For the Love of Jasper
The Story of an Abandoned Dog
Opening our email is never an exciting event. Usually we find more emails about people looking for us to rescue their dog from them than people wanting to adopt! Often we get wonderful emails from people that love Rottweilers and from people who have already adopted from us telling us how happy they are and how well the dog is doing. This morning was not any different except for one email entitled HELP! Help is not a new term for us but the situation was.
Here a gentleman had just found out that a tenant in one of his properties had moved out without his knowledge. Upon arriving at the house they found a most unusual site…he was powerful, protective and most of all scared! A 2-year-old male rottweiler left behind in this midnight move. Unwelcome, the owner approached his tenant at work and asked a very simple question, "What are going to do with your dog?" I don't give a #!$@ what you do with that dog was his response. With that the landlord knew he had a problem on his hands.
What were his options? Call the Pennsylvania SPCA that deals with hundreds of similar cases every year and would treat him like the criminal or search for other options. The man called a friend who suggested to him to contact LHRRR and the Bucks County SPCA. So he did. Which leads us to this email. In the meantime the man, an animal lover and dog owner himself had gained the dog's trust. He started to feed him, which quickly brought him around.
From the email I gained his phone number, which I called to learn more about our ownerless friend. "He's so scared he said. He can't stay there but we can't get him out either." I asked if he had contacted the SPCA since we do not have a shelter or kennel facility and sure enough he had. They were willing to take him and work with us to place the dog.
Now here is where the fun begins. We kept in touch daily gaining updates on his progress…he is now going inside and outside the house and feeling a little more comfortable but not enough to let anyone take him without a fight. "He's a great dog. What am I going to do," the man asked. After several attempts at getting him in the car, we said we'd come down and meet him. Okay where is he. Kensington he said…I'll meet you and take you to him. So armed with treats and leashes off we went to Kensington to meet "the Dog". With the preconceived notion that this dog would not be adoptable after years of neglect and probably abuse we drew closer. Turning the corner, we knew it was going to be bad.
As we approached the house we found piles of trash on the front porch and we looked at each other. Okay we were scared .. what would we find and how would we tell this man, this angel, that we couldn't help him after he had truly bonded with this dog.
Slowly we walked into the house, approaching a doorway that was blocked by a table. "Jasper Boy, where are you?" the man said. With that a huge figure appeared in the doorway to outside ... oh my god, was it over. Would he welcome these new faces? Of course he would. His eyes so sad and his head cocked slightly to the right he wondered? Who are these people, will they hurt me? The man, who had his counters full of treats, led us ever so close. "Be nice Jasper, he said, these ladies will decide whether you live or die." If that wasn't pressure, we didn't know what was. Standing ever so still he approached. Having just been bitten by a rottweiler this was a frightening experience but for some reason we trusted his eyes. He sniffed our clothes and hands but did not want to be petted…that was okay for now. We fed him treat after treat and finally he allowed us to bend down to his level. With that he sniffed our faces and at that moment, each felt a quick slurp! My partner in crime even stuck her gum out of her mouth, which he had been sniffing; gently he took it from between her teeth and chewed! With that she looked up at me and said we have to save him. And so our mission began! We promised the man that we would tap every resource we could to try to find a way to get Jasper out of the house and to safety without really causing him more stress than we had too. Just hang in there with us…and he did. Patiently this HERO went over every day and night, through the unusual April heat wave and drenched Jasper with cool water hoping he would make it just a little longer. Come on buddy! He had gained his trust to the point he had him going to the front door and he could rough house with him. What progress but he still wasn't ready to leave willingly!
How would we get a dog bigger than us into a truck, especially when all he had ever known was an 8x8 concrete patio and crate with a piece of wood over it. A car ... ride are you kidding me? Grass what's grass...this dog was in for some major changes. With the SPCA out of the question we decided he'd come to my house where he would have a large kennel and access to grass and tress. Not to mention people that truly loved him. It was the perfect place for him to learn the things he would need to know to find his forever home! Okay we had the where, all we needed was a how. Every night the three of us, all in different places with different lives, laid awake thinking about Jasper and how we could save him? And then there it was...
It was April 18th when we decided that it was the day we had to get him. It was 90 and he had been alone way to long. Armed with sedatives, 2 muzzles, leashes, mace and 3 McDonald's hamburgers we had a dog to save! Hungry, we slipped him the good stuff in the burgers and we waited. And waited. And waited. We watched as if he would fall over and make things easy, no way. So he's big and it will take a little more…one more hamburger later he began to drag his back leg! It was time. We all flew into action. Since he knew the man best, he put him on a leash and began to follow me as I had the final hamburger. Down the back alley we went until we hit the area of the alley where he could see what lie outside the walls of what was to be his past life. Loud bass pounded as the low riding cars drove by. People crowded on the corners. He didn't like it. And neither did we. At that point we stopped and gently slipped a muzzle on, as it wasn't safe for any of us to put him through this and ask that he not react, even though he never did. We pulled and coaxed but nothing, he was a tank. Finally we decided it was getting dark and we had to do something ... and after getting this far he wasn't going back. I backed my Ford Explorer up to the alley where he sat wondering what would happen to him next, why would anyone do this to him? Soon he would find out. With that we took the blanket from my truck and looped it under his drunken body. One, two, three the men catapulted him into my truck where I stood by to grab the leash. Slam! At that moment it seemed that the loud city was quiet, and a new life was about to begin. We stood quietly and began to cry. We had done it!
Update* Today Jasper runs through the grass. He hears the crickets chirp and knows when the door opens, in walks love. He knows that no matter what, we will be there to help him through, whether it's a car driving by that scares him or a new person in his life. We will be there. Jasper, named after the street he lived on, and the only reminder of his past is a miracle, his spirit and willingness to trust, are a tribute to his character. Rottweilers are not the horrible creatures they are made out to be and he is a perfect example. We take everyday, one at a time, everyday is a new experience. The vet, a thunderstorm inside with shelter, another dog wanting to play with him or just the feel of a tight, warm hug! We know Jasper is thankful everyday for what we have done for him, the loving bruises we have from his affection are proof. Someday Jasper will be ready to find a real family but he will have left an amazing impression on the three of us who where there that night, the night his life changed. It is a night none of us will soon forget, a night that reconfirms why we do rescue.
- All for the Love of Jasper
Update - Jasper has been adopted by his foster family and lives with recent rescues Pink and Hope. Thank you Dan and Janet Haas for everything. Much love to all 5 of you!