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My buddy

Roland was born in our back yard under our shed. He was one of two kittens born to a feral cat we called Elma. Roland lived under our shed with his brother Eddie. Eddie was hit by a car about 4 months after being born, leaving Roland on his own. His mother moved into the woods opposite our house and occasionally returns to eat food we leave out for her.

Roland started coming onto our enclosed porch to sleep on the couch and we became fast friends. Now that it is cold, I bring him into the house at night to sleep inside. He has taken to sleeping on my bed with me. He is my best friend and I don't know what I would do without him. I hope he will abandon his roots and become a house cat. But either way he will be my buddy and will bring me happiness for years to come.

Christopher Schaffer
Hamilton, NJ

Woof the Woofer

We are not sure who selected who but we came together five years ago. Woofer was rescued by Hearts for Hounds and was up for adoption at the Long Beach CA marina. He gave us the look of love and we had to have him. We had no idea what his prior history was. They had named him Biscotti we were not particuarly fond of the name because it did not seem to fit him so after a few weeks of calling him "Good Dog" and "Bad Dog" my husband started calling him "The Woofer" and the name stuck. We can't imagine anyone giving him up but we are so glad they did. There is not a day goes by that he doesn't show us a thank you! Woofer walks daily with our neighbor Clint who is 87 years old. Clints friends say that Woofer has saved his life as now he has a reason to live after his wife of 47 years passed away. They are best of pals. We are the lucky ones, the rescue of Woofer has added additional joy in our lives. As you can see Woofer is ready to walk come rain snow or sleet . . Today it is raining and Clint went out to buy a raincoat just so he can walk Woofer in the rain. Woofer is ready and waiting.

Marilyn Benner
Long Beach, CA

A valentine named Dudley

A friend told me about three pugs who each needed new homes. I arranged with the owner to meet the dogs on a snowy Valentine's Day, in 2000. When I arrived, her daughters were playing checkers on the floor and the dogs were running around. They were each so cute--how to choose? I saw one pug sitting beside the checkerboard, studying the girls' game intently. He was actually hiding a red checker under one paw, and casually moving it away from the game. How could I go wrong with such a goofy, fun dog? He came home with me that day, and has been by my side ever since. Dudley still loves to play, but loves to watch T.V. and has his favorite shows like any soap opera fan. I tell him he was the best Valentine's Day present ever.

Donna H.
Denver, CO

"Posh" Cat

4 months after adopting my sweet little Syler from the Saint John Animal Rescue League I decided that he needed a playmate so I sent a message to Shelley the ARL's manager that I was looking to add another black cat to my family (I only adopt black cats as they are harder to find homes for). About a week later I got a call, "you HAVE to see this cat" so away I went carrier in hand. What I found was a GORGEOUS 3 year old long haired male whose family had abandoned him. They had him since he was a kitten, had him neutered and declawed but suddenly decided that he was "unpredictable" with their children. The poor guy was naturally frightened and confused. I brought him home and by the next day he had a full blown case of upper respiratory virus... had I not taken him he no doubt would have been euthanized. I renamed him Desmond (after Desmond Tutu) and after several vet visits and various meds we have concluded that we will just have to live with the virus. Dez is a beautiful, loving lap cat who, while aggressive with my older cat, gets along great with Syler and is very gentle with me. He has the most beautiful big green eyes (that are often watery) and long silky hair and he carries himself like royalty... he is my "posh" cat! Please consider adopting an older or special needs cat from a shelter, there is nothing like the feeling of knowing you have saved a life!

K.A. Loughery
Kingston Peninsula, NB, Canada

My little street urchin

I adopted Syler last spring (2009) from the Saint John Animal Rescue League after a year of grieving for my darling Misha who I lost after a 5 year battle with colangial hepatitis. I pledged almost 20 years ago to only adopt black cats as they are the most difficult to find homes for so when I asked at the ARL if they had any fluffy black boys they brought out a very cute little guy. He was about a year old and had been abandoned as a kitten in winter in a rough neighbourhood of the city and then caught and brought to the ARL where he spent 2 months. When I first met him he showed no interest in me and then there was a snafu of sorts so it was 3 weeks before I saw him again. That time he leapt into my arms and buried himself in my hair purring and purring; he didn't even want to let go so I could retrieve my carrier to take him home. That day he chose me so there was no doubt we belonged together. Once we got home he kept jumping in my arms and hugging me, just so happy to finally have a forever home and someone to love and care for him. In spite of or perhaps because of his rough start he is the sweetest cat imaginable (EVERYONE comments on how good natured he is) and he still loves to nuzzle into my hair at night to sleep. He joined Macy, my girl kitty of 8 years and I've adopted again but Syler is my "baby" cat, I just love him to pieces and he returns the love tenfold. PLEASE adopt a shelter cat, they are SO grateful and have so much love to give!

