Jewel's story ends happily ever after. In the beginning, it didn't look so promising.
Jewel was found along I-65 near Kentucky in January 2007, injured and alone. A very kind woman spotted her along the highway and saved her, generously paying for two major surgeries on her crushed pelvis and hip...surgeries that saved Jewel's life. The surgeons who performed her operations could tell she'd likely been lying there, crushed, for several days.
From that heroic act of kindness that gave her a second chance at life, Jewel began a journey with Agape that initially was about finding her a forever home. The journey soon became more, as the "little dog that could" began to show us that underneath all her courage and will to live was a sweet, gentle spirit, a heart of gold and a smile that turned you to butter.
Understandably, Jewel needed many weeks of physical therapy following her surgeries, and she was given the best possible rehab with foster mom Chris. Spending most of her days in a doctor-prescribed kennel to limit her activity, the little beagle gained strength and in her short time of "freedom" each day, bonded with her foster canine companions, especially Hannah, the chocolate lab, another foster at Chris' house.
When Chris left for Europe in April, Jewel came to a new foster home, with Gayle and Simon, another lab, for continued care. Now able to enjoy time out of her kennel, Jewel's mobility was improving, but her social skills were far behind. Fearful of noises and new situations, Jewel had a long way to go to overcome her shyness. But buddy Simon, a black lab, was her instant pal, and in no time she was mimicking every move, every habit, everything Simon did. Her love for him was immediate, and their friendship grew.
Soon she became trustful of her new foster parents, and then, Jewel's shyness began to fade. Daily walks to a local park, plus lots of hiking and car rides and visits from neighbors and friends … all played a part in her gradually increasing confidence. Strangers began to comment, "It's like she's not the same dog!" as they met her for the second or third time out in the community. She was beginning to blossom, and in doing so, her sweet and loving disposition began to shine through. Everywhere she went, Jewel melted hearts with her petite little beagle face and those eyes. Eyes that made your heart twinge when she looked up at you.
On July the 6th, Jewel went to live with her forever family in Smyrna, TN, the Mastins, where she is loved and adored by a new mom, a new dad, a 5-year-old little boy, and a new canine pal, Dudley. Knowing her has been an honor, and being part of her little life a great privilege. She has taught us what grace and courage are all about, and that hard work really does pay off.
And that it's a lot more fun to have a buddy along for the ride.