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Chosen

Early one spring morning I heard plaintive but insistent mewing on the front porch. Opening the door, I barely glimpsed a furry blur as the kitten darted into the bushes. I began leaving food out and watched surreptitiously as the little cat scarfed up every morsel. No wonder! When finally able to pet her, I found that Artemis was still skin and bones beneath all that fur. It took months for me to coax her inside, where she is now queen of all she surveys. Gentle, playful Artemis is a welcome addition to our little family. I'm honored she chose me to be her human!

DJ Gonzalez
Dixon, CA

Josie's rescue tale

I saw their picture on Petfinders- Josie's had the purple heart indicating "special needs", and that special need was socialization. I couldn't get the picture out of my head, and one stormy Saturday weeks later I drove from my home outside Atlanta to North Carolina to get them. Although I was really looking for only 1 dog, they were so bonded to each other and so afraid I couldn't leave one behind. When I arrived they looked exactly as they did in the picture- terrified and cowering. As scared as they were, they didn't offer to bite and I carried them out to the crates in the car.

The first few weeks were difficult but incredibly rewarding. They were like having wild animals in my house. Every day I could see progress though...small things like looking at me instead of away, taking treats from my hand. Eventually bigger things started- coming to me when called, tail wagging, small attempts at playing. It was difficult to work with both of them together and when I separated them they were so distraught we could do no training. I enrolled them in puppy kindergarten with the assistance of the trainer's friend we started on their long journey of socialization with others.

After I'd had them for 3 months, my friend lost his border colllie to cancer and he took the black and white pup Belle. Although it was hard to separate them, it was best for all of us. They reinforced each other's fears, and separated they bonded to us and left behind much of their past. Jason loves Belle as much as I love Josie

Josie and I are runners- we run nearly every morning on the rural roads near our home. She is the best running partner anyone could ask for.

Susan Lance
Whitesburg, GA

Shado

A guy rescued a 2 weeks black kitten and took him to his wife thinking she would love to adopt a cat. Wrong! She did want him and kept him outside unattended. When I saw him I asked if I could take the kitten with me to find him a forever home and they gladly accepted. Shado was about 3 weeks old when he came to my home, he was pretty healthy and strong for what he went through already in his first weeks of life. Needless to say I kept him and since then I tried to make things up for him. Today Shado is a much loved very spoiled 16 years old cat who has enriched my life so much.

H.
Plantation, FL

RAINY DAY TUXEDO

Our girl was dumped by an unknown on the porch of a local shelter worker in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. The shelter worker was used to fostering abandoned animals and, thankfully, she dried this tiny black-and-white beauty off and saved her life. She was an itty bitty kitty when she came to us with a serious fungal infection. But she was a very good patient and recovered completely. That was over two years ago and she's been the love of our lives ever since. She's friendly, funny, and loves life on the road as a full-time RVer. Life without her wouldn't be the same.

Dolly & Gary Brock
Bandon, OR

Helping to Change a Community

In rescuing Bandit from my local old and outdated Animal Control shelter as a wet, shivering, frightened puppy in 2002, I was made aware of the plight of stray and abandoned dogs and cats in my county. Bandit set me on a path to help change all that, and now, after years of hard work by many rescue people in my area, we're very close to seeing our dream Community Pet Center become a reality.

Bandit is my constant companion, the center of my furry family, and the joy of my life. He's friendly, watchful, protective of me and my home, cheerfully tolerates my many cats, and loves his squeaky toys. He also considers it his duty to chase the squirrels away from my birdfeeders every day. (And, if you're wondering, the genetic tests showed he's at least 50% Jack Russell Terrier and at least 25% Siberian Husky!)

He changed my life, and I'm so grateful I found him.

Kay Hooper
Bostic, NC

The Dog He Was Waiting For

My husband and I finally decided we were ready for a dog. We had 2 rescued cats already and finally our schedules allowed enough time for the canine companion my husband had been missing. June '03, his birthday was coming up and I anounced it was time for a trip to the local Humane Societies.

We visited 3 shelters before finding Java (King Java the Destroyer). Calm and quiet in his kennel, we almost over looked him. He has been the perfect dog since the day he came home. Java has come a long way from the timid malnourished pup we met, cowering at a loud noise or quick movement. Now he is fearless and joyful, and has worked to repay us by being the most loyal and well behaved dog I know.

In 7 years we have nursed him through a skull fracture, 3 knee surgeries, chronic allergies and skin infections, and multiple mass removals. He loves road trips, children and tennis balls. Java is priceless in more than dollars and I'm glad we never paid attention to the pitbull hype.

Andrea Thibeault
Mobile, AL

Lily Goat

I've long had an affection for Pygmy goats but never had the opportunity to have them until I bought my first home. I volunteer at the Placer County Animal Services in Auburn & ask the staff to keep an eye out for a couple of nice nannies for me. When I got the call that they had one that was up for adoption I excitedly went to check her out. They also had another doe that would be available in a couple of days. Since they are herd animals I figured I'd get 2. Lily was an older goat, but that was OK with me. She turned out to be the leader & more than once found ways to escape. I love this picture of her in the tree eating one of her favorite things, ivy.

Jackie M.
Loomis, CA

My Little Shadow

I was looking for a couple of kittens. A client told me their cat had a litter of 5 under their porch, on a busy street in Sacramento, & that I could come take a look. By the time I got there the next evening all but one kitten had mysteriously disappeared. Afraid that the last one would also disappear, she put her in the bathroom. When she opened the bathroom door out ran this tiny squalling scroungy looking Tortie. I felt so sorry for her that I couldn't leave her. She was about 5 weeks old & so small I could put her in the pocket of my robe. Nine years later Phoebe is my best bud! She greets me at the door when I come home, guards the yard, follows me around, & sleeps on or next to me every night. She's very talkative & we've even had arguments when she doesn't get her way. But that's a Tortie for you. I couldn't love her more!

Jackie M.
Loomis, CT

SAM

My son Wesley, and I found a chocolate lab lying on the side of a busy country road, looking up for help. Many cars and trucks had passed him by, it looked like he had been there for quite some time. We stopped to help the big guy and an elderly man on his motorcycle stopped to ask if he could help us lift him up into our truck, and even offered to help out with the vet bill, we took him up on the help of getting Sam into the truck, as he weighed 75 pounds, but told him we would deal with the vet bill.

I knew Sam had a broken hind leg, as it was just dangling. During the surgery to put a pin in his leg, they discovered that he also had a broken jaw. The vet thinks Sam is about 9 years old.

Sam is recuperating in our bunkhouse for the next 3 months, with his activity kept at a minimum until his bones fuse together. He is a very good patient and the sweetest dog you could ever find.

Janell Jensen
Sealy, TX

Our Flying Catahoula

My husband and I had gotten free tickets to the Pet Expo from our oldest daughter. We were very excited to spend the day looking at kitties and dogs. Since we already had two dogs, we did not go with the intention of getting another - especially a puppy. However, a little brindle Catahoula mix had different plans for us. We had never heard of a Catahoula so decided to spend some time with the CURS group learning about the breed. A litter of puppies had recently been rescued from a South Carolina animal contol shelter two days before mom and pups were to be destroyed. This group then transported the pups to a foster home in Illinois. We each held several of the puppies but only one fell asleep in my husband's arms and she became our 'Tallulah the Catahoula". Pets are not disposable.

Carmela Dato Galas
McHenry, IL
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