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The Boys

My husband said we’d never have another dog after we lost Chloe, our beloved 16 year-old Shih-Tzu. I have a heart for rescuing dogs, but I didn’t want to rush him. Sure enough, about nine months later he began to look at dogs on the internet, checking shelters for Shih-Tzu’s. Then a friend of my mother’s sent me a news video clip on Facebook featuring two Shih-Tzu brothers who needed to be adopted after their owner had passed away. (Our local news station does a “Pet of the Week” story to help get animals adopted.) They were three years-old and the shelter wanted them to be adopted together, since they’d never been apart. My husband was a student studying at home then, and I sent him the video clip to see if he might be interested. Within the hour he was at the shelter to meet the boys. Then he called to say I had to come meet them since he couldn’t take them home until I did. Since the shelter would be closed the next two days, I had to come right then because “we don’t want them to have to stay here two more days!!!” So I left work to meet the boys, who became Bailey and Hutch. We were surprised at how calm they were at first, since Chloe had been fairly energetic and playful. But then, one week later, my husband heard some noises downstairs and went out to look down into the living room . . . our two boys were running and chasing each other and rough housing all over the place, obviously having a great time. He video’d them for several minutes and we realized that they’d just been in shock at how their lives had changed and that’s why they had been so subdued. They’d figured out they were in a good place, and could enjoy themselves again. They are five now and we sure love them, and appreciate the joy they’ve brought into our lives.

Junction City, OR

A Puppy Called Nora

I was working as a teacher up in Northern Ontario. The community I was in, like most communities had a major dog problem. I adopted this little girl when she want more than 8 weeks old. I had no idea how to take care of a dog, how to train a dog, nothing. But I couldn't bear to let them kill her, which is sadly the common practice there as there is no vet to fix the animals. After the first part of the school year (Sept to Dec) I took her out of the community I was in, and my aunt started to look after her. We sort of figured out she was a mix of a husky and a long haired weenier dog.

It wasnt long before my aunts dad fell in love with Nora. I didn't want to put the dog through any more flights or long drives to my new job, and she loved her new place. It was best for all people involved. As my Aunts father had lost his dog during the treatments he (the human) was receiving for cancer. In all Nora found a loving home and is a soiled little thing now.

Thunder Bay, ON, Canada


I was walking thru a store parking lot, there was a lady and her kids with a kitten in their trunk trying to give it away.

Me loving cats as I had 3 already was just going to look at the kitten, and that was all it took BAM I took her home!

There was this little orange ball of trouble, she had six toes on three of her paws and seven on one of her paws.

Took her home and she rules the household, gets into everything! I

have a cat door that goes outside to an enclosed yard because I live in an area where there are coyotes.

Well Beelzabub loves to catch anything that moves in that yard, bugs, lizzards, mice she brings them inside!!

She lives up to her name but she has her cuddly moments too. That little cat from the time I brought

her home stalks everyone in the family including the dogs, cats and humans. When you see her eyes

get huge and she gets down low peeking over something hide your feet!

Janene O.
Big Bear City, CA

My Little Princess

Sometimes life is not fair, those that know me know I rescue dogs. This morning, I lost my Baby Girl Princess in her sleep. I rescued Princess and her son Ceasar from the shelter just over two years ago. Both of you have been inseparable from day one. Someone used you as a breeding machine and threw you away and still you showed us nothing but love. This morning you left us at the age of 4 or 5 and we don’t know why. You passed in your sleep and I can only hope that it was peaceful. Your little boy was right next to you when you passed this morning and he is heartbroken and lost without you like we are… You were loved and will be missed. Baby Girl our paths will cross again one day. Rest in peace Princess, We will always love you.

West Melbourne, FL

Phoenix's Story

Phoenix. Aka PhiPhi. On March 25, 2015, I received a message from my lil sis, Lupe Tovar, that would forever change mine and my husbands’ life and certainly change the life of the most precious baby I had ever laid eyes on. I own Mother’s Nature Sanctary For Babies of All Kinds. My husband took one look at Phoenix and said he’s found his Furever home. He couldn’t have been more than 2 months old. I wiped him down gently and that’s when I realized this baby had been burned over 90% of his body. There were numerous bite marks on him (he had been used as a bait dog for training other Pitbull’s to fight). He had been shot. I’ve removed 14 pellets from him. His teeth had been pulled out and his toenails were ripped out as well. Clearly, he wasn’t meant to survive, but Faith, Hope and Love can conquer more than we know. Phoenix has come a long way in the year we’ve had him. From less than 20 pounds to 68 pounds. From burned skin and bones to lean muscular body. From being abused, tortured, abandoned and thrown in a ditch to die to having loving arms and a family that loves him and will protect him. I have my Patron Saint (St. Christopher) guiding me and he led me straight to Saint Francis of Assissi. My strength comes from God. My heart. My reason for being. It’s my life and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Mama and Daddy love you PhiPhi. We love all our babies… Buffy, JugHead, Carlton, Mr. Frodo, Princess, ButterBean, Ozzy and Elvira. Also, Baby T.A.R.D. and Missy P… May St. Francis hold and keep you on the Rainbow Bridge until we get to Heaven to be with you again.

Here’s to Phoenix… My wish for you is to live a happy, healthy and loving rest of your life. You taught me what determination, Love, Faith and Hope can accomplish. Like your namesake… you literally Rose from the Ashes.

JoAnna Bingham

JoAnna Bingham
Denison, TX

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!

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.

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)

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
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