Our hearts are heavy tonight as we say goodbye to our sweet senior boy, Jerry Lee.

Mama Donna knew Jerry Lee and his original family for years. Jerry was a special needs baby with a heart/lung condition that required expensive medications and lots of care. When his family could no longer afford his medications or give him the care he needed, Mama Donna took him in without hesitation. Rescue, of course, was no place for this beautiful boy to spend his golden years, so we immediately sought a forever home for him where he could get lots of TLC and personal attention.

A wonderful woman from Virginia stepped up to take him, but at the last minute before his transport, he showed signs of worsening and we decided it was best to keep him close to home and his vet. A couple of our amazing fosters who are experienced in dealing with special-needs dogs took him in and vowed to foster him until we found the perfect local family for him … or, if needed, to “foster him forever.”

And that’s exactly what they did …

He left them and us last night for the Rainbow Bridge while sleeping between them, wrapped in his blanket.

He  suffered what appeared to be a stroke or seizure on Saturday. He was released from the vet and was eating, drinking and doing business on Sunday, but it was evident he was very weak. Shortly before midnight (with hundreds of our amazing supporters saying prayers for him on Facebook), his already-struggling heart finally gave up its fight and he fell asleep for the last time.

We will miss this precious boy beyond words, but know he spent the last year of his life as loved, comforted and spoiled as he could have possibly been.

A Message from His “Forever Foster” Family

Here is a special tribute from his foster parents. (Get the Kleenex; even if you didn’t know JL, you will need it.) We cannot thank D&L enough for the love they (and his brother Edgar) gave this little man in the last months of his life. It is hard to let go, but we know that he knew nothing but love until the day he left us.

“Jerry Lee passed away last night at 11:40. He was snuggled in his own blanket between Larry and me on the bed. He has been sleeping with us and simply went to sleep for the last time in our arms. His heart wore out. He was comfortable and well loved. Just before bed, he drank some water and chicken broth.

We miss him terribly as does his foster brother,  Edgar. We loved him and he loved us. I’ve attached some photos that capture his personality a bit.

Many people will say it is so hard to adopt/foster a senior dog because you risk losing them more quickly. Yes, but it is about quality and so much better than never leaving the shelter or not having a place to hang your hat (leash) when you are old. It was worth every moment. If I knew exactly how short of a time we would have him, I would do it all over in an instant.

Jerry Lee was very explicit that we focus on the joy and fun he got to have even for a short time, not that his time was short. He hoped that others would hear this and be led to  help do the same for some of his less fortunate brethren. We talked about it a bit while he drank his chicken soup. I think he knew he was moving to greener pastures later in the evening.

He has been laid to rest next to our pets in a place of honor. We are his forever home.

Please, keep us in your thoughts. Our hearts go out to the entire GA Jacks family because JL was loved by all and will be missed.”

In Memory of Jerry Lee

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Jerry Lee, you can do so by clicking the Donate button below. If you would like to foster a dog, you can learn more here.