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Luna, My Light in a Time of Darkness

I adopted my puppy on October 15th, 2014 and it was love at first sight. She brought an immense amount of joy in to my life and I gave her the name 'Luna', meaning of course 'the moon', or in my mind, 'light in a time of darkness'. Less than 2 weeks after I adopted her, my dad passed away in a tragic accident, leaving my family and I in shock. My Luna lived up to her name sooner and in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Luna kept me company during the long nights, gave me a reason to get up every morning and made all of my family laugh with her antics. Luna came with us to the graveyard during the cremation, playing under the oak trees as we wandered; suddenly, she grabbed something and came running directly towards me, stopping in front of me and dropping an acorn right in to my open palms. The gesture touched me and I kept the acorn, later finding out that the acorn symbolizes strength, which is exactly what I felt in that moment. Luna has yet to drop anything so surely in to my hands to this day, 'drop it' being one of the commands she has yet to master.

Life goes on and Luna continues to live up to her name. She comes to work with me at an acreage and has her own adventures on the farm while I train horses. She can go all day, but won't complain if we take a lazy day. We have recently started to foster dogs and she is a fantastic big sister to all the new rescues. I am currently planning a road trip to the Southern States to camp and hike with her for several months over the winter, I could not have asked for a better companion for this adventure! Luna loves to hike and is her most confident leaping across streams and jumping on to boulders. We can climb to the top of any peak and nothing captures and holds my gaze like she does.

Calgary, AB, Canada

Little Lily

My daughter called from her car, nearly in tears. "There's a little black dog running in the street and there's a lot of traffic! It's going to get hit! Mom, PLEASE!" I grabbed a leash and headed out to the area I knew was one in which a lot of dogs are used for not-so-good purposes. I pulled into the gas station and spotted the pup nosing around the Dumpster. It was a fenced waste collector, and she had run into the enclosure. I walked in and closed the door to the Dumpsters, closing us both inside. She was cowering in the corner, shaking; I approached slowly, speaking to her in a soft voice. Eventually I was able to slip the leash around her neck and I pulled her, slowly, outside. We sat on the grass, and I told her how pretty she was. A woman from the convenience store brought out a sandwich, which she swallowed nearly whole, grabbing some of the Styrofoam plate as well. At the house she ran to the back of my fenced yard and sat shivering. My daughter and I named her Lily because she was so sweet. She looked pregnant, so I made an appointment with my veterinarian and took her in for a checkup. The vet said she was probably around 10 months old, and said she'd already had puppies. She thought Lily had a "false pregnancy" from having male dogs around her! Poor little girl! She was spayed, given her shots and taken home. She shows signs of having been abused, but we will never know the extent. She sometimes falls to the ground in a panic if she smells or sees something that is scary to her. The fear can be a person she doesn't know, a dog, a room, two hands going toward her head for a hug. But most times she is a happy, loving girl that is approaching her fourth year. I love her so much and appreciate her every night as the temperature plunges and she burrows under the covers and sleeps at my feet!

Cathy Mong
Dayton, OH

Saving Nino

Nino and his owners lost their home and were living in a car. We were supposed to be his temporary home. Things never seemed to work out for him to go back. He's been with us for 8 years and we couldn't imagine life without him.

Beth Caesar
Clermont, FL

Dumped into the laps of a new forever family

Where we live cats and dogs are routinely dumped by people who can no longer afford to care for them. One Saturday I found Merle wandering the roads a block from the highway. A passing sheriff's deputy, a neighbor and I caught him and I took him home. It had been raining but his feet were clean. He felt and smelled freshly bathed. There was an indentation in his fur where a collar had fit snugly but not too tightly around his neck. We all said, "Someone loved this guy", and concluded that he was a "dump" - someone who could no longer afford to care for him but wanted someone to find him and take him in so they would not have to take him to a kill shelter. (The no-kill shelters are always full.)

I spent two days online, posting his photo and emailing every shelter and rescue I could find. Nobody recognized or claimed him. One lady, who lives an hour from us told me she and her husband lost their 14 year old dachshund in 2014. They had fallen instantly in love with the dog whose photo I'd posted.

