We are often asked why we do what we do and whether it is difficult. Our answer is always the same: “Because the dogs need us”. Is it difficult? Absolutely, but if we don’t fight for the ones that needs us, then who will? And so yesterday we started another fight for a much loved and very lovable yellow lab called Jake. However, this fight took an unusual direction…

Jake was born on 2nd January 2014 and has a very dedicated owner who has trained him well. He walks nicely on the lead, has been around young children visiting with no issues and did live with a cat for 2 years. He is well mannered and an absolute gent. There are no issues with other dogs, he is very submissive just a friendly, affectionate sweet boy who wants to please.

Unfortunately, Jake was diagnosed with Addison’s disease in July 2018 and the ongoing cost of steroids and hormone injections followed by blood tests are too much for his owner. The family have tried to help but cannot meet the ongoing costs. Addison’s is the opposite of Cushing’s, it is the under production of hormones such as cortisol and it is quite uncommon. However, as long as the medication is managed, Jake’s condition isn’t life limiting. His heartbroken owner, who is disabled and lives for Jake, estimates a cost of around £200 a month to keep Jake well. At assessment his owner was distraught as they were to grow old together. Our Michelle, who is trustee and also did the assessment, found it very emotional as clearly Jake was very much loved and wanted.

Part of keeping Jake well also involves making sure his stress levels are kept low. This was where we struggled once again. How could we ensure his stress levels would stay low, when rehoming can be extremely stressful for some dogs? Could moving him have a detrimental affect? Then more practical questions arose, like who would adopt a dog with his level of medical need and the cost? Who would be able to commit to take him for his monthly injection followed by blood tests 10 days later, even if we kept him as a long term foster?

Sometimes, the right thing for the dog is not a simple case of rehoming. Sometimes, it’s about keeping families together. Jake is his owner’s life and couldn’t wish for a better home than the one he is in. So we took the unusual decision to add Jake to our long term foster dogs, but keep him exactly where he is. No stress for Jake, we can help with the cost of his treatment for Addison’s and Jake keeps his Dad and his Dad keeps his whole world.

One of the rehoming team stepped forward to be his first sponsor, in memory of her first lab called Jake who is remembered this weekend as the anniversary of his passing. We hope more people will do the same so we can keep Jake safe and well where he is so loved. Home is most definitely where the heart is, please open yours to our new boy Jake.