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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 paraíso 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

Mina, my miracle worker

On October 10, 2010, me and my mother were watching tv when we suddenly heard something that sounded like a kitten in our open terrace. Immediately I went to check if we were right. And there she was, a tiny, and very dirty, blue eyed orange tabby kitten no bigger than the palm of my hand, starring at me with her huge eyes from under our rocking chair. Immediately I opened a can of tuna in hopes to gain her trust and see if she could even lick something from it. It took no time for her to approach the can and start eating (yes as tiny as she was!).

Since we didn't have cats, we had no food for her, so we had to go and buy everything we needed to feed her. My parents wanted to take her to a shelter, but I would have none of that, and eventually they had a change of heart (it took almost, to no time). I gave her a bath, named her Mina, after Mina Harker from Dracula, and took her to the vet, where they told me she was ONE MONTH old.

After some months, my neighbors daughters revealed to me that Mina was theirs and that the kitten "escaped"; his father heard them and asked his daughters to drop it, since they had, indeed abandoned the kitten when they couldn't find her and had to go, and told them Caramel (the name they used for Mina) would've died if I hadn't taken her. Apparently the day Mina got to my house, was the day they left for months... I was furious, and barely managed to be polite and haven't talked to them ever since.

Mina became the light of our lives, even converted my animal hating father... and now made my husband, a self-proclaimed dog person, into a crazy cat man.

She's already 5 years old, and is living with me, my husband, our new kitty (an 8 month old kitten) and soon with our baby (on it's way!), and she's a very happy, loved and healthy cat.

Bayport, NY

Dà Míng

I was quite young when my mother left me in the middle of the road. It may have been because I looked a little different than my siblings. You see my tail is cut short and all wound up. I haven't been feeding well, so tiny and scrawny until one night I wandered farther than I should and found a family. They have already been feeding a family of strays in their backyard and one of those cats invited me over. I must've been really cute for the family took me in and cleaned me. My eyes were almost shut with all the crusts that has formed on there and I can barely see. They have been nothing but good to me giving me cuddles and hugs besides feeding me and helping me groom. They even taught me how to use the litter box. I have a friend who is a dog (he doesn't bark much.. much less move much.. I don't know what's wrong with him.. they say he's stuffed?) Now I am almost a year old, they must think I was lonely because they got me a little brother, Oreo, a little siamese kitten who I love to boss around and run after every afternoon. He loves me and I love him too. I am so grateful to have a family like mine.. - Dà Míng

Sheene Dy
Metro Manila, Philippines

Our white blue eyed angel

A good friend of mine found him at a local rescue in Houston, Tx and knew how much I loved dogs like him. I was in Iraq working with the military at the time but was scheduled to go home on vacation. I talked to and emailed my wife back home in Austin, Tx and she agreed we should try and get him.

So I told my friend it was a go and she worked with me and the rescue via email to get all the details worked out.

My friend was planning to drive up to Austin to see me when I was home so she agreed to pay the fees and bring him to me.

When he arrived I was immediately in love and worked with him for the couple weeks I was home before I had to leave again.

While I was back in Iraq my wife emailed about problems and several times wanted to give him up but I talked her out of it.

6 months later I was home for good. We named him Zeus because he was big and powerful.

He became such a loving dog. Unfortunately Zeus didn't have an easy life before we got him. He had heart issues, some issues with his back, and very worn down teeth.

Zeus had a great and easy life for the last 4 or so years of his life. He was only about 6 when he passed.

I had gotten a job working from home and he was on drugs to help his heart.

One day I came downstairs from my upstairs home office and he was on the floor in front of his water bowl covered in water, panting hard, and looked at me as if to say it was time.

I carried him to my car and raced to the vet, petting him and talking to him on the way, but within a few blocks from the house he finally let out his last breath and crossed the rainbow bridge.

Dale Leonard
Austin, TX

My Rescue Saved Me!

When I 1st brought Jordan home almost 4 years ago, I thought I was giving him a 2nd chance at life. WOW! Was I wrong! He has given ME a WHOLE NEW LEASE on life since day 1. It is true he had some special needs due to how he’d been treated in the past, but so did I and only Jordan knew that about me, without speaking a word, and only he knew how to heal my broken pieces. While I immediately began massaging, training, helping him in any way I could, he was already doing all the same things for me, only I didn’t know it immediately. I saw improvement almost daily in Jordan’s behavior-it was THE most beautiful thing I’d ever witnessed. How could he forgive a human when it was at a human’s hands that he suffered so much? This miracle astounded me! IT and HE got me through every difficult situation that came up in my life-if he could endure the pain of literally having his ears cut off with a scissors, left to die with them infected, tied to a mailbox in mid January in Chicago, how can I complain about ANYTHING? Through him, I could face anything, because he showed me how TRULY BEAUTIFUL his spirit is-and how strong & forgiving he is. He made me face things I would not have previously been able to...He is the light in my only hope is that he has some idea how much Mommy loves him! <3

Every day I sing to him, “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray. You’ll never know just, how much I love you, so please don’t take my sunshine away”. And I end it with, “OK J, please don’t ever take my sunshine away, OK?”...& he always gives me a big kiss!!! Jordan honestly rescued turn, I pray I have given him the love he so deserved and obviously did not get. He gave me a new career; I work with dogs now on a daily basis :-)

Christy Pfeifer
Grayslake, IL

Willow's Story

Near where I live there is a large canyon, with lots of trails for hiking. My sister and I planned to go hiking there one summer day. We hadn't been on the trail for very long when out of the bushes jumped this little tabby cat. She started meowing desperately and running back and forth across the trail. Of course, my sister and I immediately agreed that we couldn't leave her there. We were in the canyon in the desert, where coyotes and bob cats live along with other predators. Not a good place for a friendly house cat. I stayed with her while my sister got the car, and the entire time she meowed at me as if telling me about her terrible situation and pleading me to help her. Upon further inspection we noticed she was declawed, so then we knew she must be someone's pet. When I got home I called the animal shelter to see if anyone was missing her. She had no microchip. I made ads online and looked through classifieds, but no one ever claimed her. We became attached pretty quickly. We named her Willow and made an appointment with our vet which is sadly when we found out she was FIV+. After discussing our options with our vet we decided that we would keep her, and that we could manage her FIV. She has since become a permanent part of our home, where she continually shows us her gratitude. She's gained a whopping 5 lbs since we brought her in, and loves chasing laser pointers and hanging with her brother Earl. They are seldom apart and have a lot of affection for one another. As one of our seniors reached the end of his journey she would snuggle with him, and groom him. He loved it and she gave him comfort in his final days. I feel that I was meant to find her, as much as she was meant to find me. She has been a blessing to our home and I hope to have many wonderful years with her.

Megan Weir
Twin Falls, ID
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