By Monday I had slept 4 of the previous 48 hours trying to find the owners of the dog. We bonded with him within 24 hours but we could not keep him. Being totally exhausted I called my new friend to ask if she could take him and continue the search for his owners. She and her husband rushed to pick him up. They took him to the vet who determined there was no ID chip. He bonded with their other dog as well as their cat instantly. Before adopting a stray in Arizona, by law finders have to actively work to try to find the owners before they can declare the animal theirs. Nobody ever came forward to claim him. So, when the time was up, my friends put in an ID chip, had him neutered and officially adopted Merle, who is as in love with his new family as they are with him.

Pearce, AZ


We found Snow(name given by us due to his white coat), almost dead lying just outside our house and we were just preparing to bury him respectfully, when we saw him shake his leg a bit. His neck was badly bitten, with blood all around, with wounds so deep that even the bone inside could be seen, He was breathing off and on and would have died very soon. We rushed him to a vet, who gave him first aid and dressed his wound, although he was not sure whether he would finally survive because one of is vertebral bones were broken and one part of body paralysed.

So worse was his condition, that doctor advised to go for mercy killing since he would never be able to walk or even manage his daily routine jobs. We however could not make up our mind for mercy killing and relied on fate! We consulted some more doctors and kept faith in God. Twice we came across situations when we felt we are loosing him, since he stopped eating/drinking and suffered de-hydration, but we forcefully fed him water and minerals through drip and he responded well. Even though we were ready to feed him and help him all life, if his body remained partially paralysed, but after some months we could see that he is able to pull his body, get up for some time and finally he started to walk a bit too. He had some wounds still fresh, which were cleaned daily by us and the wounds did not throw out blood but also pale yellow mucous off and on.

And after 6 months of all the effort, we saw him transform into an almost a normal cat, with all wounds dried up and SNOW able to walk, run, eat and play as normal cats do. Even now his one of the bones is broken and he limps a little when he walks, but apart from that he is no different from any cat and is extremely loving.

All this has been a MAGICAL journey so far!

delhi, India

Dogs with disabilities

Reading the story about Bugsy just really hit home with me. My little girl was old and passed away. I was totally broken hearted and could not get over her loss. Then I found a rescue group that had 2 little girls that were bonded. One was blind and the other has severely deformed hind legs. They had been found on the street. Someone had dumped them on the road. The shelter that brought them in was going to euthanize both as they figured nobody would want 2 disabled dogs that were not so young. One was 6 and the other 8. But at the last minute the Coastal Poodle Rescue in Melbourne Florida got them. I adopted both. You could not ask for 2 more devoted and loving little dogs. The little one that was blind died 3 years after I took her in but the little girl with the deformed legs is still with me. She is so extremely loving and she does not seem to know that she has a disability. You should see her come running when I get home from work in the evening. Don't over look the older and/or disabled dogs. They have so very much to give. I just wish people were not so willing to discard them because they are not "perfect" My little Nina may have deformed legs and not able to do everything other dogs can do but to me she is my perfect angel.

Hildur Hendricks
Blackwood, NJ

Special Boys Get Second Chance

Seamus and his brother Liam were born with CH. Cerebellar Hypoplasia is a neurological disorder similar to MS in humans. It causes wobbles, shakiness and LOTS of falling over! The horrible person whose cat had these sweet babies thought of them as "broken" and decided they were worthless so he put them in a fabric cat carrier and was at the river about to throw them in!! Someone caught him just before he did the deed and took the kittens from him. Brought to a no-kill rescue, they were posted on Pet Finder and I came across their story and picture and fell in love! It took me a couple of weeks to get their fosters contact information and when I finally did, I was too late to get them both and only Seamus was still looking for a home. My husband and I drove 3 hours each way to get our new boy and haven't looked back since! Seamus is sweet, gentle and just a big love bug!! He is number 2 of our 3 CH kitties. A year after adopting him, the same rescue called me and said they had another, more severe CH boy that needed a home...... so off we went to get Seamus' new brother Kashmir!! The year before we got Seamus my husband and I were painting our local shelter as volunteers and they had a cat who was wobbly and kept escaping his cage! Turned out he had CH and the shelter had never heard of it. They offered him to us with the fees waived for the work we were doing there and Wheels joined our family! We absolutely ADORE our "special" boys and I totally recommend a special needs cat if you are thinking of adopting.

