So this is Christmas …

So this is Christmas … and what have we done? So much this year! We’ve even had to break it down into segments and success stories with the Jack Flashback 2012 series to chronicle all of it. It’s been going on for days and we still have a few more to go!

In Memory of Jimmy

That said, tonight is a joyous, wonderful night for most families. For our owner, Donna Durham, it is a reminder of great heartbreak. She lost the love of her life and co-founder of our rescue, Jimmy Durham, to cancer on this night back in 2008. If you don’t think that’s right, imagine the inconceivable fact that they both lost their adult son, Jay, before that. Most people would have thrown in the towel and given up on life, much less rescuing Jack Russells. Donna never did … even when she understandably wanted to. These dogs needed her and she needed them.

Donna and long-time resident Lelah. This isn't just a photo op; it's a way of life for Donna and the dogs.

Donna and long-time resident Lelah. We show up originally because we love the dogs; we stay because we know how much these dogs are loved.

It hasn’t been easy, we can all say that. Whether you have been involved with or just aware of this rescue for a month, a year or six years, you know … It has been challenging, physically, emotionally and financially. There are times when we all question how much longer she/we can do this. This past year has definitely been one full of ups and downs – again, physically, emotionally and financially. But somehow, someway, Donna continues to get up everyday, go to work at her full-time job and still take care of 30+ dogs with only a handful of volunteers. If she can do it, we can do it.

And when we see the wonderful energy of these beautiful dogs and know we are making a difference, the question of going on becomes moot.

And in Memory if Abigail

Sweetness in a Sweater

Sweetness in a Sweater

As I wrote this earlier today, I did not know what Abigail was going through. This precious girl was dropped off six years ago when her college boy, who had, had her since a baby, didn’t have anywhere to take her. She was almost 10 years old and she quickly became one of Jimmy’s beloved girls, along with Lelah and Baby.

She passed while I was writing this post. She showed signs of illness, so the other volunteers rushed her to the vet. Her blood was black and a scan showed signs of tumors. Dr. Wright was hoping it was just her spleen, but when he opened her up, he discovered she was ridden with tumors. She had decided to go home and we respected that.

So, tonight, we let her go play with Jimmy at the Rainbow Bridge. (You know those two are already causing trouble …) We will miss this amazing spirit. She was active and happy until the end. Don’t believe us? Just view this video of her a few months ago. She never stopped moving or making us smile. 🙂

If you would like to donate to Abigal’s ceremony and/or in memory of Jimmy you can do so here. If you can’t load that page, please visit’s Abigal’s profile.

Stay Positive. Period.

Our ultimate goal is to stay positive and believe that everything will take care of itself if we just focus on the dogs. Period. No matter how difficult things get  (and they get very difficult sometimes), we try to stay positive; to focus on the healing, the outcome and the inevitable happy tail that awaits all of these dogs. Sometimes it takes 5 days; sometimes it takes 5 years.

It’s way  too easy to get sucked into the negative vortex that rescue brings with its endless stories of abuse, neglect and ignorance. But even we can’t handle watching those ASPCA commercials. We know that isn’t the road to take. Dogs know how to love, forgive everyone and live in the moment; we must learn from them.

Thanks to the Vols

I, personally, would like to also thank all of the volunteers who work relentlessly to keep this rescue alive. Most of us (including myself) do not want to be recognized publicly unless it benefits the dogs or Donna in someway, but I must say these women and men work very hard, everyday, behind-the-scenes and at the scene, to make this happen.

Everything you do, no matter how simple or “not enough” it may seem, makes a huge difference in the lives of the dogs and Donna: Scooping poop, filling water and food bowls, building or wrapping kennels, walking dogs, making vet trips, washing blankets, transporting dogs, printing T-shirts and promotional materials, teaching agility, attending events, fostering a dog, raising funds, donating items, sponsoring a dog, making vet runs, donating money, sharing posts, writing grants, making connections … you name it. Every little thing is a cog in the big wheel that keeps this JRT-saving machine in motion.

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So tonight, volunteers, realize the difference you have made in the life of a rescue dog and hug your dogs. No matter how challenging this gets at times, let’s keep this thing on track and give what we can give.

Want to join us?

If you would like to become part of this small but mighty group, we are always looking for you. Please contact us. We would especially love to have people in the Conyers area who have flexible schedules. Most of us work full-time or have families, so we always need someone close by to call if we need an emergency vet transport, kennel check or shelter pull.

If you are not located in Georgia but would like to help us keep on keepin’ on in 2013, please visit our donations page,  or Eli’s Holiday Wish List to find ways to help.