This is the second article in a series of articles about adopted ARF animals who have had a significant impact on their adopters. While ALL ARF animals fit this bill, there are a special few who have gone above and beyond what anyone could have ever expected. Some animals have helped their humans with feats of heroism. Others have done so simply by being by their side day after day and forming a powerful and unique canine-human bond. The article below is about one of those powerful bonds and an adoption that was just “meant to be.”

Written by Jetta’s Adoptive Mom, Angela Balcom

After trying out a few different ARF foster homes Jetta came to our home well over a year ago, shortly after one of my longest and dearest friends was killed in a car accident. Jetta came to us with a badly broken leg after a long history of being mistreated prior to ARF care. When Jetta came to our house she was angry and scared – she would not even let my dogs look at her. She attached herself to me very quickly but it was a long time before she would let someone else near us – not even my husband or kids.


Photo Source: Jenilynn Shepherd Photography

She had a lot of healing to do and so did I. As the days began to unfold we began to bond and as much as I helped her to heal – she helped me to heal from the loss of my friend. When I wanted to lay in bed and cry all day- she stayed with me and seemed to know just what I needed. Something else you should know – another ARF volunteer, Lori Carter, gave her the name Jetta – my friend’s last name was Jette! Fast forward through 8 months of dealing with the most difficult dog I had ever met. After meeting 4 different possible families Jetta was adopted to a wonderful family. They tried so hard over the next 3 months but Jetta was not happy there and became very hard to deal with. She also began losing her fur due to scratching so much (something we have since discovered happens when she is stressed).


Photo Source: Jenilynn Shepherd Photography

On the one year anniversary of my friend’s death I was wishing she would somehow give me a sign to tell me she was here with me. Literally about an hour later I got a phone call from Jetta’s adoptive family saying they needed to return her. Jetta came home in rough shape and over the last few months we have been working out the kinks. She continues to be difficult (really difficult at times) and will be work forever more. But more importantly- Jetta is home. Home with us where I think she might have known she belonged the entire time. It just took us a little longer to figure it out. We are her family and she is a huge part of ours. Thanks to each and every ARF volunteer that has helped Jetta on her journey. Without ARF, Jetta would not be here today.

May 27th would have been my friend’s 36th birthday and I could not imagine a better day to adopt my wonderful Miss Jetta!

Kara Dannenhold is the First Response Team Leader and the Education Project Development Coordinator for ARF Ontario which is 100% volunteer. Kara's love for animals is only matched by her love for her niece and four nephews.
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