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Jade came into my life in February of 2018. I saw a post on the NAS facebook page for an elderly Akita needing a foster home. After twelve and half years she’d been dumped by her previous family for being too old and sick. My last foster had just gotten adopted a few weeks ago, and I wasn’t really ready to take on another dog just yet. But I thought I could at least go pick her up from and keep her for a week or so until a more a permanent foster/adopter could be coordinated.

The first time I saw Jade she was… well, gross. It was obvious it had been a while since she’d had a bath. But I was there to do a job, so I loaded her up in my car and made the journey back home. The first few days were pretty rough. More than once did I question my decision to bring her home with me. But again, I had a job to do.

Jade was rightfully scared; it took several days before I could even really pet her. And it was immediately apparent that she did not like other dogs. Having my own dog, Axle, this was going to be a bit difficult. But day by day I started to work on socializing her.

Ten days later and Jade was finally cleared to have a bath after her spay surgery at the shelter. After a good hour of scrubbing I discovered that I actually had a white dog, not a gray one, and those big, dingy brown spots on her legs slowly washed away.

Jade continued to come out of her shell over the next few weeks, but it was becoming more and more clear that she had had little to no socialization in her previous years. Dogs, people, cars, the crate, new noises were all triggers for her. Twelve years of behaviors do not get fixed in a few weeks. The only thing she seemed to not really mind were the occasional roaming neighborhood cats we’d see on our short walks.

It was at this point that I needed to discuss with NAS about Jade’s next steps. I did not feel comfortable letting her be adopted by anyone that the NAS family did not know personally. I knew that Jade would not do well in a home with kids, dogs, or anyone that did not have experience with her behavioral issues.

As much as I had grown to love Jade, and as much progress as she had made, I could not deny that fact that she was an 85lb somewhat unpredictable, and mostly unsocialized Akita. I had never intended to keep her, but there I was offering to become a forever foster to a dog that didn’t fit my current lifestyle. 

I don’t suggest this kind of commitment to just anyone. I had to change my life for Jade. This wasn’t a dog I could just take anywhere at the drop of a hat, or trust with just anyone. But we’ve made it work. NAS got Jade on proper medication for her medical issues and anxiety, I had a custom built “Jade proof” dog gate installed in my house to make sure the dogs could live their separate lives safely under the same roof. We got her an industrial dog crate called an “Alcatraz” that she couldn’t break out of. We got her a proper collar and muzzle so she could leave the house safely.

All of these things and more were done so that this dog did not have to die in her twilight years in a shelter alone. It’s been over a year since Jade came into my life, and we now have our routine, and are living relatively calm lives. I often refer to her as “the best worst dog I never asked for”. A more true statement could not be made.

As I write this, Jade is sleeping quietly at my feet. She’s no longer afraid and defensive when I go to pet her, and she’s accepted the fact that another dog lives on the other side of her gate. She still doesn’t like him, but his existence is tolerated, as long as she gets her treats first.

Although I never intended to keep Jade, we don’t always pick our dogs, sometimes they pick us. I don’t know how much more time I have with her, despite the best care we can offer, she’s now 14 years old. She’s tired, she’s nearly blind, has a hard time walking, unless food has been left on the table and in that case she’s swift and spry long enough to steal said food, and she can barely hear anything besides the rustle of a cheese wrapper. But she still manages to yammer at me every morning when I don’t make her breakfast fast enough. And she is always dramatically upset when I offer Axle a bite of my banana and not her, even though she hates bananas and will retch if one comes within sniffing distance.

I’ve fostered many dogs over the last 8 years, and Jade is unlike any dog I’ve ever had. She’s moody, demanding, dramatic, incredibly naughty, and I love her with all my heart. Without the support of NAS, Jade would have spent her final days as an un-adoptable dog in that shelter alone. Without their efforts, so many dogs would have the same fate. It is true, we cannot save them all, but the ones that are lucky enough to land in the NAS family are given all the care and love they deserve.

-Madison, Foster Mom


Dog food (wet and dry) – Nutri Source Grain Free 26.4 lb (any protein) $52.00

*** If donating to her food bill, Noah’s Ark Society Center can purchase at cost.

Treats – any treats are appreciated



Rimadyl – 75mg 28 count $62.24

Carafalte – 1 gram tablet 28 count $17.08

Tramadol – 50mg 28 count $60.56

Gabapentin – 300mg 60 count $20.60

Fish Oil – $9.99

CBD Oil – $63.00 sold at Noah’s Ark Society

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