Meet the Incredible Teen Defying His Spinal Disorder to Give Rescue ‘Turkey Dogs’ the Love They Deserve

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Jackson Saville, pictured with a rescue dog named Lucy, has loved Golden Retrievers “for as long as I can remember,” he told The Dog People. Photo by Stacy Saville

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When Jackson Saville learned about Archie, a Golden Retriever whose spirit remained unbroken despite a tragic accident in Turkey, his heart just reached out.

Archie, after enduring two long days of pain alone on the roadside, was rescued and given a chance at a new beginning.

Through the compassionate efforts of SEVA GRREAT and their international partners, Archie, alongside fellow “Turkey Dogs” in need, was brought to the U.S. in July.

There, in a loving foster home, Archie found the kindness and care he so deserved, marking the start of his heartwarming journey to recovery.

In a Twist of Fate

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Jackson Saville creates custom dog bandanas to support the rescued Golden Retrievers. Photo by Stacy Saville

The diagnosis for Archie was heart-wrenching: a spinal fracture that left him dreaming of the day he’d frolic again.

The moment SEVA GRREAT spread the word of Archie’s plight, it resonated deeply with Jackson.

At just 13, this Virginia native is no stranger to the struggle for mobility, having braved three spinal surgeries himself due to spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

“SMA is a neuromuscular disorder that affects the muscles in my body—the muscles you use for walking, crawling, breathing, and even swallowing,” Jackson told The Dog People. “I have a cough machine and a nebulizer and a vent to use to help me breathe when I’m sick. And also I have a wheelchair that I can get around in.”

Moved by Archie’s story, Jackson turned to his own neurologist for a glimmer of hope and sighed in relief at the news that with surgery, Archie could look forward to brighter days.

Embracing his entrepreneurial spirit, Jackson launched into action with RockStar Life Designs, a venture born out of a summer project.

He began crafting and selling bespoke dog bandanas, pledging $5 from each sale to SEVA GRREAT, all to ensure Archie and friends like him get their chance to run and play again.

“I have made over 230 bandanas and donated over $1,200 to SEVA GRREAT,” he said.

The Road to Recovery

Archie’s surgery in August was a success, and Jackson followed his recovery closely through the dog’s Facebook page, Archie Arch A Roux.

“Since he had his first medical surgery, he’s got a scar just like I do,” he said.

That’s not all they have in common. They both recently celebrated birthdays—Jackson turned 13, and Archie turned 2—and now they share a home. 

Jackson and his family adopted Archie!

Archie’s New Chapter

The Saville home has warmly welcomed its latest member, and Archie couldn’t be happier.

This sweet soul finds joy in being around his family, has taken a liking to Jackson’s new electric wheelchair, and impressively, has picked up commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “play dead” in just a week. 

While Archie’s adventures are slightly tempered by his limp and the need to avoid stairs and leaps onto furniture, the home’s ramps, originally installed for Jackson, have become Archie’s pathways to exploring his new world.

“He’s fun. He’s happy. He’s smart,” Jackson said of his new pet. “He can be stubborn, and ferocious. Today I heard him doing a ferocious bark for the first time at our house. There was a big dump truck out there that I think he was barking at.”

Archie has also won over the hearts of the family’s elder dogs, Trixy and Baby, who dote on him like attentive great aunts, showering him with affection and companionship.

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Archie is already a beloved member of the Saville family. Photo by Jane Krom

A Young Heart with a Mission

Jackson’s vision extends beyond his immediate circle, hoping to inspire other young souls to spread kindness and support where it’s needed.

Through selling tie-dye shirts, he supports SMA Proud, aiding those battling spinal muscular atrophy with essentials for their treatment journeys.

Moreover, Jackson’s “blessing bags,” filled with necessities, are a testament to his dedication to helping the homeless, ensuring that compassion and hope are always ready to be shared from the backseat of his family’s car.

“If you want to help someone or a Golden Retriever in need of help, don’t be afraid to try,” he urged.

The Heart of Home

In the Saville household, love and encouragement flow freely, with Jackson’s journey deeply supported by his father, Bill; his brothers, Zeke and Clayton; and his mother, Stacy. 

Though Jackson never had the chance to meet his older sister, Morgan, who passed away from complications related to SMA, her memory inspires a profound empathy in him. 

Stacy marvels at her son’s compassionate heart, particularly moved by his concern for Archie—not just for the injury he suffered, but for the lonely days he endured waiting for rescue.

“It’s more than we are proud of Jackson. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh—this boy is unbelievable!’ Some days I just don’t know where he came from,” Stacy Saville told The Dog People.

Stacy witnesses daily the transformative power of kindness in Archie, who has seamlessly woven himself into the fabric of their family life, embracing every moment with the joy and gratitude of a soul finally at home.

“I think that is the part that really got to him: that it took two days for someone to show Archie some compassion,” she said.

Archie’s ever-present smile is a testament to the love that surrounds him.

A Call to Kindness

While Archie’s story has found its silver lining, countless other dogs still await their chance for happiness and healing.

Moved by this ongoing need, Jackson is now crafting holiday-themed bandanas, continuing his mission to support SEVA GRREAT and the many “Turkey Dogs” still hoping for their forever homes.

Through Jackson’s efforts, the circle of love and support widens, offering hope and a helping hand to those still waiting.

Jackson says that he wants to make the pet bandanas forever,” mom Stacy said. “He is the person I want to be.”

To purchase a pet bandana, visit: www.rockstarlifedesigns.com or www.facebook.com/RockStarLifeDesigns

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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