Jackson's Story

Jackson is an adorable, happy, bouncy golden retriever puppy. His favorite things are toys, and playing with the people and dogs in his foster home.

And one day, sooner than any of us would want.....Jackson will die.

Jackson was born in November 2002, and is a victim of a puppy mill. He came to us in January 2003 with a heart murmur; he wasn't "saleable" anymore. Jackson went to visit the cardiac doctors at MSU in February, and was diagnosed with a severe case of aortic stenosis. SAS is a genetic defect of the heart. He's expected to live to be 6 months to one year old, at best. Surgery isn't an option; the surgery available isn't very effective, and can't be performed until 6 months of age. By that time, the damage to his heart will prevent him from being a surgical candidate.

The blessing is that Jackson doesn't know anything is wrong with him. He isn't in pain, and he won't be in pain; but one day, he'll go to sleep and won't wake up again. Til then, his foster family will love him, and play with him, and care for him....for whatever time he has.

Jackson has a cardiac recheck at MSU in June 2003, and unfortunately the news isn't good. His heart condition has continued to worsen, and will likely cause him to leave his foster family within the next several months.

At this point, Jackson continues to be the same bouncy, happy-go-lucky boy that has never met a stranger, and loves the world. He's on some heart medication, in hopes of slowing the damage to some degree, and buying him some extra time with us. We brought Jackson into our home knowing that he had a heart condition, and that it may or may not be treatable. Many folks who are the victims of puppy mills, pet stores, or disreputable breeders aren't aware there's a problem...until they're already in love with their new pup.

What can you do to prevent things like this from happening to other dogs? Don't buy dogs from pet stores, or from breeders that don't do genetic and health testing. Choose puppies or dogs from reputable breeders, or shelters and rescues. Spay and neuter your pets to prevent accidental breeding. Click here for information on choosing a reputable breeder, and click here for "red flags" to stay away from when choosing your puppy. The next time you see that cute little puppy in the window, please remember Jackson....it's not how much the puppy costs, it's what it costs the puppy.