Animal Updates

a saints christmas tale

Carol  ·  Dec. 25, 2010

not all stories are of sad beginnings, not all are of happy endings. most stories do not have the spiritual decorations that warm the cockles of human holiday hearts.

the vast majority of real stories do not have a great deal of meaning or special lessons to be teaching. most stories are just about someone's life.

let's see if i can remember correctly this saints life.

jesse was adopted from the spca when he was about 6 yrs old. not much was known about him except he was a handsome dog. he was eventually adopted by a family. how many families had jesse had? only jesse knows.

it soon became apparent that jesse had some aggression issues and the family hired a trainer to work them thru. the family is not sure if jesse got better or if they just got better at managing him. but manage him they did over the next several years. they kept him away from visitors, they kept him away from their grandchildren. jess owned a cage muzzle for when he had to be out in public. they were mostly successful but once in a while jesse still did manage to bite someone occasionally....the mailman, the meter reader, a visitor...not often over the years but enough for them to know that jesse still had his issues.

one day when jess was about 12 one of their kids and their family moved home, life had taken a turn for the worse. and now there were small grandchildren living in the house. jesse's occasional issues got a lot scarier for his family to manage.

they had hit that hard spot...jesse could not safely stay and jesse could not safely be given away. they considered euthanization and then called saints.

we were pretty full at the time and i cannot remember why exactly we couldn't squeeze him in. so the family moved jesse into a boarding kennel until we could somehow fit him in. i think he stayed in the kennel for two or three weeks. when i went to pick him up the kennel owner was saddend that his family were abandoning him. he felt jesse was a great dog, he had had no aggression problems with him. so we packed up his blankets and bed, his bowls and leash and his cage muzzle and moved him to saints.

jess has been with us for a couple of years now. he occasionally will still try to bite once in a while. we warn all visitors to leave jess alone and not to pet him even if he asks them to. jesse does not really bite out of aggression and he does not really bite out of fear.
jesse will go to new people and gently lay his head against them.
he wants to be petted, he wants to share love and then suddenly he just changes his mind and he bites.

he never does it to some of us...but...he has done it to just as many regular others...and new folks are highly at risk. he has pretty much done it every few weeks and hence the no touching jesse rule. for us, jess is predictable in his unpredictableness. jess can also be a real problem with the cats and the other dogs, he is a stalker who waits for the right moment.
and to us..that is just who jesse is.

tonight he came into my bedroom and he gingerly stepped around jerry. jerry has a real bad habit of chasing jesse and grabbing his tail. we are forever pulling long jesse hair out from jerry's mouth.

he kept one eye on jerry who was standing and growling at his feet, waiting for jesse to turn around and flee but jess was brave tonight and he stayed and laid his head against me.

as i stroked his beautiful and very soft face, i wondered what went on in his head. i will probably never know except for two things...jesse is afraid of jerry and jesse is kind and gentle and loving to his friends. but everyone else, human or animal had better really watch out....and not let his soft face and gentle manner, suck you in...jesse's murky waters run fairly deep.

merry christmas jesse, we love you...but you are a bit of a twisted toad once in a while.

Here is Mo and Jesse--very festive (I will post more holiday pics that I took last weekend today)


Carol Ann

Now I feel honored today Jesse was all loving and sweet with me when i was feeding the bed buddies. I gave him lots of food to show my appreciation for him not biting me on Christmas. He is a sweet soft dog when he wants to be. I will still be careful with him.


Happy Christmas to all of you at SAINTS. Thank you for watching over and caring for God's creatures so well.

Poor Jesse; in spite of all your loving care, some of his demons continue to follow him. Hopefully the gift he receives this year will be that he can finally leave them all behind.

God bless you all.


Merry Christmas,
To Carol, your family, the animals and all the volunteers at SAINTS, may you have a wonderful Christmas Day.
I am a great fan of your blog and, even more so, a great fan of the amazing work you do to help senior and special needs animals. Thank you for taking care of them and for sharing your story on the blog!!!
Enjoy the day.....


Sorry I wasn't more clear; I meant my voting is already done for the day (being xmas it is best to always get it done early).


As many of you know Jesse is my favourite dog at SAINTS and I think he is so amazing and kind and gentle(with some of us) and its truely an honor to be one of his people. Carol give Jess a kiss and hug for me. Merry Christmas everyone :)


i always thought jesse was such a handsome dog and he is a great batn dog. when i go up on the weekends both he and al wait. al patiently, not so much jesse wow as soon as they get a glimpse of mos hair they go crazy. they are both great barn dogs. i do remember poor lucas and harold that jesse liked to stalk. merry christmas to all of you see you this morning.


So many of your stories and pictures give me a sense of deja vu of animals I have known personally...coincidentally, the dog this time was also named Jesse. He was a Golden and as he aged, his white face looked remarkably like this picture. Fortunately, we were able to manage him (as the kids grew older--no grandchildren yet) and kept him till the end.

Merry Christmas to everyone at Saints!!


Voting is all done. What a great feeling it is to contribute even in this small way, every day.
Now time to check my bank account and see what else I can do : )