Pet of the Month February: Jake Bestelchman

Jake Bestelechman

(June 2004 – Jan 2015)

Pets are members of the family, they are our best friends, and they love us unconditionally. We mean the world to them, and they to us. Our special relationship with our pets is what makes having to say goodbye so heartrending. But although their time with us is short, the memories we share together are everlasting. This month the RAH team would like to remember the life of a special dog named Jake.

Jake was a Boxer, and a patient of ours for nearly his entire life. He suffered from allergies, as many of his breed do, which would cause flare ups on his chest, paws, or ears. Jake’s dad, Rick Bestelechman, was devoted to his best friend, always putting Jake’s needs at the top of the list. Going ahead with all the recommended treatments resulted in good control of Jake’s condition, with nearly no flare-ups towards the end of his life.

Treating allergies takes commitment on the part of the owner. As Jake’s dad explains, it requires careful monitoring of food, as well as a constant eye on the trouble areas -just because the chest and paws look good, doesn’t mean a flare up isn’t starting in the ears. Being in tune with Jake also meant knowing what treatment options were right for him. For instance, Jake absolutely hated pills. Jaqueline, one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians who use to dog-sit Jake, claims he was a master of winning at a pilling challenge. Whether you hid the pills in food or placed them down his throat and watched him swallow, you’d just find the pills on the floor 30 min later; he may just go down in history as the most difficult dog to pill! Though pilling was a struggle, Jake did really well with injections, and so fewer pills, more shots, was his course of treatment.

Jake came in to the hospital regularly for his allergy injections. Luckily he loved visiting us and we all loved his furious tail-wagging greeting! He was a mild-mannered and care free dog, unless of course he was out in his backyard chasing and barking at the squirrels who taunted him. His condition could have meant a lifetime of discomfort, but thanks to the dedication of his dad Rick, he lived a long, happy, and comfortable life.

Sadly, Jake succumbed to aggressive, fast developing lymphoma in January 2015.

He will be greatly missed, but he, and Rick, will remain an inspiration for us when dealing with future allergy cases. Jake’s case has shown us just how critical a role the owner plays in developing a proper treatment plan that works best for our patients!

May this kind, beautiful, gentle giant rest in peace.

Closeup of Jake the dog Jake the dog