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Jolie was waiting at the gate

I had recently lost my beloved Tally-ho, a magnificent, sweet, wonderful male Dalmatian who succumbed to valley fever, and I was still in deep mourning. Several newsroom colleagues began commenting that they saw "(my) next dog," a female, judging by reported signs of nursing.

I demurred -- too soon after losing my precious boy. The comments became persistent. Finally, I said to the Universe: "If this truly is my dog, and if you truly want me to have this dog, show that fact to me in such a way that I cannot possibly misunderstand."

Thirty-six hours later, as I drove up the drive to the wrought-iron gate at my building, a little black-and-white face peered out intently to me from between the bars. A small, skin-and-bone female Dal, she sat waiting patiently. I was done for.

That was in 2004. Today, Jolie is not in particularly health, but I see to it that she gets the best care I can provide. Her past abuse and traumas, whatever they were, have taken their toll. But now she is fully filled out, safe, loved and happy. And so am I.

Ailim Wolfe Keyes
Tucson, AZ

Baby Macy

My husband was an animal control officer and I kept telling him to keep an eye out at the local shelter for a small dog. He came home one day and said there was a pregnant terrier at the shelter, 2 wks later he said the puppies were born, there were three, and born on October 31. I went to see them and picked Macy out right away. Turned out she is part rat terrier and really not sure what else, all black except white on her chest. I went to the shelter one time a week and bonded with her. I couldn't wait to get her! We got her at 8 wks and 15 oz. She was so tiney and I would wrap her in a baby blanket and rock her sleep everyday. She will be 4 yrs old this Halloween and weighs about 10.5 lbs. She is our child and the light of our life! I don't know what we would do without her.

Amy
Danville, VA

KIT KAT's rescue

This is a story about my my very first cat I have ever taken cared of. I have never "owned" a cat even though I had been around them my whole life. I have always been highly allergic to them thus keeping my play times and visits with cats very short.

One day, Kit Kat arrived at my door step, alone, hungry, crying for help and he was only just about 2 months old. Out of ALL the other doors he could have picked, he picked ME! One who is allergic.He & other stray adult cats started visiting my door step & I decided to buy cat food for them. Kit Kat however wanted more than just food. He wanted to be taken cared of, loved, nurtured but I could tell he was traumatized and scared of people. I could not find any female cat in the area so I knew something had happened to his mother.

A couple months later, in November 2009, we were having our California rainstorms. I was able to "catch" him and although very afraid of human contact, he looked up to me with his big round eyes, crying, and clinging on to me. I did not have any cat things (litter, toys, etc). That rainy, stormy night, I gave him a lecture to not "mess" up my home and to only pick ONE spot to do his business as I promised to get everything he will need the next morning.

Kit Kat was tested positive for Leukeima. He is now about a year and two months old and not showing any signs of the illness. He is happy, smart, & healthy as can be. Still scared of humans but has fully come to trust me & we are one happy small family.

Shamaness Tantrika
Pasadena, CA

You Are My Soul Mommy!

I adopted Baccardi on April 17, 2008 and as soon as we saw each other we knew that we were meant for each other. He had been saved from the Garland Animal Shelter when a worker called a woman to get him. She had never cared for a poodle before as she specialized in miniature schnauzers but the shelter worker wanted this particular person to save her. So she did. She found out that even though he'd been picked up as a stray he was quite spoiled and had been given scrambled eggs for breakfast which is what a pet psychic told her he was wanting her to fix for him. She told him that she would not do it and he could have dog food. He finally gave in and ate the dog food that she always kept out for the dogs. And when he did eat did he ever eat. He ate so much that his tummy was round and he then went into the living room and fell over on his side from being so full. This is the tale she told me. Later after having him for 3 months she came in and found he'd taught himself a trick...to beg pretty as she called it. After he'd gotten to a healthy weight (as he was quite emaciated at the shelter) she'd had him neutered and then put him up for adoption. After 8 months I emailed her then called her to see if I qualified, I did. After driving from Denton to Dallas to meet both her and him and him jumping up and we decided that he was my soul dog and I was his soul mommy. It's now been over 2 years and he is still giving me those wonderful poodle kisses everyday.

