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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beau's Journey

Jamie and Beau
Many of you already know our dedicated Volunteer Coordinator, Jamie Patterson. But when she’s not rounding up volunteers for our events, visiting our foster dogs at Canine Connection or snapping photos of adoptable pets, she’s at home, hanging out with her own furry friend, Mr. Beau. This handsome blue boy was featured in our 2012 Calendar, but we didn’t have enough room to share his incredible journey there. 

In the world of pit bull advocacy and rescue, we’re often forced to be reactive: we speak out against Breed Specific Legislation when it threatens our communities; we pull wonderful dogs from area shelters that wouldn’t make it to adoption otherwise; we provide support to pit owners in need. So on this Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for responsible pit bull owners, like Jamie, who are spreading the truth about pit bulls and keeping these amazing creatures out of shelters. 

Here’s Beau’s story:

Baby, bobble-head Beau
Beau came to Jamie’s family as a special needs pup—a former pick of the litter that had developed neurological problems and couldn’t walk in a straight line. He navigated the world as best as he could, wobbling around with his bobble head before running into whatever came into his path. Jamie was told that Beau wouldn’t be as active as other pups, and that he’d have a considerably shorter life span. But she was determined to give him a home filled with love, no matter had long he had. 

In the beginning, he was weak and groggy, but battled his health issues valiantly.  He would run three steps, fall, pick himself up and keep going. Soon after adopting him, Jamie discovered another health problem—Mr. Beau would need to undergo surgery for a hernia. But once the operation was complete, he came back at a miraculous full recovery. He went from running sideways and falling, to racing around the backyard like an arrow released. Beau was a dog with a new lease on life. The resiliency of these animals never ceases to amaze me. 

Special needs who?
 In Jamie’s words:

"Today, Beau Diesel Patterson is in beautiful health—80 lbs of stubborn, sofa-hogging snuggler.  He spends equal time infuriating us and making us fall in love.   He thrives on schedules—a.m. walks, keeping his toys in the same spot, play dates with the pup next door.  When something in his routine changes, he expresses a disapproval that is comical in its intensity.  He can say more by fixing you with a look, than most people can in a long conversation.  He has a special howl he saves for when he’s really frustrated.  He’s sneaky, affectionate, charming.  He’s stolen countless socks, food within reach…and our hearts.  We go to battle daily—him for more sofa time, me for more Beau photos.  He’s my exercise buddy, my best friend, my furry son. He has taught me never to give up.  I’ve tried to remember life before him and can’t.  And life without him now would be unbearaBEAU. Just like any other family with kids would say—it’s hard work but so worthwhile."

Mr. Beau in front of Jacques-Imo's on his calendar photo shoot