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The Travails of Tator Tot

Tator Tot, a sanctuary Jack took a long circuitous route to Jacks Galore, but in the end it is with us that he crossed the bridge and was adored at the end of his life.  Reaching out to the rescue listed on his name tag, we learned that he was found in a hallway and brought to a rescue who adopted him out to someone who only kept him for a short time until their  “daughter went back to school and he started destroying things”. He then was adopted by someone else who had him for a couple of years and then when he started losing control of his bladder, and the new carpet was bought, he had to find another home.

Tator, left, cuddles with sanctuary jack Mack

Tator, left, cuddles with sanctuary jack Mack

He joined the sanctuary jacks a short two months ago when we were asked to take in a dog of about eight years of age. Our rescue partner had never met him, but was trying to help someone who could no longer keep him, and wanted to avoid the shelter where he might not make it out. We were looking for an older Jack, for one of our previous adopters, so Tator seemed to fit the bill. He made his way to us here but we knew the minute we took him out of his travel crate that his age was far beyond what had been stated. He also seemed very poorly so the next day we immediately took him to our wonderful vet Dr. Reiners where he was diagnosed as being in the beginning of renal failure, with a mouthful of infected and rotting teeth.

His age? Probably closer to 15, if not older. He was also extremely skinny; almost wasted. Tator also had a bum leg, whether it was from a previous injury, a luxated patella that deteriorated, or whether he was just aging; the pain in his hind leg was obvious. Otherwise he was the dearest and sweetest Jack Russell, so we hoped that with an immediate dental we could reverse the decline of his renal values, with monitored pain meds we could bring his health back so he could enjoy living out his time in the sanctuary. We knew the option to adopt him out would be futile.

Lots of sleep in his final days

Lots of sleep in his final days

The dental went great, with a bunch of teeth removed and the infection subsiding, Tator seem to have a new lease on life. His renal values seemed to improve, and he began to eat with gusto, gaining a good amount of weight. Tator was slow, deliberate, but enjoyed all of the dogs in the sanctuary, and relished being outside in what then was still the unusual warm weather of December. He also gave great kisses.

But over time, he started slowing down, his eating ebbed, and we took numerous trips to the vet to check his blood levels, try various medications, and changed his food. He had a small upswing, but then it all went downhill again. Over the last couple of weeks Tator slowly stopped eating; even his medication placed in liverwurst or chicken was not taken willingly. His sleeping increased to 24 hours a day, and when you picked him up he could no longer use his hind leg. He also had continuous acid reflux which must have been hard on his stomach.

Then early in the morning while sitting at my computer I knew it was time. He had not moved from the bed, he had no control of his bowel movements, he refused any food, and he seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. We let Tator cross the bridge, curled in the arms of Lori one of our marvelous vet techs, while Dr. Ray and I comforted him as he slowly let go.

Tator was part of our sanctuary family for a mere two months; he was a jewel amongst the jacks, with a beautiful disposition, much gentleness, and beautiful ears that brought his personality to the fore. Despite his short time in our care we enjoyed sharing our love with him and allowing him to know that he would be safe and cared for no matter what. He will now join the many sanctuary jacks who have gone on before him. Tator Tot – you will be missed.

The warmth of the winter sun soothed the old body

The warmth of the winter sun soothed the old body