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Sweet Sadie

I went looking for another dog at my local Humane Society. Walking down the aisle, I was overwhelmed with the barking, and wanted to take them all... I broke down in tears and walked out. As I was leaving, I saw a room off to the left, and in a pen was this big beautiful black and white husky-mix looking at me with liquid brown eyes, and a purple tongue hanging out of her mouth.

She was 5, and had been dumped by her previous family because they supposedly had a baby that was allergic. She was in the side room because she didn't do well in the kennel. She had been there for 6 months, and chances weren't looking good for her. She had some dog aggression and was sensitive about her tail and feet being touched. I brought my other dog to meet her and... love at first sight.

She was a great girl. Perfectly housebroken and well trained, although if you touched her tail or feet she would grump at you. So I guess I could understand how that could be mistaken for aggression, I imagine the other young kids probably pulled her tail and messed with her once too often, although there was no biting.

I could leave food on the counter to defrost and leave the house, and it would be there when I got back. I could leave my dinner within reach and go out to the kitchen, and although she kept a VERY watchful eye on it she never touched it.

I had been struggling with the decision on when it would be the end of our time together. She was obviously in pain and having a lot of trouble getting around. She made that decision for me - she had a stroke last Saturday evening, and by Sunday morning I knew it was time. I lay on the floor with her with my arms around her as the vet ended her suffering.

I have never had a better dog in my life. I love you, Sadiekins. I will miss you forever.

Bettie Evanson
Lexington, MN

A Diamond in the rough

In July 2011 I came home to find a tiny, dirty, mangy cat curled up in front of my garage door. She ran a few feet away but came right back when I spoke to her. She made herself at home in my garage and it was clear she was not leaving. My pet sitter helped me get her in a carrier the next day and I took her to the vet as a stray as I wasn’t sure I wanted another cat. Nobody claimed her and the vet told me she was already spayed, so she definitely belonged to someone at one time. She tested clean and after a few days I picked her up. The mange was already much improved and I set her up in the spare bedroom. She didn’t like to be touched but if I put my finger out she’d hold her nose against the tip and not move. If I sat on the floor she would rub and head butt me all ‘round. I also discovered her previous owner had declawed her! A declawed stray who somehow managed to stay alive! I put an ad in the paper and fliers up but I knew nobody was going to come for her so I tried to figure out her name. No ‘white cat name’ I could think of gave any result until I said “Diamond”. She seemed to like “Diamond” a lot. Due to her scruffy look and tentative nature, I named her “Diamond In The Rough” and almost 5 years later, she is still tiny, still hates the vet’s with a passion and is the snuggliest cat I’ve ever had – and I’ve had some snugglers! She is also extremely protective. We are both so glad we found each other that night!

Anonymous
glens falls, NY

Fito the black cat

Fito found me when he was 2 months old. I've always wanted a black cat to be my partner so when I got a message from a one of my classmates telling me that she was giving this little black kitten for adoption I take advantage that my parents were in a working travel to keep him because they never allowed me to have pets at home. The first week I fight for him so he could stay but at the end everyone fell in love with him. His favorte thing to do was going outside to climb the front wall so he could be able to see the street. He bonded with everyone in fact every time my mom or my dad arrived home Fito always received them. And also he loved sleeping with my sister and making me company when I was studying for tests.

Now I’m studying abroad in Spain and I’m heading home in two weeks but Fito is not going to be there. This last three weeks have been the most heartbreaking and difficult because he was diagnosed with a lymphoma causing him a renal failure that take him away. Everything went so fast that anyone could imagine. He was just two years and a half months when he passed away. I just don’t know how I’m going to react when I arrived because he was my partner. I’m so grateful with my sister, my dad and my mom that take care of him full time this past days. Especially my sister that never leaved his side for a moment.

I’m just so grateful that he found me. I will miss all the days you wake us up for food or the days you hide for hours and we couldn’t find you even the time you bite us when we were playing. But the most I will miss is having you around just being you at home.

