Life in the country – loving Jude


Jude came into our lives in a very unexpected fashion. Jude was rescued from a high kill shelter in South Florida by a local organization. He quickly found a foster mom in Louisiana and a transport service was arranged to get him there. His sweet personality and temper won over his foster mom’s heart and in no time they were off to their very first road trip; a show horse in Nashville, TN.

Unfortunately, Jude fell very ill while in Nashville and ended up at an emergency hospital fighting for his life; the sweet 6 month old pup was diagnosed with parvo. Parvo is a highly contagious viral disease that compromises the gastrointestinal system of a dog, resulting in terrible vomiting and diarrhea. The survival chances of an infected puppy are of about 50%. This means Jude is a survivor 🙂 Yes, he survived parvo but remained hospitalized in isolation for more than a week.

Jude’s foster mom had to return to Louisiana to bring the horses back home and he had to stay alone in Nashville. I received a random message from a friend asking if I would be available to visit a dog at a local hospital. I was on my way to Miami but promised to check on him as soon as I returned.

Coming back from Miami and meeting Jude was an adventure. Garrett has never had a dog and I hadn’t been around one for a while. Buying a crate, food, toys, a bed, etc. was fun. We then headed to Franklin, TN. to pick him up and bring him home for a speedy recovery before his trip back home.

Having no previous experience with a pitbull mix made me a little nervous. It’s so common to hear horror stories about the breed, that just the idea of bringing home a pitbull scared me to be honest. We sat in a little consultation room with a veterinarian who explained all about Jude’s condition and the meds we needed to provide for the next few days. She asked if we were ready to meet him and I anxiously said yes.

The most beautiful dog with the most perfect hazel eyes was brought into the room, and despite his boney complexion his tail wagged when we greeted him. He won me over instantly! Garrett was trying to understand all the jumping and tail wagging…’he just wants to play’, I had to explain. The trip home was…smelly. We gave him a bath upon arrival and introduced him to his temporary accommodations.

Jude stole my heart and absolutely changed my perception of the bully breeds. I really didn’t have a stand on the whole bully breed conversation, but if anyone asked, I was likely to side with those who consider them dangerous, just because that’s what I have been told. Having the privilege of housing Jude for a few days changed all of that. He is the smartest and sweetest dog I have ever met!

Sadly, our community does not allow dogs like Jude (bully breeds) on the premises and we had to cut his stay short. The four days he spent with us were long enough to open my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. I not only have a brand new understanding of Jude and his kind…I am working to become a foster parent for other abandoned and misunderstood dogs, just like him.

The day he left was blue…I still feel blue from time to time. It was nice to be reminded of the tender, unconditional love and gratitude a dog can bring into our lives.

This is another simple and beautiful experience of my new life in the country 🙂

PK – A Miami expat loving her life in Middle Tennessee.

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