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Rescued from the street

Just heading home from the gym and saw a small, scared, dog dodging traffic on Main Street, Prosperity, SC. With no fenced yard and a special-needs kitty at home, I continued home. Fear and compassion took over and I had to turn around less than a 1/4 mile away; found her down a side street "visiting" with a man. No, "she" was not his, so I reluctantly took her to our local Shelter. After two nights of worry and talking with my husband, we decided to adopt her. Our neighbor/friend/landlord donated all the fencing for a huge backyard kennel area and on 9/9/10 she came home. My husband named her Misty (before even seeing her) and she is a total joy. She loves her rawhide bone in the morning, while I drink my coffee, and later in the early evening (after her meal), she loves to play with her tug-ball in the yard. She's quite the "jumper" and very vocal to all the surrounding animals in the next door pasture. Our special needs kitty does not like Misty in her territory, but hopefully in time, they will become friends. Misty is a true blessing and has added happiness and surprises to our daily lives. Thankgoodness I was in the right place at the right time to save her.

Lorraine Mock
Prosperity, SC

Senior beagle

Manny came into our lives about two years ago. We found him through Atlanta Beagle Rescue. He is a senior beagle with enough spunk to keep a new pup on its toes.

My husband and I wanted to bring in a senior dog, because we thought the "calmness" of an older dog would match the temperament of our 15 year old beagle, Bud, who had to be put to sleep a year earlier. Plus, we wanted a dog who wouldn't freak out our 2 stray cats who were brought into the house years earlier. Manny, Honey (seen here sitting with her brother on HIS bed), and Ernie get along so well. We couldn't have asked for a better match. I think they all forget they aren't from the same species. Every once in a while, you will see Ernie cleaning Manny. The cats do give Manny his room, because when that front door opens up, here comes a beagle at full speed tearing through the house. He is such a crazy beagle. We are so glad he is our crazy kid! If you are looking for a great match, I highly recommend adopting a senior animal. They have so much to give.

Jessica Houze
Atlanta, GA

My Little Rascal is such a helper!

Six years ago when he was 2, we rescued our sweet Little Rascal from a family whose child didn't know how to be kind to him. It took about 1 second to fall in love with him!! He was welcomed with open arms by the other five little catties. Like the others, he is never more than a foot away and follows me everywhere; when he's awake, that is! Our special "Stuart Little" look alike loves to help me when I'm quilting. Here he found a perfect spot for a snooze in my fabric storage cabinet! He is typically very soft spoken and can become quite the bundle of mischief, especially when we are putting clean sheets on the bed! Bedtime cookies, sharing rubs, and grooming time are so special for all our catties that are rescues. What would I do w/out my bundles of joy!!!!

jo morrison
bloomington, IL

My Shadow

After my Little Jimmy died an inexplicable death on the night of his 2nd birthday, I was heartbroken. I was looking at the local cat refuges online and instantly fell in love with Shadow, a little ball of fluff who was the "Kitten of the Day." I renamed her Jamie in memory of Little Jimmy, and she has been my constant "shadow" ever since.

Janet Peterson
Saint Paul, MN

My Boo Bear - what a wonderful soul!

Seven years ago, my son was on a construction job in a housing project in the city. Sitting on the sidewalk all by himself, covered in dirt and fleas, was an adorable little labrador/pitbull mix puppy. My son looked around, picked the dog up and put him in the dump truck.

apparently, in that part of town, labs (b/c of their good nature) and pitbulls are bred together as "bait dogs" for dog fighting rings. I had never heard of such a thing at the time and was horrified at the thought.

Fast forward - Boo Bear has been a magnificent animal from the beginning and continues to be so. (They all are.) He's smart, kind, loveable and I can't imagine life w/o him.

Since then, we've rescued one more from the same situation that we've kept and a few more that we've turned over to a no kill shelter.

How can people mistreat them? Education is a must - starting in pre-school.

sherry keating
wilmington, DE

The Summer of the Abandon Brothers

We found Dug and Atticus abandoned at a private park in Sunbury, Ohio. Park guests said they'd seen them there over the course of the year. Several attempts were made to find the owners, but they appeared to have moved and left the dogs in the park. Atticus (basset hound) had been hit by a car at some point and has a broken hip. We are currently raising money to fix it. Both had whip worm from drinking pond water and were covered in ticks. Dug (Golden Retriever) was so matted and overweight he looked like a bear. After a lot of work we finally got him shaved down. After a visit to the vet we discovered Dug had a hypothyroidism and needed a tooth capped. To our surprise Dug was obedience trained a would heel perfectly at your side as well as other standard commands.

