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Sami and Oliver

5/15/12 My husband watched a mother cat give birth to four babies under our bay window and then run off. Three were living and one was stillborn. We waited for her to come back all day and finally decided we had to take them because it was supposed to be very cold that night. I called a local rescue who told me they would take them if we could keep them alive for 3 weeks and we thought "ok, now what do we do?!!" We had never had a pet in 35 years of marriage, let alone newborn kittens. I got all kinds of advice from them and then they said, "you know, they probably won't make it". We decided to go for it anyway. On day two one kitten died. We felt terrible. Somehow, dropper feeding and then bottle feeding and trying to keep them as warm as possible, we managed to keep two of them alive. At three weeks, when the rescue said they would take them, we were so in love that we never called. When they were old enough to run around the house, our youngest son picked them up one day and dropped them on the couch and said "There! That's over with!" I guess they were going to be allowed on furniture! They are now over four years old and they are still our babies. Besides having my own children, this is hands down the best decision we ever made and we love them more than we thought possible. I was not a pet person before this, but having them has changed the way I look at all animals and I will never regret the decision we made that day. They are constant entertainment and constant comfort and now we don't know what we would do without them. And regardless of what we were told by the naysayers, they do not tie us down. They go camping with us! :)

Teresa Sage
Ortonville, MI

Tiny Kitten on the Road

My semi-retired husband has began to bike on his days off. In the middle of June, while biking on a rural blacktop, he saw a tiny kitten laying on its side with its tongue hanging out. His first thought when he biked past it was “Aww, a dead kitten”. Then the tail flopped. He went back and picked up the kitten who started meowing loudly. He had to bike home, so he put the kitten in his shirt pocket where she fell asleep. When he texts the picture of his pocket, I started frantically researching online what to do. We estimate she was only 24-48 hours old because she still had her umbilical cord. Dave put her on a heating pad and found some bottles and dry kitten formula from many years ago. We called a couple of animal rescue places but they were full. So with some advice from another woman who raises neonatal kittens and lots of internet research, we started the process of raising this kitten. We started with feeding her ¼ teaspoon of formula every two hours, kept her in a carrier on a heating pad and had to stimulate her to urinate. We felt like sleep deprived new parents. We were very lucky to have some retired friends that were able to keep her during the day to stay on the feeding schedule. We tried to be realistic about her chances of survival because we knew we could easily lose her. Almost nine weeks later, we have Orlanda, a healthy, high energy kitten to add to our household of three cats (who still aren’t too crazy about her). We had no plans to add another cat, but after all we went through, there wasn’t any way we could have given her to anyone else!

Diana & Dave Deutsch
Utica, IL

Beamer, My Angel from Heaven

I had lost my Mom just three weeks before losing my Shih Tzu, Barnabis, my soul mate. I was completely devastated from these major losses. My husband said "no more dogs"; he couldn't deal with all of this sudden pain either.

After five months, I had enough and told my husband, "We are getting another dog"! I searched rescue web sites for over a month and then this precious little girl spoke to me. I submitted an application and was one of many to be selected to meet her and be interviewed, so off to Columbus I went. On the way down I stopped at my Mom's grave & asked her to please let this baby be the one, my heart wouldn't heal as I kept searching. It was finally my turn to meet her. After meeting several families with children, she looked exhausted. She crawled into my lap and went to sleep. They told me her name was Bobbie, that was my Mom's nickname. I knew at that moment, that was my sign from heaven and she had to be mine, but would this rescue ever let me have her as they had to do a home visit & I lived 2.5 hours away.

I'm happy to say, yes, Cause for Paws let me be the lucky one to adopt her. She is now 14.5 years old, she's slowly losing her hearing and has a little arthritis, but she is still and forever will be, my angel. I can't imagine life without her. Please choose to adopt, they need you as much as you need them.

Linda Johns
Oak Harbor, OH

Still my every reason to live

Over the years we choose our new family members by saying we wanted the one that has been at the shelter the longest and always ended up with amazing animals. In 2006 my dad decided he wanted a purebred German Shepherd, being his favorite dog and he had one growing up. We went to a breeder 6 hours away and picked our puppy.

Charger over the years had choose me as his partner. We did everything together and he was one of my best supports as I was going through nursing school. He put up with me reading to him for hours, practicing my bandaging skills, sitting still while I recited the steps to inserting an IV and so much more. He never once had a problem with it.

Fast track to November of 2014. I had been through a very abusive relationship and had 3 suicide attempts. I was admitted to the hospital for 3 weeks and had to withdrawal from the semester. My only reason for living was Charger. After my discharge from the hospital it was a long road to recovery and getting back to school. Charger laid with me everyday, even when I cried and he came to every appointment with me in the city.

Charger began struggling and was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Within a few weeks he lost all function with his back legs and we bought him a new wheelchair. Even with so many health issues I couldn't find a more happy dog then him.

In the summer of 2015 I wrote my national exam for my nursing license. Within a couple days of receiving my letter that I passed, I laid with Charger while the vet helped him on his way to rainbow bridge. I have never felt any love like I have for him. I recently had a realistic picture of my boy tattooed on my back in remembrance for all he did and how he saved my life. I could never repay him for all he has done.

