) and we apologize. But we wanted to truly explain and show you why we have to charge a $250 adoption fee (every dog costs us at least $150 in pull, spay/neuter, vetting and food – and that’s only if they stay a month or two) … and why we have to continually beg for money, put together fundraisers and launch auctions like this one.
We aren’t one of those rescues who “picks and chooses” the creme of the crop to turn an easy buck. Hartley is just one of many senior and/or special needs dogs in our care. We knows it’s not practical or economical. We also know that the life of any dog, of any age or any disability, is priceless.
Speaking of priceless … You know we prefer to focus on the positive, so …. Check out this little man’s smile now …