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A Girl, a Dog and a Bucket List

Updated on March 18, 2016

My Name is Beetle Jo and I am Love

My name was Beetle Jo and I loved my mom.  She made my last days here the best any dog could have.
My name was Beetle Jo and I loved my mom. She made my last days here the best any dog could have. | Source

Beetle Jo was His Name

In 2013 Beetle Jo was adopted from one of our shelters. In November of 2014 he was picked up as a stray. No one claimed him. This story is about love, compassion and most of all awareness of how shelters wear on animals. Day in and day out they are in a kennel with no interaction except what they get from the shelter employees and volunteers. There are no walks in the park, no soft beds from them to lay on and the only love they get is from visitors and the shelter staff. When I first read this story in our local paper, I cried buckets of tears. The love that Manda Jo had for Beetle will be forever in our hearts as we watched her create a bucket list for her dog before he was euthanized.

She had two other dogs and Beetle could not be around any other dogs or she would have taken him in a heart beat to her home.. As time wore on for him in the shelter he became aggressive, even turning on his trainers. Manda would come every day on her lunch time and he had only eyes for her. He would sit and wait for his noon visit.

Days leading up to his day to go to the rainbow bridge, Manda made a bucket list to fulfill Beetles every wish as any dog would have if he had a family.

Every Day At Noon She Visited and He Waited For Her

Everyday he waited for her at noon for kisses
Everyday he waited for her at noon for kisses | Source

Everyone Tried to Get Beetle Adopted

The shelter did everything they could to get Beetle adopted, but as his aggression grew he was no longer taken to the mega adoption events. It was decided that he would be deemed unadoptable and a date for him to be euthanized was set.

Beetles bucket list was all over Jacksonville. Manda made a Facebook page which is still growing "The Great Adventures of Beetle Jo". I started following and many more people waited to see each and every adventure he went on with Manda.

He went to the beach, had ice cream and steak. Even ate a squirrel (well a treat squirrel). Got to be a super hero and have a pajama party. He went to the bakery and had cheese cake and cookies. He went to a concert and got to lay in a real bed. He had his portrait painted and a nice swim in a pool. The best thing he got was the love that Manda had for this silly boy.

A silly boy who wants everyone to know that we need to save shelter animals. They are some of the best pets. No one knows on a daily basis the torture these animals go through waiting for someone to save them. If you want to do anything to stop what happened to Beetle, then go adopt a shelter dog or cat and save them from being euthanized or even deemed unadoptable.

Walking the Blue Carpet With My Fab Wrap

She showed me off and I was her guy
She showed me off and I was her guy | Source

Be Aware of Your Shelter Animals

If you have never walked in to an animal shelter, I encourage you to do it just one time. The dogs barking and pleading for someone to come and get them. You have to understand that most of these dogs were either picked up as strays or dropped off by owners who no longer want them. That is another hub to write.

It's like they hear your car door open and they all bark in unity. They are pleading for someone to fill their lives with love and care. Hoping every moment of every day that someone will just arrive and say "yes that is the one".

The volunteers walk them, feed them, clean out their kennels and those who are socialized get to go out for play groups to interact with other dogs. My only quest in life is to make people aware of dogs like Beetle, who spend days, months and years in our shelters because our city has a no kill status. The reason for Beetles story and others like him is in my heart. The pain I felt looking at each picture and how happy he was and thinking no way could he be deemed unadoptable. He didn't start out his life like this.

No animals start their life out believing that humans can be the cruelest of animals. They are puppies and kittens just like babies. They need their mothers to care for them until they no longer need her, then sent to homes that they think will always be there for them.

My Mom and Me at the Beach

I loved going to the beach with my mom and dad.
I loved going to the beach with my mom and dad. | Source

It's Not the Breed It's People

I have a pit bull named Tinkerbelle. If I would not have went to the shelter the day I adopted her, she would have probably still been there. These dogs are given an unfair labeling that they are a bully breed. I can say that is farther from the truth. Did Tinkerbelle have behavior issues? Yes she did. She was starved, full of mange and fleas and then abandoned by her owners.

Pit bulls are not bad dogs. It's people raising them that make them become bad dogs. It's like taking a child and never teaching them any manners then expect them to live in the world without any problems.

For shelter life, it goes deeper then Pit bulls. There are many dogs that the constant daily life of the shelter wears on them. Shelters here do any and everything to get these dogs adopted. I want them all but I know I can't save them all. This is about awareness and saving those who have been in a shelter a long time.

I Am a Dapper Dude

Why yes I can be silly
Why yes I can be silly | Source

Euthanasia the Eye Sore of America

Each year, in shelters all over the country, euthanize an estimated 8 million dogs and cats. These are true facts and should not have to happen. If the public would stop patronizing breeders and get their dogs spayed or neutered these numbers could go down to zero unless the pet was ill.

The dogs know the walk of death. They feel it and they know something is wrong. If you have never witnessed how shelter animals are euthanized in some places, I ask that you go and see. I know that Beetle was humanely euthanized but many animals don't get that.

Stop the torture and adopt your best friend from a shelter. Shop don't adopt.

My Slumber Party With Matching PJ's

The night before he went to the rainbow bridge he slept in a real bed.
The night before he went to the rainbow bridge he slept in a real bed. | Source

The Confusion

By now you are looking at these pictures and wondering why he wasn't adopted. He developed behaviors in the shelter that made him unsafe. Sometimes they all can't be saved. Manda Jo adopted him and took him on a dog adventure like no other. She had other dogs at home and could not take him to her home. He stayed with one of his trainers I believe before he was euthanized.

If you don't take anything more from this story, please know that this is the reality of most shelter dogs. Some behaviors with lots of work can be worked out. When the dog is deemed unsafe to adopt then there is no other alternative.

Help us help all the Beetles in the USA know what a real bed feels like. Know what it meant to have love, faith, compassion, empathy and he gave all that love back to Manda. If it wasn't for the love she had for him, he would have never known what it felt like to live like a real dog.

May you run free baby boy in dog heaven with others just like you.

How I Will Remember Him

Every day I look on his page for updated pictures of the day from his mom. Beetle Jo was euthanized humanely on August 29, 2015.

I am the voice of Beetle Jo and he is love.

They Tried Everything To Find Me a Home

They put me in an Easter Bonnet to get me adopted.
They put me in an Easter Bonnet to get me adopted. | Source

She Loved Him

Manda Jo loved Beetle.. She had him cremated and took him home. Everyday she misses him and he took a piece of her heart with him. I am sure there will be others as shelter volunteers hold on to just that one dog or cat that they fall head over heals for.

God bless you Manda for giving Beetle the dog life he had.


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    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 9 months ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Yes it is Shyron. He loved her but she could not take him home because of her other dogs. Shelter life made him like he was. I am sure he knew what love was in the end just sad he couldn't have it from the beginning.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago from Texas

      Cheryl, this is so sad. I know that my town has lots of foster homes and my friends Gale and Cindy foster lots of dogs. I know Gale has one that is going to a forever home this Friday.

      God Bless you.

    • profile image

      gwen 22 months ago

      This story made me cry. So sad how people throw away dogs.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      You must have a wonderful pet. I think many people are afraid of pit bulls but your story shows a sweet nature on this one. When we do get a pet, it is always from a shelter. It's a great place to find a pet.