Drako: A Devoted and Dutiful Therapy Dog

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Melissa and her son, Jonathan, were thrilled when they adopted a Labrador mix named Drako one year ago. They knew he was a truly one-of-a-kind dog when Jonathan, who suffers from multiple disabilities and has severe epilepsy, noticed that Drako would sit next to him and lick his face when he was experiencing seizures. This gave Jonathan a tremendous amount of comfort, and Drako began to enjoy being a regular part of his daily schedule from playing ball to sleeping at night.

His presence seemed to give Jonathan more confidence in himself and an increased level of independence. To reward Drako for providing so many positive benefits to her son, Melissa enjoyed giving him beef hoof dog treats, and the normally docile Lab loved nothing more than gobbling them up at first sight. So when Drako stopped eating his treats, then his meals, both Jonathan and Melissa knew something wasn’t right. And once he began vomiting, having diarrhea, and not wanting to move, they immediately brought him to the Montezuma Veterinary Clinic in Cortez.

An exam and x-rays showed Drako had swallowed two large beef hooves that were stuck in his intestines, and that surgery would be required to remove them or he would die from an internal rupture within his bowels. “Normally,” says Melissa, “we would have emergency money in the bank, but we just purchased our first home and the down payment took everything we had.” When Jonathan discovered that he could lose his best friend, he became extremely distraught and started sobbing uncontrollably.

The staff at Montezuma Veterinary Clinic were deeply touched by the close knit and therapeutic bond between Jonathan and Drako, and rushed to apply for a PetAid Care Grant, which helps cover the costs of a one-time medical intervention to save the life of a pet with a good prognosis. When Melissa took Drako home post-op, Jonathan couldn’t contain his excitement and spent the rest of the afternoon hugging Drako and staying faithfully by his side. “Thank you, PetAid, for helping save this special animal who stole our hearts,” says Melissa, “We are so grateful to have him home so he can once again grace us with his big, slobbery smile.”

 Jonathan and Drako happily reunited.

Jonathan and Drako happily reunited.

Research has shown that therapy dogs help take away their owners’ feelings of sadness and agitation while improving overall happiness. In addition, dog owners are less likely to have high blood pressure or suffer from diabetes, obesity, and depression. Here at PetAid, we know that when pets thrive, people thrive—and that pets are a pathway to assisting communities in need.


Will you help spare a disadvantaged owner and pet the pain and suffering of needless relinquishment or euthanasia?