Tina and Angel Jaff (Border Collie)


Hi there,
I am so glad that you found the Guardian Angels website and I pray that you will use it to educate yourself and to take back some of the control that was taken from you the first time you watched your dear pup have a seizure.
My name is Tina and I live in New Jersey with my husband, Phil, and our 5 beautiful Border Collies. We live on a small sheep farm where I train the dogs for farm work and a few sheepherding competitions a year. My dogs are also therapy and reading program dogs. I am involved in Border Collie rescue as well and we always have a rescue in our pack.
Phil and I adopted Angel Jaff from Border Collie rescue in July of 2004. He was a tall,  rough coated tricolor pup about a year old. He didn’t turn out to be the herding prospect that I hoped for but he and my husband became best buddies and he was a great addition to our pack.
One morning in March of 2005 while we were getting ready for work I noticed him acting strangely. Moments later he had his first Grand Mal seizure and I was devastated. Unfortunately, epilepsy is becoming more and more prevalent in Border Collies and several of my friends have owned epis. In hindsight he had been having occasional focal seizures but at the time we didn’t know that was what they were.
I found the Guardian Angels website that first day and poured over it trying to understand what was happening and what I could do about it. I really try to treat my dogs as naturally as possible so I was afraid to start anti-seizure medications right away. I took Jaff for acupuncture and chiropractic appointments that continued throughout his lifetime. But when I realized that those treatments alone were not going to stop the seizures we started Potassium Bromide (KBr). Jaff soon began having cluster seizures and the frequency was not good so we added Phenobarbital (PB). We also added many supplements like Melatonin and Taurine to his regimen.
We fought this terrible disease for 13 months but Jaff clustered every 11 days on average, sometimes having 6 seizures in 30 minutes. On April 25th of 2006 he was at work with my husband and he began seizing. The rectal valium wouldn’t break the cluster this time and he seized all the way to the vets office. We decided to help our dear Jaff to the Rainbow Bridge that day and we lost one of the best dogs you could ever own.
The founder of the Guardian Angels, Joanne Carson, called me everyday and helped me deal with my grief and listened to me cry for days. One day she asked me if I would become a Web Angel and specifically help owners of Border Collies as they are notoriously hard to control and I obviously had experience with that. I decided in Jaff’s memory I would accept and try to help others deal with this disease. I do hope that the Guardian Angels will be a light for you and a source of knowledge that will help you on this journey.
To end my story you should know that we adopted another Border Collie from rescue four months to the day of Jaff’s passing and Jetty is so much like Jaff that he had to have been sent by him as a gift. We are also owned by Joe, Jess and her pups, Bryn and my bad boy, Dirk.
Tina and Angel Jaff
Epi Web Angels