Paula
Lima, Peru

The Not so Feral Feral

For three years I fed a feral mother cat and seasonally re-homed her kittens. The mother cat was bonded to a male cat that we called Buddy. Due to some circumstances with an organization we had to catch the mother cat to get her kittens back together with her. Buddy was also caught due to an abscess injury he had on his front leg. Though he appeared to be semi-feral but still slightly friendly i viewed him as a challenge. Buddy, when in a cage would hiss and spit and act completely feral. I got a call from the rescue he was at (the good guys that helped me reunite momma with babies) asking if i would take him in as a foster. Buddy turned out to be the most loving house cat i've ever had. He loves head bumps, snuggles and shoving his face into your face. However his past while unknown seems to have been dark, Buddy has a couple 'triggers' where if you do things (i.e exhale air as if you're trying to blow hair out of your face) he'll attack you in the face. We think he may have been abused, but we are not sure. No one can tell how old he is either, we assume somewhere between 3 and 8. While he wants to go outside i refuse to let him. I really hope i can provide the best home for this cat, unlike his previous home.

(Buddy in back, his son Jasper in front)

Gabriella
Edinboro, PA

Cheese II

I had rescued my original Cheese (another story altogether) from the streets as a small and scrawny kitten. I had him for 22 years before I helped him cross the Rainbow Bridge. It was the hardest thing I ever did. Flash forward 25 years.... I now volunteer at our local shelter. I am the "Cat Lady", tending all the fur-babies in the room. One morning about a month ago, there was a new yellow cat. As I opened his cage to clean and feed, this young man jumped out and into my arms, purring and hugging me like he knew exactly who I was. I kept encouraging my husband to come see him because (to me) this was Cheese reincarnated but he couldn't get to the shelter that week. I was devastated when another rescue "pulled" this cat to give him a chance at being seen in another part of town. Ironically, we needed supplies for our other 3 cats and my box turtle and ended up at a rescue event. THERE was "my" kitty! I actually cried! My husband looked and held the yellow boy but said it was time to get going. I was sad but resigned to leaving "my" cat. We continued with errands and about 2 hrs later got home.

After putting things away, my husband asked if I had a clean carrier. You never saw a carrier come out of the closet so fast! My young yellow cat was coming home! Although my other 3 babies are still adjusting, Cheese II is home and I was right. This is my Cheese reincarnated! Even my husband agrees.

There is nothing better than finding love and giving love to homeless animals. Please adopt.

Ginny Carlson
Lawton, OK

LittleBit Fojtik

When I first noticed this little kitten, she marched out to the sidewalk, hissed at me and proceeded to sashay back to her mother and siblings. I casually mentioned to the owner that if she didn't find a home for that particular kitten, I might be interested in taking her. Several weeks later while working in my yard, I noticed the lady coming down the sidewalk, carrying something. She walked up to me and said "Here, her mother abandoned her 2 or 3 days ago and she has been laying out in my yard ever since". She promptly turned around and went back home. Looking down at that tiny, weak kitten I hoped I would never be a patient under her nursing care as compassion was obviously NOT in her nature. This poor baby was infested with parasites, dehydrated, weak and dying. Off to the emergency vet I go and along the way I decided I couldn't let her die without a name so she became LittleBit. The vet was doubtful he could save her, but he did! She stayed under his care for a week and got stronger every day that we visited her. She came home with tons of medicine and handled it like the big girl she would grow to be. Several months later, she became weak and listless, so back to that same wonderful vet (Dr. Toby Rouquette) - this time it was a fungal lung infection. The prescribed medicine cured that and she was once again feeling great! Here it is, 10 years or so later and she is still going strong. She developed diabetes a couple of years back, but accepts her daily injections like a champ. She visits Dr. Toby occasionally and we are so grateful for her and the joy she has brought into our lives. She is beautiful and is the matriarch of our fur-baby brood. Be Kind - Spay/Neuter your pets and visit your local SPCA and SAVE A LIFE!!!!

Laurie Fojtik
Fort Worth, TX

The Best Years of My Life

I did not grow up having a dog, so honestly I didn’t really know what to expect, but Chloe was so easy and so wonderful. She was never good with other dogs, but with people—she never met a stranger! She loved every person she met and thought that everyone should love her immediately. And everyone did, including my parents who are not dog people.

