Taking Care of JaJa
Publisher's Note: This column is the final in a series "countdown" highlighting the ten 10th Anniversary Goodnewsforpets.com iPad® contest winners, a bit of the "story behind the story. #1 winner and writer Karen Miller is a consummate dog lover – especially of her beloved Yorkshire Terrier JaJa. What inspired us about Karen's story was not only the story of how she found JaJa, but her apparent love and hope for love of all animals. Don't forget to check out the link to the ASPCA, the New York-based shelter organization that she selected to receive a $500 matching donation to help other pets
How did you hear about goodnewforpets.com?
I've been a fan of goodnewsforpets.com at least since 2005 when I was researching JaJa, Ja for short -- my Yorkshire Terrier, becoming a therapy dog and found an article by Steve Dale – "The Dog's View."
What appealed to you about the contest?
The $500 donation to an animal shelter, that there were 10 very Grand prizes, and of course, the iPad.
How do you use your iPad?
I'm excited about wifi connectivity, the touch screen, the apps, and it can make me "mobile" with email etc. Now a desk doesn’t keep JaJa & I apart.
Can you tell us more about JaJa -- her personality and anything else that would add?
I have always cherished the unique human/dog connection. I find it remarkable how dogs, with their own deep instincts, lack of human language etc. can often so easily blend into the human world, and how each breed or "class" of dog excels in special traits and knowledge.
I'm a small dog person - especially terriers. Virtually everyone exclaims how adorable JaJa looks - but she's actually even more beautiful inside. She makes everyone she meets feels special.
JaJa is my first dog as an adult (I had a miniature schnauzer when I was a kid). Like many Yorkies, JaJa is an enthusiastic, relentless kisser (perhaps her favorite sport). Friends refer to her as their dental hygienist!
JaJa also had Leggs-Perthes and I am constantly looking for more information to treat JaJa's PLE more holistically and ways to save on veterinary bills. She's so sweet, loving, fun and almost stoically endures having a pill put down her throat every day and blood tests every month or two.
JaJa was named in memory of my best friend Janette (nicknamed JaJa) who was horribly murdered. She is my connection to Janette and I want to be sure she is well cared for if something were to happen to me. I have a thorough "Taking Care of JaJa" 6 page plus document that I have given to potential caregivers in the event I have to travel or become incapacitated. I have set up a trust for JaJa in my will. JaJa has her own Facebook page -ssshhhh.
She is my muse and inspiration and I am so proud of her. JaJa is my best friend and "baby." The only "mistake" about dogs is that they have a relatively short lifespan!
Do you have special activities you do with JaJa?
Every day is a special day with JaJa. I don't like to be apart from her, so when I visit friends by car, bus, train, JaJa goes with me and is very welcome in their homes. At home we nap together, dance together, play ball (usually reserved for guests). We go to the blessings of St. Francis. I ask for a special blessing for her continued good health and that we will be together for a very long time.
We spread love on our walks – JaJa loves little children and being in the library. I hope someday we will be a reading to dogs team for children. At night we do home schooling for a treat. For example, when we practice colors I say red, blue, green, orange, white, pink and she knows she can take a treat on pink. The last event in home schooling is always to guess which hand a treat is in, and she typically guesses 85 percent correct!
Why did you select the organization you did for your donation?
The ASPCA is the first humane organization to prevent animal cruelty. They are a no kill/no harm shelter; offer a wide range of programs, services, resources and information. They work with and for the community.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The first thing I do on the computer each morning is click on www.theanimalrescuesite.com. Dogs make people feel special, loved and needed (humans to take care of them). Being a dog person has made me more of a people person - I am especially drawn to people who love and care about animals and having JaJa has made people, and me, friendlier. When I click on that site I am hoping and praying that each pet will find a special person to love them as much as I love JaJa.