As the hours left in 2011 wind down, we wanted to post some stories this weekend that share the highlights at Georgia Jack Russell for 2011. We couldn’t help but kick it off with our best story of the year: The rescue, re-homing and rehabilitation of Pumpkin.

This sweet, little baby came to us in late July after being hit by a car. Although she didn’t incur any long-time injuries from the accident, she was terribly emaciated and dehydrated and could barely move or stand. She also had a terrible underbite and a botched tail from where her previous owner had tried to manually bob it with a rubber band. She wouldn’t eat and, for the first couple of days, we were very afraid she wasn’t going to make it.

Then, by some wonderful twist of fate, she realized she was in JRT heaven-on-earth and began to eat on the third day. Within a few days, she had found her strength and her funny howl for attention, which is why we named her Tyler (after Steven Tyler). We were overjoyed to see her settling in, but we knew her vet bills were going to be steep and we weren’t sure how we were going to cover them. After all, we were already swimming in them.

Enter a couple of awesome angels: Jennifer and James Roose. They had recently lost one of their babies and wanted to give a JRT a second chance through foster. They came to visit us and chose the most desperate dog we had. Wow! That’s dedication! Suffice to say, they went from fosters to parents within no time and christened her with the new name of Pumpkin.

These days, Pumpkin lives the (extra) good life (see Mom’s update below). She still has a few health challenges to overcome, but her spirit and recovery are a visual testament to what it means to give a dog a second chance.

[nggallery id=20]

Update from Pumpkin’s mom Jennifer on 12/30/11

Pumpkin is doing awesome. Her tail has finally healed up, and she wags it nonstop.

She is enrolled in beginner agility training to start in February. She graduated from PetSmart Obedience intermediate level classes a few weeks ago. Her daddy and I feel agility may be her strong suit. Pumpkin knows all of her comands and loose leash heeling. She can be called back from long distances with the blowing of a coach’s whistle.

Her carriage driving career is doing wonderful. She even sat in the seat while I gave someone a lesson on how to drive. We have graduated to being able to stay seated while going on the cross country course at the barn.

Pumpkin is not as shy as she used to be. She goes everywhere with us,including visits to friends over the holiday. She is the life of the party.

We feel so lucky that Pumpkin chose us that day. She is a source of so much life and laughter in our house. Thanks, Donna, for helping us find her!

Thank you, Jennifer and James, for giving this little girl such a fantastic second chance! But thank you most, Pumpkin, for changing all of us and giving us hope. We love you.