Animal advocate members of GA Bully Breed, Inc. and Lost and Found Pets of Walton and Gwinnett Counties are used to reuniting lost pets with the owners, helping heartbroken owners find their lost pets, and rescuing many pets along the way. But this week they went above and beyond, not only getting much needed help for a dog suffering from mange, but befriending and getting some much-needed help for his 92-year-old owner, a veteran, along the way.
It all began on June 17 when GA Bully Breed was tagged on the sad post detailing the heartbreaking situation of Mr. JR and his dog, Boy.
“Mr. JR is an amazing man, he is a veteran, almost 92 yrs young. He met a very sweet lady named Niki yesterday who reached out for help on his behalf. When I read the post, my heart just broke into a million pieces! Mr. JR, he loves his dog Boy, he has been trying to help him. He has taken poor Boy to 4 (FOUR) vet appointments, paid $84 to be told, give him grain free food. No skin scrape, blood work, nothing, because he didn’t have funds! In my conversation with Mr. JR on the phone last night, I let him know we would help! He broke down and thanked me a million times, as well as all the others who have reached out to offer help,” Georgia Bully Breed wrote on its Facebook page. “This morning I arrived to pick both Mr. JR and Boy up to transport to our vet, Happy Tails Veterinary Care. I had some amazing conversations with him. He even sang me some old country songs. 😍 Our wonderful vet, Dr Klein, ran tests. Skin scrape, Senior bloodwork, Heartworm, he was fully vaccinated. The results are, Sarcoptic mange (contagious) HW positive 😔. Boy was started on Cefpodoxime 200mg. as well as Nexguard. In two weeks, July 2nd at 9am. we will be going back to start treatment for HW and reassess the mange. I’m so happy we are on the right path with Boy and his medical needs. But now I am asking for help with Mr. JR. I am on my way to pick up cleaning supplies from Emily Goldstein. Then I will pick up food, treats, crate mat and bed from Petsmart donated from Jeannie Mahoney. Thank you ladies! It is not just about helping the animals, we must help the people too! This man, a Veteran, is so sweet and so grateful! I am going to update the post later with all the needs, but right now I could use some help on his house! If you can help please message us. I will also need some men with trucks to help move furniture and trash from the driveway in the near future! It takes a village!”
And the village stepped up!
From there it just snowballed. Not only did they get the right veterinary treatment for Boy’s mange, but an army of volunteers went in and cleaned up Mr. JR’s home, removed accumulated unnecessary furniture and trash from his driveway, mowed his lawn, did some much needed landscaping, picked up treats, beds – got carpets cleaned, brought in food supplies for both Mr. JR and his dog and much, much more. Gwinnett County firefighters stopped by to install smoke detectors and Loganville animal advocate Emily Goldstein got to work calling in services required – and donations of goods and services just poured in. GA Bully Breed and local volunteers went above and beyond for someone who had done the same for his country many years ago.
“Within hours I reached out to our volunteers, and asked my dear friend Dana with Pup & Cat Co. if she could also find a few people to help clean up! Emily started networking and we started getting donations to help with vet bills, food , cleaning supplies, and so much more. People were reaching out to help a stranger and his sick dog! Since Tuesday, the volunteers have been making sure J.R. has meals, cleaning his house, doing laundry, the amount of generosity pouring in from everywhere has been amazing!” GA Bully Breed noted.
There was one more special thing that this community of volunteers did for Mr. JR. While they were there, he told them stories of when he was 18 and at college, and his coach had been famed American football player and coach Donald J. Smalls, born June 24, 1919, about to turn 100 years old.
On Monday, June 24, 2019 birthday celebration was given for Salls at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and another veteran and one of his students from 74 years ago was there to help him celebrate. Mr. JR’s new family of friends took him on a road trip Monday to make sure this one special wish was granted.
Members of GA Bully Breed noted that this experience has taught them that that when a community comes together, great things can happen. What began as another routine animal rescue ended up being the story of how Mr. JR now has a village of friends and volunteers to help ease his loneliness and get to spend time with someone who once gave so much of his time for his country.
“Mr. J.R. has gained a new family who will continue to be by his side and love him for the rest of his life,” GA Bully Breed Rescue noted on its Facebook page.
To see how this amazing group of volunteers came together, click or tap on this link to the Georgia Bully Breed Facebook page. Just be sure to have a box of tissues handy when you do so.
Editor’s Note: Some information has been limited to ensure Mr. JRs privacy and safety.