Give a vet a bone

Published 7:46 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Christmas is a time to spend with family.
For Noel and Barbara Jett of Walnut Hill their children are all grown up. Now they take care of rescue dogs that have been abused and left for dead.
So when one of their dogs went down with an undiagnosed injury Christmas morning, it was like one of their children getting sick.
"We heard a terrible, wrenching yell a 6:30 a.m. in the backyard," Barbara said.
When Barbara reached her beloved dog, Berkley, she noted that he was unable to use his hind legs and was in pain. Her next-door neighbor assisted her in getting the distressed dog up until her husband made it outside to assist.
"We called his emergency number for the vet and we actually received a call back in a matter of 20 minutes and we didn't expect that at all," Noel said.
Fortunately, Atmore's Tommy Moore, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and owner of Atmore Animal Hospital, answered their call for help even though it was Christmas morning.
"I have a 13-year-old son, so we were up early Christmas morning," Dr. Moore said. "We had already finished opening presents when they called. When a dog is hurting, I want to help."
Dr. Moore met the Noel and Barbara at 9:30 a.m. at his office located at 804 East Nashville Ave. to try and determine what was wrong with Berkley. He helped Noel carry the 130-pound lab mix into his examining room and all three sat in the floor and tested the dog's reflexes. Dr. Moore then gave him a steroid shot, a shot for inflammation and medicine to prevent internal infection.
"It was unbelievable," Barbara said of Dr. Moore's urgency to Berkeley. "It was totally unexpected. It was like a miracle."
The couple have two other rescue dogs, Bear, which is a 14-year-old shepherd, husky mix, and 10-year-old Molly, which is a foxhound mix. Natives of Birmingham, the Jetts moved to Walnut Hill seven months ago. They were so grateful for Dr. Moore's generosity, professionalism and care for Berkley.
"Atmore has been good to me, so I like to give back," Dr. Moore said. "I was glad to meet with them, it's all part of the job."
Berkley had a follow-up visit with Dr. Moore on Tuesday afternoon where X-rays of his back were taken. Upon review, Dr. Moore noted that Berkley has a back problem and referred the Jetts to a specialist in Opelika.
"He's had a pretty bad life," Barbara said. "We were asked to adopt him and agreed to two weeks, but he was determined to stay with us; he didn't want to go anywhere. He has been my protector. He watches me like a hawk."
The couple explained that four-year-old Berkley had been abused by his previous owner and was left tied to a tree and left for dead when the owners moved.
"We're still concerned for our dog now," Barbara said. "We're his mobility. In order for him to do anything, we have him on a towel under his belly and lift him up and walk him outside. We're hand feeding him and making sure he's got water, but it hasn't been much. Hopefully this is just temporary."
As for the couple's Christmas, they received a great gift from their local vet, who they had only met once.

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