Just Jak

Just Jak

A little elderly dog with various medical problems was found wandering the streets in Yorkshire. The dog warden picked him up and took him to a pound where he was passed by when people came to adopt. Luckily for him his Guardian Angel must have stepped in as a lady from a charity stepped in and took him home until he could be rehomed. His left eye was a mess and he could not close it and he had a few other problems but he was able to be put out for long term fostering.
I was looking for an older rescue dog to foster after I lost Maxie. I thought short term would be ideal so I didn’t get attached again. Jak wanted a home so Helen brought him to me one day in November 2012. He came in and immediately settled on his new bed. He hadn’t been tested with children so I took him to meet my niece & nephew from school,they bonded immediately. We went to the fish restaurant for tea which he loved.

I took Jak everywhere with me and he trotted by my side. He made friends with Benji (a springer) who I look after sometimes. He loved life and people. When I got him I was asked by the rescue to put things on Facebook about him so they could see how he was settled. A couple of days later my page was so full of people wanting to be “Jak’s friend” he got his own page and went global. Everyone loved this little dog who had been thrown out when he was 16 (at first we thought he was 14 – but latterly his vet said he was 2 years older). We didn’t have a Birthday for Jak so I thought he could share mine 1st May. Jak became a superstar. The rescue said he was so settled would I foster him permanently – well there was no way I would part with him. Little did I know what an impact he would make on my life and it would never be the same again.

I thought it would be a good idea if Jak could be the front man for my dog rescue fund raising and we raised thousands for various animal charities by holding various events locally.
His Facebook friends rallied round to pay his big bills. We then started our fund raising for local dog charities, Jak went to all the events and loved all the attention, he even helped the Mayor open an event. When I had a holiday he went to stay with a friend and fell in love with her Becky (another springer).

Jak went to Whitby to raise funds for animals in the summer, we had more auctions and other events. I took him to church sometimes, the vicar was very fond of him, he even met the Archbishop of York.

We took on raising funds for 2 dogs with expensive medical bills which costs around £300 every month locally. We managed to pay them until they died.

After about a year Jak found walking difficult one day when we went to visit his “Grandad” – luckily I had the children with us and we put him in my shopper (hence the photo Jak in the Bag). Put that on Facebook that night and within a few days his friends sent him a buggy (his Jakmobile) plus a number plate JAK1 and a horn. There was no stopping us now – we went to the seaside and during his last year he met so many of his FB friends. We took him on a Pirate Ship at Scarborough, he loved that. He was never happier than when he was out meeting people and other animals.

On a routine visit to the vet he saw a different one who said he needed his teeth out and it would cost £400 – within a couple of hours the money was pledged. After a few sleepless nights and a second opinion and advice from friends we decided he was too old and couldn’t survive the anaesthetic so some of the money was spent on pain killers, the rest put aside for when he needed it. He was still happy and went on his daily outings. His favourite place in town was the Wine Bar especially when we got a window seat – he would sit and look out at passers by, some would come in just to see him, we always got some donations for his charity.

Jak’s health did continue to deteriorate but the vet kept an eye on him with medication and he wasn’t in pain. He continued his daily visits to see his Granddad who was not well and would spend hours snuggled on his knee.

On Christmas Day 2014, we were going to family for lunch – it was so cold and Jak didn’t look well – my friend said he could stay with him & Benji while I popped to see the children and have a quick lunch and get back to him. By 10pm it was obvious he was in pain so I rang the vet, she asked if I could give him his pain killer cuddle him and get him to sleep and ring up the next day. I managed to get him to sleep but by this time he had gone off his legs and was so disorientated. I rang the vet on Boxing Day although I knew what they would say. I rang Jak’s Grandad and he came up to stay with me, despite being ill he sat and cuddled Jak until the vet came. She said he had a massive stroke and couldn’t survive, I held him and within seconds he was at peace. I had him cremated and his ashes are close by to give me inspiration.

As you can imagine I was devastated,and I had to break the news to his friends – I had to be strong for them which helped me. I spent the rest of the day n Facebook chatting to many of them and reassure them Jak would live on to help animals in need.

As Jak was so popular I decided to set up Jak’s Legacy to help other dogs in need. This was the start of my new life and I do not regret it at all.
A friend of Jak’s loved him so much she got someone to paint a mural on her wall of him, she sent me a painting which is hung on my wall giving inspiration for the work I do. We even got some cards done to sell for our fund raising.

We hold a local auction every year to raise funds for various animal charities. After the first one we had a World Walk in his memory. Friends all over the world walked to raise funds for an anmal charity of their choice. The first one raised over £8,000 for over 40 animal charities, but not having much spare time with other fund raising the last one wasn’t so popular – will continue next year if I get help organising
Jak’s Legacy is growing every day, we sometimes have a weekly Bonus Ball which helps various charities or if we need it for something special our own dogs,

Our main fund raising is now on line auctions, raffles etc. to help dogs in The Balkans – we raise funds to spay and neuter which is the way forward, but also want to help the dogs already over there in need. We have brought a couple of Tripaws over and have at least another 4 we want to get over quickly. The people who rescue them do so much on very little money. We try to help them out with food and other things they need, we send money to feed the street dogs, so much to do but these dogs need us. Up to date we have brought 20 dogs and cats over to loving homes in the UK.

We are only a small fund raising group Jak’s Legacy is mainly run on a Facebook page – we are so grateful to our friends for donating arranging fund raising and everything they do for us.
In 2019 we raised £20.386, we hope to do more this year. We have so many dogs needing help at the moment.

Another thing Jak’s Legacy does is have a group of ladies who knit blankets and coats to keep the dogs warm in the harsh winter. This year we are hoping to send more donations to buy food for the street dogs in winter. It breaks our heart to see them so hungry.

Anything and everything people do to help us is fantastic – each week we get more people offering help, so pleased and it is in memory of Jak when I think of this little dog no one wanted – it now gives me hope we can help more abandoned and abused dogs all over the world have a brighter future.

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