We grew so attached that we added them to our pack of four dogs. Things were tentative at first, but eventually they were accepted as brothers into the pack. This is where the story gets a bit sad, I'm afraid. Just last weekend on Sept. 5 Dug got into my backpack and into my prescription of Adderall. He ingested 14 10mg pills. And after inducing vomiting to no effect, he died as we were carrying him up the stairs to get him to the Emergency Vet. We grieve deeply for the loss of our furry child. We wouldn't trade in the months we had with Dug. He was a gentle, funny, well behaved dog that loved to snuggle and carry two toys around in his mouth.

Atticus has lost a brother, but gained 3 more and a sister. And we will continue saving money to fix him.

Rikki Leake
Dublin, OH

Iguana iguana in America

A herpetologist friend who specializes in turtles gets handed all sorts of reptilian creatures that he does his best to care for. I offered to take on Remi, a 3 year old iguana with problems, the main one being that she was bought in America to live in a house. Her tail was damaged and she was developing MBD, a disease that comes from getting the wrong foods and softens the bones.

I've had Remi about 7 years now. The average iguana does not live past 2 years old here but their potential is 25 years - long enough to be included in your will. It's been a learning experience and still is.

I haven't tried to make her my pet. She's not warm and cuddly. And she doesn't belong on this continent. The closest thing to a natural habitat here is in Florida and many people let theirs go loose there. Exotic animal sellers keep breeding iguanas for sale here. I think it should be a crime.

But Remi has taught me a lot about iguanas. She, first of all, is no dummy. She has our house completely figured out. Knows just where the bathtub is, where the fridge is, the front porch. She's met all our cats and dogs and they give her a lot of space.

She tolerates me. When I have to pick her up to take her 'home', she generally sits in my (gloved) arms quietly.

I think she is beautiful, the blue greens and the oranges, her eyes. And her annual attempts at escape are "fun"! Fortunately, once she gets outside, she tends to forget that she was in a hurry and starts basking in the sun.

Please don't make exotics into pets.

gail n
Asheville, NC

A new little sister

Myst and her brother were only 1 month old when dropped off at the Humane Society in Prescott, AZ. She was 2 months old the day after I brought her home to meet her 2 older "sisters", Star and Shadow, both adopted last Fall. The 1 year olds have now adjusted to having a little one running around the house. And Myst? Well, she's the baby, gotta love her!

Janice Walden
Prescott Valley, AZ

Bumby

My four-year old daughter, Katie, wanted a dog for a couple of years, so I decided to take her to the SPCA in Raleigh. We went in the pouring rain and the first room we went in held a 55 lb. German Shepherd mix with puppies crawling all over him. We asked to see him in a meeting room and he slowly came in, laid down on his back and put his paws in the air so we could rub his stomach. Katie and I wanted him immediately. The SPCA told us he was found on the streets of Raleigh, he was around eight years old, he had cataracts forming, arthritis in his hip and a knee injury. No one would adopt him. We took him home the next day and he has been the easiest dog in the world. He loves my children, licks them all the time, if my 2-year old pokes his eyes, he turns his head away. He has never barked or nipped at my children. His teeth had never been cleaned and three of them were loose and had to be pulled. He is very quiet and easy. He always stays in the yard and we have no fence. He sits with his head tilted toward the sun, sniffing. Then he waits in the garage to come back in. He has never wandered off because he loves his home! I love walking him, it is a special part of my day that I always look forward to. He is a wonderful dog and we love him so much!

Erin Kearns
Wake Forest, NC

Angel Jack

My sister, Megan, and I headed to the shelter to rescue an adult female companion for my furry son, Shorty. Of course, we could not resist visiting the puppy section, where we noticed a particularly pitiful looking little golden furry. When I picked her up, her weak eyes met mine and I instantly knew she would be Shorty's new friend. Even though adopting a puppy was definitely not the plan, I placed her back in the kennel to go tell the shelter employees my decision, broken hearted that I could not adopt every furry at the shelter.

When we all went back to get the little one, she had moved to the very back of the kennel. To our surprise, another small black and silver puppy was sitting beside her with his little furry arm around her as if he was hugging her to tell her good-bye. We all stood there staring, amazed, and not quite sure what to do. Megan suggested I adopt both of them, which was all the approval I needed. We scooped up both of the little angels and left the shelter. On the way home, we named them Jack and Gia. As soon as they all met, we saw that Shorty, Jack, and Gia were meant to be together.

We were blessed to spend nine years with Jack, our handsome, sweet, loyal, and loving hand shaker and hugger. Our love for Jack is eternal, and words cannot express the joy the gift of his love gave to all it touched. We will always remember and be forever grateful for the day that Jack, Gia, and Megan made sure Jack became part of our family.

Jamie Stabler
Lexington, NC
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