11 June, 2015
Simon, no challenge too difficult
Simon is a wonderful Boykin Spaniel who became a member of the Jaros family via a local kill facility in 2004. They had stopped to inquire about a pair of Cocker Spaniels that had been given up by their owner. The shelter staff informed Stan and Lee Jaros that they already had over a hundred calls wanting to adopt these two dogs. Admitting it would be futile to attempt the adoption, they meandered through the facility happening upon this one cage that had a huge dog and this little golden eyed dog. When they asked about him, the staff explained that someone had driven up to the facility, tied the dog to the fence and then drove off. Gone was everything and everyone this poor little dog ever knew - he was all alone.
His days were up and he could have been euthanized at any moment. The Jaros’s took him for a walk to give him a break from his cage, as well as from his over-sized kennel-mate. Before the walk was even finished the Jaros’s knew he was coming home with them.
With the shelter's policy that any animal being adopted must be spayed/neutered before the adoption can be completed, they called around and found a veterinarian willing to do the procedure the very next day so they could become a family right away. The vet was very surprised that someone would just leave him tied to a fence. He also informed them that he was in fact a pure breed Boykin Spaniel and was approximately one year (give or take a few months) in age.
Like naming a child, the task began. They settled on Simon, it just seemed to fit. He immediately stole their hearts, he was such a good boy. Simon had few issues, but nothing Stan and Lee couldn’t handle. Soon after his adoption it became clear that Simon’s previous parents did work with him since he was semi-house trained and pretty well mannered. Little did they know that part of his prior training would pose such a challenge.
First evening of feeding Stan put down a bowl of food. Simon sat at the bowl, looked at Stan and waited. Obviously he had been well trained and evidently had a release command – if only Simon could talk and explain what it was. They tried everything. Made chicken and rice for him, nothing. Even bought a duck call and quacked on it hoping they’d find the right command. Still nothing. After day two they called the vet and informed him that Simon wouldn’t eat. The vet said to give Simon about four days, when he becomes hungry he’ll eat. Finally on day four Simon ate and he hasn’t stopped! Soon after this initial triumph however, they realized he was allergic to just about everything, with beef and wheat being his biggest enemies, so selective food choices became critical. Challenge 1 & 2 completed!
Fast forward to 2014, Simon is now 11. Around March, Simon was taken in for a grooming. When the Jaros’s went to pick him up, the groomer handed them a yellow note from the vet. While grooming Simon she noticed a swelling near his anus. She had the vet look at it, it was determined that it was an anal sac tumor and the vet recommended it be removed. Naturally they followed the vet’s advice. All was well until the summer when they found another lump which was diagnosed as a mast cell tumor - so surgery number two. Within a month, four more mast cell tumors were found and removed, surgery numbers three and four. October then found Simon undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Challenges 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 completed!
With the cancer treatment behind them things were going quite good until one day Simon’s back-end collapsed. He couldn’t stand on his back legs. After an emergency call into their vet and a referral to a neurologist, it was revealed through a CT scan that Simon had a ruptured disc that was putting pressure on and pinching his spinal cord. Immediate surgery was performed. Poor guy, recovering from mast cell tumor surgeries, undergoing chemo and now this! His post op spinal surgery recovery required confinement. Using baby gates, his family rigged up a space for Simon to live in for the next eight weeks. No steps, no jumping, no running and basically the only walking was to and from the backyard to do his business. Through all of this Simon was such a trooper. He healed and recovered – Challenge 8 completed!
Stan and Lee’s biggest concern post-recovery was Simon slipping on the hardwood floors and re-injuring his back, so their quest to find a solution began. They tried a few things, but nothing seemed to work. They scattered throw rugs at potential slip areas which helped, but wasn’t a complete solution.
Then they found Grippers, non-slip dog socks. They only use them on Simon’s hind paws as these are his steering wheels. They anticipated some issues in him keeping them on, however, he accepted them without issue. The results? Simon is back flying around corners without sliding or falling, which is a very good thing given that he shares his home with four cats and sometimes things can get a little wild and crazy.
“Thank you to Dog Quality for offering such a wonderful product.”
The Jaros’s are true believers that when you take in a pet, they are cared for until the end. Simon may have lost his first family, but he will never be alone again thanks to the patience, perseverance and endless love that Stan and Lee have shown. Simon continues to get back up each time life knocks him down because he has a family and a life worth fighting for. His strength and determination is nothing short of inspiring.
“Simon truly is one of a kind. A most loving guy that only wants to please us. We really do think animals know when they’ve been given second chances and they spend their days trying to repay you.”