Surgery for Jax, the Golden Retriever

Surgery for Jax, the Golden Retriever

From Michaelene Bolan

Jax is a beautiful Golden Retriever. He is only five and has Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease requiring him to have knee surgery on both knees. The surgery cost is $3700 for both knees. Please help save his life!

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Update #7

7 days ago

Hello Everyone!
It's been one month since Jax had his surgery and he is doing really well. He is able to take 10 minute walks and happily, he is able to come upstairs and sleep in my room again. His shaved fur is even beginning to grow back. You can tell that he is feeling so much better and although I wondered if this was the best idea, both before and after the surgery, I now feel that it was absolutely a great idea for him and for me.

On December 17, he goes in for x-rays of both knees which will hopefully validate his continued good results. I'll will keep you all updated after that happens.

This could not have happened without all of you who generously donated to this cause and for this I thank you all! You will be remembered with the greatest gratitude!

Jax and Michaelene

More Info

Jax came to me as an 8 week old puppy. He was healthy and eager to learn. He is so empathetic and caring for everyone he meets. He grew quickly! He used to get a huge smile on his face when he ran but unfortunately both of his CCLs (similar to ACL in humans) are completely torn and without surgery, he can only hobble. Without treatment, he will never run again and arthritis will eventually debilitate him completely. I help him down steps with a sling to go outside, but he can no longer climb up the staircase to my bedroom where he has slept all his life. The surgery per knee is $3000 and he needs both knees surgically reconstructed. With this treatment he will be good as new in 3-4 months. The prognosis is 95% successful and he could go on to live a long healthy life. All treatment including surgery, doctor visits with orthopedic specialists and meds could cost as much as 10K. Jax and I both thank you for your generosity!

Michaelene Bolan

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Help Michaelene raise $4,000 by making a donation.

Michaelene Bolan posted a new update:
7 days ago

Update #7

Hello Everyone!
It's been one month since Jax had his surgery and he is doing really well. He is able to take 10 minute walks and happily, he is able to come upstairs and sleep in my room again. His shaved fur is even beginning to grow back. You can tell that he is feeling so much better and although I wondered if this was the best idea, both before and after the surgery, I now feel that it was absolutely a great idea for him and for me.

On December 17, he goes in for x-rays of both knees which will hopefully validate his continued good results. I'll will keep you all updated after that happens.

This could not have happened without all of you who generously donated to this cause and for this I thank you all! You will be remembered with the greatest gratitude!

Jax and Michaelene

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Michaelene Bolan posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #6

Well, it's been one week since Jax had his surgery and he seems to be doing well, considering. This week, he has been on a cocktail of meds, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, pain meds and a tranquilizer. If he should run around too soon or fall, say down slippery steps, the surgery could fail. His incisions look great. He has been confined to bedrest in a crate for the past week, which he is handling very well. He needs to continue his boring life in the crate for one more week. Next week, he goes to get his sutures removed. My hope is that he continues to improve with time. Thank you to all of you dear people for contributing to this project. Jax and I will never forget those of you who helped make this possible.
All good things to you all!
Jax and Michaelene

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Michaelene Bolan posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #5

We have officially reached our goal!!
One hundred thousand thanks to everyone who pitched in to help make this possible!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Michaelene and Jax

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Michaelene Bolan posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #4


It started with Jax suffering with a reoccurring limp right before the pandemic started in February or March. When I finally got him in the see his vet, Dr. Wentz, he put him on some pain meds, suggested, “restricting his activity and if he’s still in pain after two weeks, we’ll take X-rays.” In two weeks, he was no longer limping, so I thought he had just pulled a muscle or something. Two weeks ago, I was bringing back the trash cans from the street. Jax was out in the front yard sniffing around and when I called him to come with me, he came running, then suddenly yelped out in pain and sat down, seemingly unable to get up. I took him to the emergency clinic the next morning as he was really hobbling. I worried that something was broken.

The ER doc mentioned that the surgery for both knees could be as high as $3500.00 per knee. This didn’t include any additional cost for post op visits, for example, suture removal and X-rays six weeks after the surgery. Immediately, my mind scrambled to figure out my options.

Not being the type of person to spend massive amounts of money on a dog, as dear as they are, my first thought was that I would have to put him down, euthanize him. The thought of that option sickened and saddened me. As a 67- year-old that works 6 days a week struggling to make ends meet, I couldn’t even afford a 7-10,000 K surgery for myself, much less a dog who has a much shorter lifespan than a human. It didn’t seem in the least feasible. I decided to wait and see what the orthopedic surgeon had to say before making up my mind.