I love you with all my heart, always have and always will.

Paige
Weyburn, SK, Canada

My SHIN SHIN

My girl came into my life in September 2005, when we were living in Lebanon, MO.

It was LOVE at first sight for me. I have always had dogs & cats but SHIN SHIN was my first pig

But to know SHIN SHIN is to love her... At first she stayed in the house but as she grew larger she stayed outside in the barn in her her SHIN SHIN SHACK.

She loved roaming around the barn & the fields.

After 4 years we moved back home to the east coast & SHIN SHIN became a Jersey Girl.

We downsized & her new home was a big dog house underneath a lean to built by my husband.

She saw her first northeast snow storm & loved it!!!

For 11 years I rubbed lotion on her back and combed her bristles. I would ask her to give me a smile & show me her TEETHY's and she did!!!

Every morning SHIN SHIN would wait for me @ the bottom of the deck stairs. She knew I always had a special treat for her. She gave me so much love!!!!!

Well my SHIN SHIN crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 7/29/16.

Although my heart is broken I'm so grateful for the joy she brought to my life!!!!!

THE MAMA LOVES YOU SHIN SHIN!!!!!!😘😘😘

Anonymous
New Egypt, NJ

can you believe she was abandoned?

She was! Our little Typsy was found in a field all alone. Someone with no soul dropped her there and left. No signs of her mama- just her and a small blanket. My wife met her when she was picking up our buddy Hemmingway from his surgical procedure, when a lady brought in this cute little girl in to have a checkup and see why she has difficulty walking. The lady told my wife how Typs was found and asked if my wife wanted to have her but with our Hems in a bad way we didn't think it would be a good idea. A few days later we lost our Hems after 18 wonderful years together. While we mourned him, we received a call from our vet's office that the little kitty was back, and that she was about to be put to sleep as no one wanted to take her because she has difficulty walking. We picked her up 5 minutes later. While we were told she had difficulty walking - so untrue. She couldn't walk at all. Our 1st night together she had a seizure that lasted well over a minute. We made an appointment the next morning with a specialty vet who works only with cats. It was determined she has cerebellar hypoplasia and probably wouldnt ever walk. For her seizure we had an MRI and spinal tap,blood work to rule out storage disease, and were given some diazapam should she have another seizure. Fast forward to today where little Typsy is now walking. We work with her daily to develop muscle memory and her record before tipping over is 12 steps! Her seizures are controlled with phenobarbital and keppra where she has one every 30 days or so and are very short in duration. She goes everywhere with us, and has inspired so many people to adopt a shelter pet and not to be afraid of adopting a special needs animal. Our little girl wont have to worry about using up her remaining 7 lives, she is safe, sound, and so loved.

jay and victoria
Seattle, WA

Angel the Three-Legged Kitty

Angel came into our lives one afternoon when the man across the street rang the doorbell. I was shocked when I opened the door--the cat he was holding had a mangled leg hanging from her body. She had been stuck in his fence for a couple days. He brought her over because he thought she belonged to us. I called my husband and he agreed we had to help her. As I held her in my arms I talked to her calmly. Her eyes were unfocused and her leg smelled awful.

It turns out she was in shock and needed her leg amputated. We named her Angel and she came home a week later to become a part of our family. My son was born a year later and whenever he cried she hobbled over to calm him. Immediately, he stopped. They developed a special bond and I'd often find her lying next to him on the floor while he played.

One day I noticed Angel wasn't feeling good. She became angry when touched. At the vet it was assumed she needed a stool softener. Days later, she worsened and I took her to an emergency vet. After numerous tests it was determined Angel had cancer. We decided to leave her overnight and go from there.

Later that night I had the sudden urge to go visit her. Once we arrived we were taken to a room because the doctor wanted to speak to us. My heart sank. The vet explained that Angel had gotten worse and was suffering. It was up to me to decide. There, with my family and son who had become her best friend, I knew what I had to do. They gave us time to say our goodbyes and my 4-year-old son didn't understand why but he said bye anyway. Angel passed on to the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by family.

It's been a year since she's passed and we keep her photos around for my son. He still talks about his first best friend, Angel, and knows one day he will see her again.

