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Unexpected Furry Friend

I was a dog person. I was in the pet store and would talk to the cats, checking out their names. She was poised with her back up, feet tucked under her and chin down. She looked all black. When I said “Hello Heineken” she scooted to the frame of the cage. I did not realize in that moment that she stole my heart and would be mine. The next thing I knew, I was asking to hold her. I went home and told my girls about the tuxedo cat. They were excited, but one of them had been allergic when she was younger. The pet store closed in 15 minutes. They hopped in the car and went to the store, holding her to assure that an allergy was no longer a concern.

I submitted an application to the Humane Society and was approved. She came home the following weekend. She was 1-1/2 then, and I had 17 precious years with her. I had to say goodbye this past Thanksgiving. She changed me into a cat person, leading to 3 more kitties coming home with me over those years. I thank God for giving me these precious gifts and the privilege of caring for them. They are my furever friends!

I miss you every day Heineken. Half of my heart is with you.

Terri Pierce
Kentwood, MI

My Adoption Story

My story is more of my dog's story. When she and her family were left on the side of the road, a nice family found them and raised them in their house until they were about 1. Then, they were taken to Paws & Hooves Animal Shelter in Oklahoma. Chloe, my dog, was only there for about 10 days. I am glad that we have a dog, especially a shelter dog. I have always liked mutts better anyway! Now every year we celebrate her birthday, April 10(the day she was brought to the shelter)! I hope to be a volunteer at an Animal Shelter when I grow up. I love helping animals like my dog!

Anonymous
51250, IA

Hobbit a dog in cat fur

Hobbit, a polydactyl Maine Coon, was my fourth rescue kitty, so named for the hair between his toes. He was 8 when I found him; as with many rescues, we did not discover the medical issues—colitis, diabetes, upper respiratory and finally a torn ACL that left him with little mobility. He was a bundle of love, cuddling in bed or lying on my feet, always close by. It was funny to see this 17 pound boy being knocked over by an energetic 11 pound tabby when the boys played. But he did love his brother, Jack. Five years flew by. Four months after Jack passed away from renal failure, Hobbit joined his brother. You never forget the ones you love.

Anonymous
Springfield, VA

The Greatest Little Aussie

We had an older Golden that we had rescued at about the age of 10-11 and decided that he needed a friend. While tutoring, one of my families brought home an Australian Shepherd. I fell in love immediately and decided to rescue one. I went online to find a rescue near my home and when I saw the first Aussie, I was immediately in love. Phillip, at 10 months old, had been left tied up in the yard of a family that just took off and never came back. After several weeks, the neighbor brought him to the Aussie rescue. He was emaciated with very little hair. We were able to adopt him the same day the volunteer brought him to our home. He is now 8 years old and the sweetest, smartest most loveable dog. Our golden died several years after Phillip came to live with us and I could tell that Philly was not himself anymore - just moping around the house. We decided to rescue again and now both dogs are happy and love to play together. Rescuing a dog is the greatest gift a human can give to a dog. I only wish I could rescue them all, but instead I do spread the word to everyone who mentions they want a dog. Phillip agrees!

Anonymous
Marietta, GA

Kitten in the Road at a Stop Sign

When my husband and I got our first place in 1993 I announced that I needed a kitten. He said he’s not a cat person. I adopted a baby tabby from the shelter, he named Jimmi and they quickly bonded. After a year clearly he was my Husbands cat! It was mid summer and we had picked up a used car, late that night we decided to go for a drive. On our way back at a stop sign was a kitten standing in the middle of the road! He said if you catch him you can keep him! Seconds later I was pulling him out of the bushes. His eyes were crusted shut, crusty nose,ears black with mites, and covered in fleas. I named him Puzzle. The vet said he probably wouldn’t make it. I had the privilege of his companionship for almost 18 years. Was so hard to say goodbye. A year later a similar looking cat showed up on my deck. I call her a gift from my Angel Puzzle.

Mrs. O
Hartland, WI

The tremendous trio- the rescues that rescued me.

I’d just lost the last of my two boy cats and I’d convinced myself I didn’t want another cat. It had been a trying time and I’d been through loss of my mother and a lot of change. I thought I just needed to collect myself and try to move forward. During this time, my husband wanted a dog. It wasn’t easy at first to find what we wanted because the pure bred lab we thought we wanted was out of our price range. I suggested a slightly older dog and my husband agreed. After an intense search of Petfinder.com, Our rescue lab came from Taipai and he’s been Daddy’s shadow ever since.

I also adopted a tortie cat locally since I’ve always loved the spirit in these cats. My husband swore the cat and dog would bond and live harmoniously ever after. I was skeptical, but he was right! They are tolerant of one another and I couldn’t’ be happier. I actually think the tortie is in love with the dog.

Lastly, I happened to befriend an adorable little feral cat that lived in the neighborhood and she was very affectionate to me. Thankfully my husband was okay with me taking her in, so she was spayed, microchipped, vaccinated etc.. She rounded out our tremendous trio. Our animal family comes together of all rescues (within 4 months). We worked at Scent swapping and helping them all adjust. I’m happy to report that they’re all doing fine.

The moral to this story is that as much as we rescued them, they rescued us too. They filled the house with soo much joy.

