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Happy Tail: A Jack Russell eases a woman’s depression


Jessica Willard of Denver, CO, was going through a bad patch. She’d grown up with all kinds of animals, from frogs to dogs. But she says her “true passion” for animals started to develop around three years ago when she got a job at Petco.

Jack Russell Terrier

Read Jack’s adoption story in Jessica Willard’s own words.

Unfortunately, at the same time, she began to develop severe physical symptoms, and a doctor confirmed that she had allergies “to almost every animal” except dogs. She was heartbroken, particularly because at that time in her life she didn’t feel she could take on the responsibility of a dog, the one animal to which she wasn’t allergic.

She found good homes for the various small pets in her care and began a new phase of life: going back to school. But her health worsened. She began having dizzy spells and insomnia and became depressed.

She managed to keep up her schoolwork, and when her boyfriend, Zech, asked what she wanted as a reward for all her hard work in school, she told him, “A dog. I am ready to get my dog.”

Zech was skeptical, but became even more so when she said she wanted a special needs or a senior dog. She knew they were often overlooked at shelters.

“One day, when I was casually browsing Petfinder, I saw a pair of sweet, brown eyes staring back at me,” she says. “They belonged to Jack, an eight-year-old blind Jack Russell Terrier.”  She knew he was the one. He was listed by MaxFund Animal Adoption Center in Denver, CO.

The first meeting was stressful, and for a while after adopting Jack, life with him was a trial. He had constant diarrhea and the stress continued. A visit to the vet cured the diarrhea; Jack had parasites. The couple’s determination and love cured Jack’s other issues. Now he sleeps with them and loves to cuddle and be held.

“Nothing has brought me more joy then my wonderful Jack,” Jessica says. They not only rescued him, but she says he rescued her as well.

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