According to Dr. Anderson, Jax had bi-lateral ruptures of his CCL and a torn meniscus. He required surgery. Period. Without surgery, his condition would worsen until in a short time, he would be completely crippled. Living for an extended period on pain meds would only make the situation worse. The doctor assured me that the procedures were 95-100% effective and that he could go on to live well into his teens. He told me if Jax was his dog, he would definitely do the surgery because he was so young and otherwise so healthy. Dr. Anderson told me he would not do the surgery on just any dog. He said he chooses his cases carefully, assuring his own success rate. In his opinion, Jax having this procedure was a no brainer. I told him I wanted to think about it. Before the end of the day, I decided that Jax was too valuable to discard.

Of course, almost everyone thinks that their pets are wonderful, and I am one of those people. But Jax is really beyond wonderful. My daughter, Lilah, wanted me to have another dog after Cody, the King of Dogs, died at age 16. He was so old and in so much pain, it became increasingly apparent that he was ready to rest and so we took him to the vet for the last time. It was hard, but harder still to watch him suffer. Lilah was eager to replace him, to fill that gap.

Jax was just 8 weeks old when we brought him home. He was seriously cute! He grew so quickly! In the blink of an eye, he was fully grown.
Lilah, being concerned about my safety, around such an active dog, researched training schools and Jax graduated from his school with honors. For a year, after his graduation, Lilah took him every weekend to distraction training in local parks with his classmates. As a result of Lilah’s commitment to helping me have the perfect dog in my elder years, Jax will heel for hours without a leash. He sits on the first command and if I say “leave it”, he will ignore scampering squirrels, flocks of geese and rabbits crossing our path. Over the years, I have worked with him, training him to walk beside me up and downstairs, in the event, that someday I might need assistance. Rather than racing down or up the stairs as often dogs will do, he waits for me to hold his collar and moves carefully as I say to him, “Help me.” Ironically, now it is me that is helping him climb up and down stairs.

My point is, he has value. Not only because of his excellent behavior and eagerness to please, but also because of his unconditional love for everyone he meets. He exudes love. So, I, the person who has always said that I would never pay thousands of dollars for surgery for a dog, decided to pay thousands of dollars for surgery for Jax. Fortunately, crowdfunding is helping me pay for the expenses this will ultimately cost, which, by the way, turned out to be considerably less than initially expected. The estimate that the vet’s office sent was between $3600.00-4000.00.

It’s interesting the people that initially offered to help. My sister, Seanne, is always the first to lend a hand when someone needs help. She donated first, she donated a second time and then again, which is true to her character. The second person to donate was a young man that met Jax one time when I sold him bar stools on Marketplace. Many of the donations came from the families that I had worked for as a nanny. Tara donated twice and also got her mom and sister to donate! Maria gave on behalf of my dear little Ella! One donation came from a college student, Arno, that lived with me for a few months during her senior year of high school. Our neighbor, Wade was incredibly generous and another neighbor’s son, Roman, also donated. It is an interesting mix of people that decided to help save Jax from economic euthanasia.

To my utter shock, yesterday, a donation came in from another family that I worked for as a nanny. Little Henry’s family donated $2950.00 in order to meet the goal. “Don’t lose another wink of sleep on it. We will cover it and finish off the fundraising effort.”

Jax’s surgery is scheduled for two weeks from today, October 23. He will spend one to two nights in the hospital and then have at least 8-12 weeks of very limited activity but by spring, he should be back to his happy self again, chasing rabbits and squirrels for the rest of his life.

Thanks to all of you, we have reached our goal!! To all of you, I offer my gratitude in great measure. Because if YOU, Jax will enjoy a long, happy life!
Thank you.
Michaelene and Jax

That picture is of his first bath!

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Michaelene Bolan posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #3

Another thank you to my sister, Seanne Bolan Heffernan. She has given a total of $250.00 to help Jax! One hundred thousand thanks to you for all you do to help! Your generosity is so appreciated!
Michaelene

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Michaelene Bolan posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #2

Jax went to see the surgeon this morning and the diagnosis is indeed bilateral CCL rupture and though he does need surgery on both knees, the cost is less than I was told by the emergency room doctor. Because of this, I have edited our goal. Our new goal is $4000. His surgery is scheduled for Friday, October 23. If you can find it in your heart to pitch in and help me cover these costs, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you,
Michaelene Bolan

Michaelene Bolan commented on a blog post:
about 1 month ago
Thank you so much to Tara Fifer Schultz for your kindness and generosity! You are such a good friend!

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Michaelene Bolan posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #1

Again, this morning, I see that more people have donated to help Jax!
Thank you to Roman Reedy and Marsha Fifer for your generous donations! and to all of you have taken the time to donate, our humble thanks!

Jax and Michaelene

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