K.A. Loughery
Kingston Peninsula, NB, Canada

I'm a beagle, not a lab rat!

Molly was born in a beagle breeding lab. Puppies were sent world wide for research. Fortunately for her, she was the runt, but unfortunately, scheduled for termination. A (not to be identified employee) snuck her out. After making the round of owners, and being a tavern puppy, we were able to get her. At 6 weeks old, she weighed in at just over 1 pound. Now she is a chunky 28 pounds. She still has many phobias, especially feet touching, and what's cooking on the stove, but she is healthy and happy, and a big part of the family. Goddy love! Thank you KK!

David
Oregon, WI

Second Chance for an ugly dog

In August, I saw a photo on Petfinder of an ugly little mutt just above a beautiful puppy I was interested in. Out of curiosity, I clicked on its picture and learned about a sadly mistreated tiny 5-lb mutt that had been taken in by a rescue group SPARR (Sound Pet Animal Rescue, Cary, NC). The little guy's was almost hairless and he had been hospitalized for a week while replenishing the red blood cells that had been destroyed by fleas, ticks, and worms.

So, now the tiny mutt has a new home, a new name (Second Chance), a new big brother, (90-lb Newfie-mix from Wake SPCA), and a new lease on life. Just 4 months later, he's doubled in size. You'd never know it was the same dog! His personality has blossomed. It's amazing what a little good nutrition and care can do! He's now visiting retirement centers and schools, helping [me] teach Pet Responsibility.

So, Happy New Year!! and hope 2010 is a New Year full of warmth and caring for these little ones who can't care for themselves.

Sherri Grantham
Raleigh, NC

OUR "RACHEL"

RACHEL WAS A SHELTER KITTY. I VOLUNTEER AT A NO-KILL SHELTER IN NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI AND THERE ARE SO MANY CATS/KITTENS TO CHOOSE FROM. SHE WAS IN HER CAGE CRYING AND CRYING. I PICKED HER UP TO COMFORT HER AND FELL IN LOVE. I TOOK HER HOME WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IF SHE AND MY DOG, TEDDIE DIDNOT GET ALONG, SHE WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE SHELTER. I NEVER EXPECTED WHAT THIS SWEET, CRYING KITTY COULD BE LIKE. THE DOG WAS PETRIFIED OF HER AND I WAS TOO. SHE WOULD JUMP ON THE BACK OF MY LEGS WHEN I WOULD WALK BY AND DRAW BLOOD. SHE WOULD PUT HER EARS BACK AND MEOW GETTING READY TO ATTACK AND TEDDIE WOULD JUMP INTO MY ARMS HE WAS SO AFRAID. I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT I LOVED HER AND SHOWED HER LOVE AND SHE RESPONDED TO IT AND IS A SWEETIE. SHE WILL NEVER GO BACK !!! I MIGHT ADD THAT IF THERE IS SOMETHING TO GET INTO, SHE'LL BE THERE.

Judy Clark
North Kingstown, RI

Goldfish Need Love, Too

About seven years ago, I took a job in a new area where I worked. One of the managers had a one-gallon tank in his office with a black moor goldfish who'd been an unwelcome gift. He never cleaned the tank and, because he usually worked from home, the poor fish was left alone in the dark - or would have been had I and a coworker not been trying to take care of her without him finding out. I promised that poor fish that I would get her out of there someday, somehow. I finally caught a break a few months later when the manager in question took another job and moved out of the building. I nagged him into letting me take the fish. First thing I did was run out at lunch and buy her a slightly bigger tank - the one in the picture - for her to live in until I could get her home. The old tank was so filthy that the white gravel had turned black and septic - I threw the whole thing out. She survived the Northeast Blackout of 2003 on my desk, then, a few weeks later, came home to a new 20 gallon tank and her new life.

Although I only had Yami (Japanese for "Shadow") for three more years, she was a true pet - she recognized faces, would hurry to greet you when she saw you and took food from my hand. I was just happy that I was able to keep that one promise and get her out of that awful place.

Sparrow
New York, NY

Saving Lexie

It all started when our 16-year-old Lab Casey died - her fur sister Abby was so lonely we decided to adopt a new buddy for her. In honor of Casey, we decided to adopt a senior Lab. We found 7 year old Lexie on Petfinder at a high-kill shelter in the middle of nowhere. We went to meet her and quickly decided she was ours. She jumped right into the car, laid her big black head on my shoulder & it was true love for both of us. That was 5 years ago; she is now 12 & living the good life with us in the mountains - hiking, swimming, laying by the fire. We adore Lexie & her gentle spirit -- she knows we saved her & she thanks us every day with her love & devotion.

The Liebert Family
Eagles Mere, PA
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