Jo
Dallas, TX

Drummer....he is the brother to Jazz...

This is Drummer. My son is a drummer for a jazz band, so we have Jazz and Drummer, lol. Drummer is awesome....he is so loyal, smart and just an all around great dog. We got him from the Shelter last year...they had named him Nick, which just didn't fit him...I could swear that every morning when I wake up, Drummer comes to me for lovin and I just know he is saying thank you for rescueing him...I say thank you to him for makeing me so happy. Drummer is Jack Russell and Poodle....they call these dogs Jackiepoo....

Diane
Oklahoma city, OK

Jazz...My needy little shelter dog.

This is Jazz....she was five when we got her from the shelter. We have had her two years now and she is very very needy.....she is a great dog but....she will use you if you let her. She loves to lay on her back and have her tummy rubbed, but when you quit, she is gone! We love her so much even if she does use us for her tummy rubs, lol.

Diane
Oklahoma City, OK

Wuzzie - He had compelling eyes.

I had never heard of a rescue service until my son adopted a pet from one. After losing my newfie I swore I would not get another dog; but as time passed I felt an emptiness inside me that yearned for canine companionship. I was directed to Petfinders and while looking through their picture gallery, I found a tiny blond pup with eyes as big as he was. It was those eyes that spoke to me of his need to love and to be loved. He was a blessed pup because he, his mother and her other pups had been rescued by a very loving and generous woman. He was the runt of the litter and was unable to survive on his own so this kind woman hand fed him until he was strong and healthy enough to be adopted. She called him Tiny Tim. I believe her love had transcended the adversity he had been born into. Looking into his eyes I knew he was meant to be mine. I changed his name to Wuzzie, a special family nickname.

Pat Walden
Glen Rock, NJ

From 4 yrs in a filthy crate...

in a hoarder/mill breeder's home, Pierre was rescued by a loving foster Mom. She brought him into my life, and it has been WONDERFUL. He has flourished, and fills my life and heart with joy every day! From not being able to tolerate the sun, now he delights in it, and car rides, and yard sales!!!! Who rescued who???

Kathleen Celata
Tilton, NH

Simon and J.D.

Three years ago on my birthday, my husband took me to a shelter "just to look." We met a beautiful little grey girl named Jessica, and went home to check with our landlord that it would be okay if she moved in, which it was. But when we went back later that day to pick her up, her littermate Finty (apparently it means graceful, and is NOT appropriate) pawed her aside, and started rubbing on our feet and drooling, he was purring so hard. We had to take such a lovable little boy home, and renamed him Simon, since he's not very graceful at all!

Coming home after a Christmas trip last year, we heard a meowing coming from underneath our house. After days of worry and seeing the tip of a tail or a little nose peeking out from the foundations of the house, we finally caught J.D. Then we discovered that he already been neutered, and was not feral at all. It turned out he had been abandoned due to a heart murmur! So we kept him. It only took a few days for his brother Simon (right) to become accustomed to him, and a week or two after J.D. moved in with us, I came home from work to find them cuddling and took the included photo.

Emily and Ra Bilodeau
North Hollywood, CA

Tiger in Cart

We found Tiger and his sister under a shed after their mother abandoned them. Tiger immediately took to the pet bottle and Mother's Milk but his little sister was just too weak and died the next day. Tiger was too lively to not eat and got stronger each day. We can't have any pets and started telling our friends about him and even sent pictures. We still had him when it was time for shots and neutering him and the vet said he looked like an expensive breed, Bengal, but I thought she was just telling me that so I'd keep him.

Not having grandchildren, Tiger became my "baby" and I really enjoyed him. He loved to play bite and run!! He'd hide and come from behind while you were sitting and bite your ankle and run and hide, or he'd bite your hand and run. Even though it hurt, you knew he was just trying to play. He could also be so cuddly in my lap and lay and watch TV or nap as long as I'd sit there. Some friends from another state came to visit and just fell in love with him and were so excited when I said I had been looking for adoptive parents for him. I loaded up all of his food, litter, and toys and sent him off to another home. Although I miss him still, I know he is with the right home. I recently sent this picture to them and they sent me current pictures of him now that he's one year old.

Frankie Jeter
Groves, TX
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