Tanya Chapman
Arnprior, ON, Canada

Remedios, the cat with the missing tail

Everything in life happens for a reason.

I live in Guadalajara, Mexico and a few months ago I went to an art show celebrating the late Spanish surrealist painter Remedios Varo. That night I was captivated by one particular painting called "El paraĆ­so de los gatos" or "The cat's paradise" because there was this little black cat in the painting that made no sense 'cause all the cats were playing or something and this one wasn't so I thought that the cat must be the artist's "alter ego".

A few hours later, I got a phone call from my boss telling me that he couldn't go on a business trip planned for the next day and so I had to go to his home for some papers & money. When I got there he asked me if I could go with him to the ATM so we went and while I waited for him I saw a little black cat like the one in the painting crying in a weird way and people were passing by but no one seemed to care. When I got closer I noticed little drops of blood and to my surprise the cat's tail was "removed". I took the cat in a hurry and told my boss to drive me to the closest vet. When I got there the vet told me that the cat was very weak and malnourished and so maybe couldn't take the surgery. He told me that someone tore the cat's tail... I couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe what was happening in the mind of that person... but anyway, I left de little one in the vet hopping for the best.

I went the next day (and the whole week) to see how the cat was progressing. At that time I was searching for a foster home 'cause I live in a small apartment and already have 2 cats. But surely this little survivor stole's my heart. Obviously I called her "Remedios", because we were meant to be together, maybe since the late artist drew that painting in 1955.

Alex Ronalds
Guadalajara, Mexico

Heidi Hides No More

In June 2014 I went into the pet store to get special food for my two senior cats. The local humane society was having a pet adoption event. I can never resist going to pet the kitties and dogs. I saw this one kitten in the cage. The people were trying to calm her down, but she was shaking a lot because she was so scared. I stopped to talk to them and her foster mom told me her story. She was the last kitten of her litter, and they were having a difficult time placing her in a home. She even would hide at her foster mom's house -- and that's how she got the name Heidi for Hiding. She said that Heidi was not a people kitty and definitely not a love bug. She liked other cats but not people. They were considering putting her in the barn cat program and this adoption event was her chance to go home with someone. I felt so bad for her. I figured I had two other cats who gave me kitty love that if she could get along with them, I would take her home. So I brought home more that cat food that day. The other cats were not pleased with the young intruder but everyone has adjusted. I'm happy to say that my Heidi is a people kitty and a love bug. She doesn't like to be picked up but she does come to me for attention and love. She also never hides. She is my petite snuggle bug who just had to find the right home. She was my best impulse buy.

East Lansing, MI

Gandolf the Grey

Cats were always a part of my life and I had always loved them. Having just returned to the US from living in another country, I was not settled yet to accept another cat in my life, as much as I wanted one. A friend had gone to the humane society to adopt a cat and ended up getting two 4 month old kittens, having in mind to give me one for Christmas. He brought them to his apartment and the two cats bonded. Since I lived nearby, and would be "babysitting" his cat, he gave me one of the kittens. I accepted as long as he would take him back if I could not keep him

He was such a cute little bundle of fluff, very shy and skittish. With his grey coat and long white "beard", I named him Gandolf the Grey, calling him "Gandi" for short. He would hide in my closet at first and then he discovered my bed and human cuddles. He became very cuddly and loved to lick my face. We soon bonded and nine years and many moves later he is still with me. After being out for a day, when I come home he will greet me and wag his tail back and forth in excitement like a puppy. He has overcome his shyness and loves to greet newcomers that come to visit. He gets along well with other cats and loves to go for a walk on a leash. He begs for his treats by looking at me with his big green eyes and raises his paw in a "salute". Being a big cat he has to watch his weight, so I cannot give him all the treats he wishes to have. His favorite hobby is looking out the window and watching the birds and any movement.

Gandi now has a beautiful lady companion to keep him company when I am out during the day. They play together and keep each other clean. However, the will compete for head scratches and back/tummy rubs from me.

Anna Marie
Charles Town, WV
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