Billie Jo T.: A “Fixer-Upper”, Thulani Style
Pat Honneyman was called to the San Jose Animal Care Center to look at an adult female German Shepherd that was not being put up for adoption because of medical reasons. What she found was a sweet little 2-3 year-old beauty that was skinny, anemic, and had a badly dislocated hip—likely the result of being hit by a car. Despite her problems and obviously being in pain, Billie Jo (or JoJo) had a perfect temperament for Rescue.
While the cost to repair JoJo’s hip was going to be high, this was much too good a dog to not take. So arrangements were made to have her spayed at the shelter, but as they were preparing her, they found a very loud heart murmur in addition to the other problems. Although she was inadvertently spayed before we picked her up, the hip surgery was ruled too dangerous given the heart condition.
So Billie Jo became Billie Jo T., a new member of the Thulani Hospice Program, and we arranged for a Cardio-Ultrasound with a Veterinary Cardiologist, so we could best plan how to take care of her.
Much to our surprise and delight, the heart condition was confirmed, BUT IS COMPLETELY FIXABLE!!! Apparently, we just need to find an unused wine cork and plug a shunt that did not close after she was born. Well, it’s not quite that simple, but it can be repaired by a minimally-invasive procedure.
The cardiac procedure was a roaring success, as was the repair of her bad hip.
So the final step was to change her name from Billie Jo T. to just Billie Jo (basically kick her out of the Thulani Program) and put her up for adoption. When we did that, her foster mom panicked and adopted her immediately. A fairy tale ending!!
TALK ABOUT A FIXER-UPPER–Billie Jo is the icon.