Patricia
San Jose, CA

The lady said, "Just throw it in the trash..."

My husband was taking his usual route through a neighborhood during his rounds at work and saw a tiny black & white kitten peeking out of a hole. He stopped to help the little fella since he seemed stuck. The kitten was "peeping" his head off! He was so young (about 3-4 weeks) that he didn't have his "mew" yet. My husband saw a woman outside of her house and went over to ask her if the kitten was hers. She said no, and to, "Just throw it in the trash..." It took everything he had not to scream & yell at her for being so cruel and heartless! After trying a few more houses he found no one would claim this little B&W baby, and found no other littermates or momma. So, he found a box at work and brought him home.

Squat is now 13 years old, and as you can see, a very, very happy boy so worthy and appreciative of a loving home... instead of the trash...

Miss Carol
Tomball, TX

No Place for a Kitten!

I first saw Eloise as I was driving through a fast-food restaurant for coffee on the way to work. Something darted in front of the car next to mine and leaped into the grassy median. It was a tiny tabby kitten with most beautiful green eyes I had ever seen! Judging from her clean, well-fed appearance, it was obvious she had just been abandoned - and just didn't know it yet. I didn't have time to stop, but the image of that helpless kitten stayed with me all day. After work, I went back to the restaurant to look for her, in vain. I guessed (hoped) that someone else had picked her up. Another week went by, and suddenly there she was again, scampering in front of my car! I began to leave food for her near the recycling bins, but she would never let me get closer than a few feet.

Finally I knew I had to get serious. A restaurant parking lot is no place for a kitten! I rented a trap from the animal shelter, taped on my phone number and baited it with a plate of tuna. Within a few hours, I got a call from the restaurant manager: "Come and get this cat right now!" I took her straight to the vet, who pronounced her "about four months old, very robust and very FERAL." They suggested it would likely take months to tame her. The first two days she hid and wouldn't come out. Then she would come out when I brought food, but kept a wary eye on me. The next few days, I lured her with a "fishing pole" toy; she'd chase it, but never come near. On day nine, when I came in with her food, she didn't run away! Slowly I knelt down and reached out a hand. She crept a little closer, and suddenly I was touching her. Within minutes, she was purring; the sweetest sound I'd ever heard!

Eloise has been with me for a month and a half and is the most loving cat I have ever known.

Lisa Mallette
Ft White, FL

The Dog I Never Wanted - Buddy

My husband and I have always had dogs and cats. Usually 2 dogs and 4 to 6 cats in the household. In early February 2015 we lost our female dog, Gwennie, she had a tumor in her abdomen. Then in late March, we lost Artie our male to another tumor in his abdomen. We decided we would not get another dog. "They just tie you down". June comes along and I have to have another dog to fill the aching.

Off to the internet and shelters to find my dog. 3 criteria: must be black or white, long hair, no pit bull. As I walk through the barking dogs of the shelter I hear a whimper. I finally get to the cage and here is a light brown, short haired, pit bull mix. I kneel down and talk to him and he comes right up to my face. I pet him under the chin and a volunteer comes by to see if I would like to give him a treat. "Yeah, sure". I stick it through the fencing and he sticks his tongue out and takes the treat! Shocking! We end up going outside and he jumps all over me giving me kisses every time he gets back from running around. OK, now he has me.

I talk to the volunteer and am told I have to wait 10 days since he was just brought in the night before. I call every single day to see if he has been claimed. Finally on day 10, I am waiting for him with leash in hand. My husband does not know what I have chosen and is shocked to see "the dog I never wanted" come in the door.

He is one the the most well behaved babies I have had. He sleeps under the covers with us. Only barks when he hears something unusual. Still full of kisses free to all who will pet him. He is spoiled rotten. Gets anything he wants. And he is exactly how we trained him to be!!

Alice Collins
Dearborn Heights, MI

My BFF Sammy

Wander (14) on the left and Sammy (7 1/2) are both kitten rescues. Wander from a Walmart parking lot (she was left in the bed of my husband's truck) and six years later after our other cat Kitty passed, Sammy from a local pet store helping the local shelter. Wander is very laid back, has learned to tolerate her younger brother and just loves my husband (well, I do too!). Wander is either in constant motion or a complete stop, is very protective of his big sister (whether she wants it or not) and just loves me (as does my husband). We live in the country and have a cat door so we constantly receive presents, which luckily are deposited in our bathroom or tub. In 2014, I experienced some medical problems due to stress/menopause and Sammy became very good at helping me de-stress as he loves to be petted/brushed/played with/cuddled with CONSTANTLY.

On March 8, 2017, it seemed to be a normal evening as our cats follow us around the yard while we're doing our chores. When I returned from being inside, Sammy was crouched near the house and growling. Thought it was a neighbor's cat bothering him but when he tried to walk, his back legs were paralyzed. After discovering his feet were cold, it was off to the emergency vet. A blood clot blocked the flow to his quarters and unfortunately, nothing could be done. I lost my best buddy that night and miss him so very much.

We are so very grateful that we were home that night and that Sammy was close the house so he could be sent over the rainbow bridge quickly and painlessly.

As my bumper sticker reads, RESCUES ARE MY FAVORITE BREED.

Sammy's Mom
Farmington, AR
Walking Paws Sport Sandals
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