Dog returns to Minot family after flood separated themThere were tears and tail-wagging Saturday when the Jenkins family reunited with its furriest member in Jamestown, after nearly a year of separation.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
There were tears and tail-wagging Saturday when the Jenkins family reunited with its furriest member in Jamestown, after nearly a year of separation.
“You’ve had quite the adventure, bud,” Jacob Jenkins said to the couple’s fluffy black Pomeranian, Gizmo, as the dog’s tail wagged and he tried to snuggle into both of his owners at once.
The reunion wouldn’t have happened without generous foster families and lots of luck.
After the flood, Minot residents Jacob and Amy Jenkins had to move into a tiny camper with their baby, Caleb, and there simply wasn’t enough room for the whole family. Forced to make a choice, the couple decided to keep their other dog, Clifford, a Shi tzu-poodle mix and sent Gizmo to live with family.
“My gut kept telling me ‘we need to get him back,’” Amy recalled.
Gizmo went to live with Amy’s brother, Steve Johnson, of Fargo, who lives on a farm with his family. After a period of time passed, Johnson — with the best of intentions — decided to give the dog to someone else who could provide Gizmo with a good home.
“My brother thought he was doing us a favor,” Amy said. “I know what his intentions were. We just felt like we didn’t have control over our situation.”
Johnson told them the dog had gone to a foster family in Jamestown. Amy and Jacob were upset, but felt they had to let it go — if Gizmo was situated with another family that loved him, it wouldn’t be fair to take him away from that. And they weren’t sure exactly where he was, either.
Amy took Clifford in to be groomed at Paw Prints in Minot, and the groomer wondered where Gizmo was. Amy told Gizmo’s story, and mentioned how Clifford seemed depressed without his canine companion, often sitting in the middle of the room and staring into the distance at nothing.
The groomer found Prairie Paws Rescue on Facebook — and a posted picture of Gizmo.
Unbeknownst to the Jenkins family, though, Gizmo had already been adopted.
Had Jacob known that, he wouldn’t have sent an email to Prairie Paws asking if he could adopt his dog — he and Amy had already decided that if Gizmo had been adopted, they wouldn’t take him away from a family that loved him.
The Jenkins family still wanted to say goodbye to their beloved pet and ensure that he was doing all right with his new family.
“I had it in my mind that I had to be OK with that,” Amy said.
As it turned out, however, Gizmo was the third dog for the adopting family and he proved to be too much for them. Gizmo had returned to Prairie Paws cofounder Kaye John, where he had been living before his short-lived adoption.
It wasn’t the first stroke of luck for Gizmo, who as a pup was found in a field and given to Amy about six years ago.
On Saturday, Jacob and Amy drove three hours from Minot to Jamestown, excited to retrieve their lost family member. Amy had told their son, Caleb, about Gizmo, and showed him a picture of “his puppy.”
When they reached Jamestown, John arranged to meet them and brought Gizmo, who panted, wagged his tail and was unable to decide whether he wanted more to be held by Jacob or Amy. They took turns, and Gizmo licked both of them with happy abandon, flipping over in their arms to lie on his back as if he were a human baby.
“I remember the last time I held him,” Amy said. “We were in the driveway, and I remember he had his eyes closed and he was almost crying.”
Gizmo, and the rest of the Jenkins family, will have a home to return to. Amy and Jacob were able to move back into their home in March after pulling out the plumbing and electrical systems and replacing them, putting in all new floors and adding support infrastructure to the settling building.
They tripled their mortgage, but Jacob was quick to add “There’s a lot of people worse off.”
Still, the home was missing something — or someone — important.
“It just doesn’t feel right without him. The energy is just nonexistent,” Amy said.
Gizmo should fix that pretty quickly, though. He was the one who kept Clifford lively, and he was also the one who’d let baby Caleb pull on his tail, responding only with a friendly lick.
“We’re just so elated,” Amy said, cradling the happy Gizmo in her arms.
“This is what we do,” John answered, smiling.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be
reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at