Jennifer
Rialto, CA

EL TIMON DE MI VIDA

TIMON, ASI SE LLAMA ESTE HERMOSO GATO, UN ANGEL PARA MI VIDA, EL TIMON DE MI VIDA.... TIENE CINCO AÑOS DE EDAD. LA VIDA NOS ENCONTRO EN UN MOMENTO EN EL QUE ESTABA DESAUSEADA, Y DESDE ENTONCES SE CREO ENTRE NOSOTROS UN VINCULO INCREIBLE, UNICO... NOS CONVERTIMOS EN COMPAÑEROS, AMIGOS, CONFIDENTES.... ME ACOMPAÑO VIAJES, GUARDIAS DE HOSPITAL (SOY MEDICA PSIQUIATRA), MUDANZAS.... GUSTAMOS DE DESCANSAR HORAS Y HORAS, EL RONRONEANDO Y YO NADA PENSANDO, O DURMIENDO.... SUPO ACEPTAR A MI PAREJA, ACLARANDOLE QUE SI ME AMABA DEBIA ACEPTAR A TIMON EN NUESTRAS VIDAS... Y ASI FUE: TRES EN LA CAMA, HORAS DE DESCANSO, RONRONEO Y MIMOS... HACE UNA SEMANA, TIMON ENFERMO: LEUCEMIA VIRAL FELINA - INMUNUDEFICIENCIA VIRAL FELINA, DIAGNOSTICO SU VETERINARIO, Y DESDE ENTONCES AMBOS ESTAMOS SUFRIENDO MUCHO... EL PRONOSTICO ES DESFAVORABLE, Y LAS ESPECTATIVAS DE VIDA POCAS, LLORO Y NO AGUANTO LA ANGUSTIA AL ESCRIBIR ESTO, DE SABER A TIMON SUFRIENDO, Y NO PUEDO NEGAR MI EGOISMO DE PENSARME SIN EL, TAMBIEN ME ANGUSTIA DE SOBREMANERA...

ESCRIBO ESTA HISTORIA A JACKSON GALAXY, YA QUE POR LO QUE VEO EN TELEVISION Y SIGO SU PAGINA EN FACEBOOK, HACE COSAS MARAVILLOSAS CON ESTOS MARAVILLOSOS ANIMALES, LOS GATOS... ESTOY CONFUNDIDA, NO SE SI DEBA OPTAR POR LA EUTANASIA O AYUDAR A TIMON A LLEVAR DENTRO LO POSIBLE UNA MEJOR CALIDAD DE VIDA... ESO ES LO QUE SOLICITO JACKSON, ORIENTACION, QUIZA CONSUELO... SE QUE VIVO MUY LEJOS DE DONDE TU TE ENCUENTRAS, ACEPTO UN ESCRITO VIA E MAIL, FACEBOOK, COMO TE SEA POSIBLE, Y DESDE LUEGO UN GRAN AGRADECIMIENTO... DE MI PARTE Y DE TIMON... QUE SEAS BENDECIDO SIEMPRE POR LO QUE HACES POR ELLOS Y NOSOTROS.

VIVIANA CARINA ALONSO
CATAMARCA, Argentina

How could you not fall in love with this sad face?

I'm not ready for another dog, I kept telling myself, after losing my beloved yellow lab to oral melanoma several months before. But one day I decided to browse Petfinder and I fell in love with a sad basset hound who looked like her world was shattered. Of all the pages and pages of adorable dogs, Jill stood out. I knew nothing about basset hounds, but I instantly fell in love. I forwarded her picture to a few friends and family and they urged me to adopt her. At 91 pounds,it was not going to be easy for her to find a new home. She was lucky, though, her previous owner loved her and spoiled her, but she was an older woman with medical issues and could no longer care for her. So Ms. Jill was about to lose the only family she knew. Thank you to Tri-State Basset Rescue, they encouraged me to adopt her and even helped me with advice on helping her shed the pounds. A lot has changed in the three years I've had her - her name had to be changed slightly as MY name is also Jill. Since I had the name first, hers was changed to Jilly. She is also a happy svelte dog at 54 pounds. She loves to sleep on her bed, sleep in the sun, sleep on her food dish and sleep. anywhere she can (see a trend?) And she even has a little (BIG) basset brother named Dudley who is just as loved and spoiled as she is. Please, adopt these rescue and shelter dogs. They have so much love to give. And thank you to Tri-State Basset Rescue for finding me TWO wonderful furry children!

Jill J
Newark, DE

Amazing Story of Survival in Alaska Wilderness

This is Kodiak, aka, Kody. He is 12 years old and partially blind and has arthritis. On July 13, 2016, while enjoying a beautiful day at an Alaskan river with his family, the riverbank gave way and Kody was swept into a very rapid and high-rising river. His owner watched in horror as the river swept him away. She tried to save him but the river was too fast. She even searched for him the next day from an airplane but could not find him. She went home and posted her story on Facebook. Two weeks later, as my husband and I were leaving for work, we saw a dog in the middle of a busy road. We are both huge animal lovers so we stopped and got him into our van and took him back to our home. He was near death. He was so skinny, had injuries to his hind legs, and very weak. My husband, Dave, fed him and gave him water while I posted his picture on a Facebook page dedicated to lost and found pets in our area. Turns out this was the same page his owner had reported him lost. Within 30 minutes, Facebook users had connected us and I was on the phone with his happy and very surprised owner, Alex. They were reunited yesterday at the vet's office. Kody has lost almost 20 pounds but is expected to make a full recovery. It is a true miracle that he survived for 2 weeks in the woods of Alaska, especially given his age and medical issues. Rescuing Kody and reuniting him with Alex is an experience we will never forget!

Annette Blair
Palmer, AK
Fresh Start Savings
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