jessi-forteAbout six years ago, a little puppy named Forte was adopted by a man who loved him dearly. Forte lived six happy years with his adopted dad, but their time together wasn’t always easy. As Forte grew older, he started experiencing health issues, enduring tests and visit after visit with veterinary specialists. Forte was throwing up 3-4 times daily. He went from 65 pounds down to 40 pounds, almost in organ failure. He went to every vet specialist in St. Louis, had every test done, but no doctors could figure out his condition.

Recently, Forte’s dad learned that he was being relocated for his job. Unfortunately, he could not take Forte with him, and it was in Forte’s best interest to stay in St. Louis where he had access to veterinary specialists who could continue to help him. Heartbroken, his dad called Gateway Pet Guardians asking for help.

Jessi Hellmann learned about Forte and his situation, and fell in love with him before she even met him. She worked closely with Forte’s dad to learn all about his condition, to make the transition back into foster easier. Perhaps she loves Forte because his story is so similar to her own rescue dog’s situation, or perhaps it’s just her love for Goldens. Either way, she knew she wanted to help Forte and to assure his dad that he was in good hands.

forteSince Forte started living with Jessi, his health has significantly improved. She uses the same tricks on Forte and her personal dog, who has similar issues. Forte has a special diet and a special feeding routine, and after dinner she gives him neck rubs and tummy rubs. This special one-on-one time, combined with Forte’s greetings and ‘gifts,’ makes him an amazing companion animal. Forte never comes to you empty handed, running around the room grabbing as many toys as he can fit into his mouth and laying them in your lap!

Jessi has been fostering homeless pets for over two years, and enjoys every minute of it. Her favorite part about fostering is watching a family be complete. She describes her favorite moments: “When a family meets your foster dog and it clicks and you know that that family will never be the same because of your foster. A dog who, without you, would have died alone in animal control, or on the streets, but because you took them in they now get to make a family whole again. Watching a little girl wrap her arms around her new puppy, or watching an owner who just lost their pet who swore they’d never love another dog again get teary eyed when they sign the adoption papers, those are the moments. That is the reason I foster.”

And you can experience these same special moments. Learn more about fostering by visiting www.gatewaypets.com/foster. If you’d like to learn more about Forte and the other pets available for adoption, visit www.gatewaypets.com/adopt.