She never had accidents inside, never chewed up anything, never nipped or growled at anyone. She did have her quirks, of course, such as thinking that thunderstorms and three-ring binders were out to get her. But she was tolerant of my occasional urge to treat her like a human baby, dressing her up as an angel her first Halloween, or smothering her with hugs and kisses.

She constantly made me smile and laugh at the funny things she did, like sitting on an end table, or sprawling her tiny 18 pound body across an entire couch. I loved her mix of spunky energy and laziness. She could be content to just lie on the couch all day, but the moment it seemed like we might be going for a walk, she was running towards the door, barking excitedly. Everyone in our neighborhood knew her; she was just such a cute, happy bundle of fur that no one could resist.

She was my constant companion and I swear, every day she had a photo-worthy moment. It’s amazing how empty our house feels without her, how weird it feels to not be filling up her food bowl and letting her out. I used to say, “I can’t remember what life was like without Chloe, but I do remember what life was like without fur.” I’d take twenty times more fur if it meant she could still be here. She was taken from us way too soon, not quite 9 years old. She was just the best dog. I trusted her with my whole heart and I know she trusted us too. Thank you for some of the best years of my life.

Stephanie Majeran
Urbandale, IA

The humanity exists because of people like this

The translation of the writing under the picture (from Turkish) goes like this:

You know this big planet earth ? It keeps spinning because of the kid who shares the food that her mother dug out of trash bin, with the stray dog on the street.

Mel Burslan
Pomona, CA

MY DOG SKIP

After we moved into our mobile home and could have a small dog my son and I went to the local shelter to look for a chihuahua. We just loved my niece's little dog and wanted on like her. As we looked around my son spotted a fluffy orange dog. The dog was so sweet and seemed to instantly attach himself to my son and me. I, however, found a female chihuahua I liked, but the little orange dog stayed in my mind.We went to see an attendant and were able to spend time with the little orange dog. The other dog needed surgery so wouldn't be available for adoption. We had to enter a lottery for the cute little orange dog. At the end of May I received a call that we won the lottery. On June 1st I went and picked him up while my son was at school. At first he was timid and everything scared him. He was quick to snap at people, but he loved us. I began walking him early in the morning before work, then I went home at lunch everyday to take him for a walk, he had another walk when I got home from work and one before going to bed. It took several years before he calmed down and wasn't as scared of everything. My sister-in-law had said he was like the dog Tramp in Lady in the Tramp because he had no manners and bit people when afraid.

We named him Skip because my son liked the movie, "My Dog Skip". Skip is now 14 and has developed kidney disease. He still seems very happy, but needs extra care. It breaks my heart that someday soon my sweet little pup will no longer be with us. Until that day we will treat him like a prince.

Marjorie Francis
Upland, CA

Sassypants

We rescued a tiny calico kitten in 2013. She was starving and covered in fleas. We took her home, named her Sassypants and she became part of our family, along with another cat, a dog, and a house rabbit. Her first visit to the vet was not good. He was concerned about some sores she had in her mouth. She got an antibiotic shot along with the vaccinations and off we went back home. About 4 weeks later we had to go back and get another shot. This went on for a couple months. Sassy didn't gain a lot of weight and her fur kept getting thinner. We finally found out she had Autoimmune Disease. Then the vet decided to try something different. She got a steroid shot this time. It worked better, lasted longer but like before, when the shot wore off her sores were back. Finally, when Sassy was 1 year old she was healthy enough to be spayed. That surgery was a miracle for her. 3 months later she had gone from a scrawny 6 lbs to a hefty 16 lbs and had the longest, softest coat of fur and full plumed tail. She had energy and good health for the first time in her short life and she made up for it. It was so good to see her fly through the house playing and being a happy cat. Her good health didn't last long though, back to the vet for another shot. This went on for another year and in November 2015, when Sassy was 2, she went over the rainbow bridge from a sudden heart attack. We take solace in the fact that at least we gave her 2 years she wouldn't have had as a stray and she was very loved. Goodbye sweet girl, we will always miss you. Autoimmune Disease does terrible things to people and pets alike, so please let people know about it.

Lois Ladd
Dexter, MO
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