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Bo was the neighbors cat. He was named Bo since he walks bow legged. He wasn't being taken care of. He was skinny and sometimes he would have injuries. At Thanksgiving in 2008, he came to my house limping. He couldn't step on his front foot. I took him to the vet. He had a bite which got infected. I had him treated and took him home. I was concerned he wouldn't be taken care of. I talked to his owners. They thought that I had adopted him. They moved and I got Bo. My husband jokes that I stole him. My story is that he stole my heart so I stole him. He appreciates us so much. He likes to be with us. If we watch TV, he sits on the couch with us. He does like sitting on the laptop. I guess it is warm. He knows he is loved and he is one happy cat now. I can save all the animals but I'm glad I got to save my Bo.
Mecca is named for the place she was discovered, the Mecca Hills of Palm Springs, CA in late April, 2013. She's believed to have been abandoned there to die. The kind people that found her knew they couldn't take her in, but didn't want to drop her at a shelter either. I spotted a listing for her online one day and my heart went out to the poor girl. I decided to take her in and try to find a rescue for her. Shortly after changing hands, the one year old Mecca weighed in at 60lbs. She was scared, bony, dehydrated, and showed signs of past injury. She's had xrays, shots, and bloodwork done all in one scary day. Her first few days were frightening for us all, not knowing what could be wrong with her. But her xrays and bloodwork came back clear and she grows stronger every day! After weighing our options, we decided to keep her. I was planning on adopting a rescued dog after my move to Milwaukee in August 2013. I had no place for her in my home in California. But with a lot of help, she was able to be boarded and I can take her out daily for any length of time. She begins her obedience training in two weeks and in three months, she'll be road tripping from California to Wisconsin where we'll get the new beginning we both hoped for. The last few years have been hard on me, but just one week with Mecca has made me the happiest I've been in such a long time. I'm so thankful this beautiful dog came into my life. <3
Greta was intended as a breeding bitch in an effort breed extra-large pit bulls by crossing them with Saint Bernards. During her second heat, she escaped from her owner and came to my farm. We all knew what she was and most people were afraid of her because of her size and lineage. She was hungry, wormy, flea-ridden and didn't know even basic commands, having been kenneled her whole life. I didn't want to return her, but knew I couldn't legally keep her.
I thought about surrendering her to the shelter as a “stray”, fully knowing her louse owner wouldn't pay to reclaim her. I was counseled against that. Given her breeding, any questionable move during evaluation could send her to EU. I didn’t want to support the puppy mill by purchasing her. I didn’t know what to do. I just couldn’t take her back. Long story short, she is huge and eats a lot, and her owner is "frugal". He knew where she was and knew I was feeding her. He waited six weeks and when he could see she plainly wasn't pregnant, he deemed her useless and ceded her to me.
Now we have Greta. She is kind of a lunkhead but is so eager to please and has learned most everything I’ve tried teaching her. We have a Basset and a collie cross and all visiting children are directed to play with the big dog as she is gentle and has a ridiculous amount of patience with them. She picked out her own cat from our six gingers and believes that his name is “your cat”. Her greatest accomplishment, however, has been changing the hearts of the people around her. Fear has been replaced by love, making her a true ambassador for her breed.
My wife and I live in Milwaukee. In August of 2012, we were visiting my family on Sand Mountain in Alabama. I was driving, about to go off the mountain, and suddenly I noticed this white pit bull right in the middle of my lane. Thanks goodness there were no cars coming as I swerved to avoid it.
We went back and she hurried away from us toward the trees. We have three dogs ourselves, two pit bulls and one beagle mix, so we always keep dog treats and water in the car, as well as dog bowls, so we tried to coax this starving little girl close enough to catch.
It took three hours but she finally let me walk up to her as she was eating. She was still very young and had no aggressive tendencies at all, so I was able to lift her up and put her in the car. We took her to the vet and got her shots and medicine. The pictures are of her as we were first feeding her, and then as we got her to the vet. You can see how skinny and frightened she was.
Then the hard part. As we always travel with our dogs, we had no room to bring this beautiful little girl back with us, much less know how she’d react to a 12-hour drive with a stop-over at a hotel room. So we began trying to find a home for her in Alabama, and we were successful. And old friend who has an eight-year-old boy and a Blue Healer puppy took her in and she immediately bonded with everyone.
We named her Carson and she’s a happy, healthy girl now.
I can't take full credit on this one. A wonderful woman named Maureen rescued my Hootie at 3 weeks old. She was down south visiting her sister and the neighbors were on their way to the pound with my little guy. Their purebred collie had gotten knocked up by a great pyrenees, then dried up after the pups were born, and this was the sole survivor. Afraid he'd get parvo at the southern pound (or worse) Maureen took him back home to New Hampshire where she had another pup and several large Coon cats. Apparently taking in strays and finding homes for them was a hobby. How cool is that!? Maureen let me take Hootie at 7 weeks for the cost of his vet bills. He was barely 9 pounds but has maxed out at 100 pounds of fluffy love. He guards my chickens, sleeps with my cats and lets my collie be in charge even though he's 12 years old and 30 pounds lighter. Hootie loves people, and especially kids, and has a regular cookie route through town.
Hootie slowly developed unpredictable aggression problems with some new dogs and a few local dogs. It took us a while to figure out, but we think its because he missed out on weeks 3-8 with mom and siblings. He was literally missing key skills in how to meet and greet another dog. He compensated by trying to scare them away. Now, through clicker training and positive reinforcement, he's learning to relax and even make some fun new friends. And each time he looks to me instead of lunging in anger my heart melts because I know he is happier. He is my best friend and has taught me the value of patience, and trust and confidence when it matters the most. But most of all with Hootie, I have learned that oftentimes friendship is hard work, but its good work, and every dog deserves the chance to be a best friend. He sure is mine.
