October 26th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
For every foster pup that comes to stay with Jonathon and his family, sweet Roxy is there to greet them and help teach them what it means to be loved. In fact, if it weren’t for Roxy, Jonathon would have never opened his home to foster dogs.
He and his partner had adopted Roxy as a puppy when their firstborn daughter was one year old. Sometimes a sister, sometimes a babysitter, all Roxy wanted was their affection and to be as close to her family as possible at all times. They thought another dog could help her find some independence, so they adopted Lola when Roxy turned two. Their bond was inspiring and the decision to foster was made soon after – a decision that also brought them their “foster fail” Sampson.
Now ten years old, Roxy was the old gal in charge of the house. She kept her two canine siblings, the foster dogs, and her two human siblings out of trouble for the low, low fee of kisses and an ear scratching. But a mass had been growing on her left shoulder that had reached the size of a softball over two years. She couldn’t run like she used to, and Jonathon was reluctant to pick her up when he needed to because it seemed to cause her so much pain. The whole house shared in Roxy’s suffering: the dogs needed their pack leader, the kids needed their best friend, and Jonathon and his partner needed to keep their family whole.
They had endured more than their fair share of challenges even before the growing mass had reached its daunting size. After their financial circumstances changed drastically, they started to rely on assistance programs just to get by despite both being employed. They had even made the difficult choice to hold off on fostering more dogs until they were back on their feet. Like so many families today, times were tough for them but helping Roxy was their number one priority.
As a foster family, they knew from their own experience that those of us who love animals help one another out, so they were confident there would be resources available. And fortunately, their veterinarian told them about the RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant program. Jonathon applied for a grant while the veterinarian assessed Roxy, determining it was safe for her to have the mass surgically removed. They went home with surgery scheduled for three weeks later to give him more time to raise the necessary amount. He could cover half of the cost himself, and the other half he hoped would come soon.
Jonathon didn’t know it when he applied for an Urgent Care grant, but an On-Call Angel was ready to make his hopes a reality by funding Roxy’s grant. When he got the news, he said, “What a fitting name for your donors!” It certainly felt like a miracle that Roxy would have the mass removed. Instead of spending the next three weeks worrying about how he could take care of his sweet girl, he and his family could shower her with the love and affection that she craved.
Hours after Roxy’s successful surgery, Jonathon had happy news to share with RedRover:
“I’m reaching out to you in hope that we can express our gratitude for the help you provided for Roxy. She received her surgery this morning and is recovering. While she was in surgery, the vet located and was able to remove three additional masses. Though she’s a little tender and rough today, we have no doubt that she is going to look her absolute best soon all thanks to the support you gave. Thank you so much for your generosity and care.”
And by the time Roxy returned to the veterinarian two weeks later for her follow-up appointment, she was looking good, walking well, and acting more youthfully than she had in years. Their home felt more and more at peace as she healed. After all, this family had been kept whole.
This November, we want to express our gratitude for all of the animal lovers who make Happy Tails like this possible. We appreciate you, and we appreciate our amazing On-Call Angels. On behalf of Jonathon, Roxy, and hundreds of families like them, thank you for believing that pets are family!