My mom has always had a big heart for animals in need. One day, a lady came into the boutique where she works and said her family was struggling financially and they were trying to find some pets a good home.
Blueberry (as she was then called) was a cat with a lot of pain in her background. She had been an outdoor cat, but had been attacked by a coyote and had undergone extensive surgery. She'd survived, but had become a recluse. She would not associate with other animals, even other cats, and stayed in one room of the house where they kept her food and litter.
Mom agreed to take Blueberry and brought her to our house where she, upon seeing our lab/retriever mix (who wouldn't harm a fly), bolted under the bed in my parents' room. When I came home from work that night, it took some coaxing (and food bribes), but she finally came out from under the bed and laid in my lap, letting me pet her. Though cats have never really taken to me, Blueberry bonded with me and we've been close ever since. It's apparent to anyone who visits that she's definitely "my" cat (or I'm "her" human - one of the two, haha).
Fast forward a couple of years and my lovable purr-machine has completely come out of her shell. She and the dog even coexist nicely. She (eventually) comes out when we have company and will even perch in someone's lap, depending on the person. It's clear that she thinks she owns the place, so I renamed her Queenie - it just fits perfectly with how she carries herself and the personality that she has. She is regal and not afraid to let you know that she wants attention NOW! Several times when I've been at the computer for awhile, she will jump onto the desk and lay in front of the keyboard as if to say, "Excuse me, but did you not notice I was here?"
She's sassy, she's loving, and she's my baby. I'm SO glad we adopted her!
My mother's dog Cody had passed away from old age and medical problems, and our family was devastated. We wanted to wait until our hearts had healed a bit before adopting another dog, yet I began browsing Petfinder.com just in case (the same site we found our beloved Cody). I came across a beautiful young yellow labrador retriever named Heather (at the time). The site listed her at 3 months of age and showed pictures of a young, sad and sleepy-looking puppy in a crate. I began to read her story. "Heather" was rescued after being hit by a car in the middle of a street in Indianapolis, Indiana. She had a rope tied around her neck (Poor baby!) and had been running loose prior to being hit. The individual that rescued her ended up making calls, and the poor pup was placed in a rescue organization called Luv A Dog, who then began rehabilitating her. I showed my mother her picture, and she too fell in love. We called Luv A Dog the following day to set up a time to come visit. The poor thing was limping over to us as we walked into her foster's home! She was the sweetest and most playful puppy, despite her predicament. Not to mention she was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful! We decided that we had to have her, but we learned that there were several other applicants for her, waiting for a decision to be made. Her foster mother could see that "Heather" was meant to be with us though ; ), so we brought her home that evening. We renamed her Phoebe, because she is absolutely goofy like Phoebe from Friends! She has been such an amazing addition to our family. She is spoiled rotten, but we wouldn't have it any other way! : )
Chica came from Amigos de las Animales in Mazatlan where I was volunteering one winter (2007). I knew I would be bringing one of the dogs back to the States in the spring, but until she came in, I didn't know which one. One look and I knew she was it.
She was dumped there by her owner (which, as I think of it, was at least decent of him considering some of the other options). She was terrified of everything and bullied by the other dogs. The director of the shelter figured she had either been in a cage or locked up somewhere the entire six months of her life. It took weeks of going into her cage every day to get her past her fear of me. She went from trying to run away (not easy in a small pen) and peeing all over herself, to wagging her tail while she was peeing herself (and me in the process), before I thought I could take her out on a leash for small, scary experiences in the big world. If she'd ever gotten away from me, I never would have seen her again.
I finally brought her back to my boat where she immediately felt safe and at home. The photo on the left is her in her kennel when she was still afraid of me and my camera. The one on the right is a happy dog who has discovered she is in a good place with love and security. Those pictures were about three weeks apart. She remained spooky and easily frightened for many months, but little by little she has grown into her surroundings and loves people (when she gets to know them anyway). She's happy and races around like a crazy girl when she's excited.
She, like Eloise, is now with my friends in Washington. We all spend a lot of time together as I am down there several months every year. I'm still traveling a lot, so it works out very well, and my friends are awesome doggy parents.
Delilah was a small emaciated and sickly cat that appeared out of nowhere and started hanging around with the feral cats I care for. She seemed aggressive, but only when I fed her. One day I noticed her sitting in the laps of the neighborhood children. We all wondered where she came from, because she clearly wasn't feral. Then we trapped her during a TNR program for our neighborhood, but she was immediately returned to me because she was too weak to undergo surgery. At just 3 lbs, she was quite sick, and I feared the worst. However, she tested negative for FIV and leukemia, and I decided to try to nurse her back to health indoors, then find a home for her. Then her true colors emerged…she is sweet beyond sweet, a hugger, loves to be carried around, and purrs like a motorcycle. The vet says she’s mostly toothless and pushing 20 years old! Now at 4 ½ lbs and hopefully still gaining, and despite several chronic conditions we are treating, she’s happy and loved, and has become the fourth unexpected member of my feline family. Delilah, the Divine Miss D, will spend the rest of her days indoors enjoying how ever many lives she has left!
Jake was at a farm protecting goats for a friend of ours when I first saw him and thought he was just a gorgeous Great Pyrenees puppy. A month later when we were there, he was no longer with the goats, but in a pen with another dog and his beautiful white fur was orange from the red clay dirt in the pen. I was told he did not like the goats anymore and the farmer really had no use for him either, so I offered to take him. At 10 months old he had no name and zero manners. We named him Jake, gave him a bath, and taught him everything he needed to know about being an inside dog. Today, at 4 years old, he is most loving 120 lb dog. He no longer counter surfs, and would rather protect humans than goats.