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My Pooh Bear

My husband and I went to a pet store looking for saltwater fish. As soon as I walked in the door I saw him. He and his litter mates had been dropped off at the store and instead of taking them to the shelter, the store sold them for $75 and a free vet visit. I opened the lid of his box and he was the last one in there. I picked him up and loved him instantly; my husband said I needed to put that back. I did. But, I just couldn't walk away and I picked him up again. My husband came from around the corner, looked at me and walked away. Minutes later he came back holding a dog bowl and said, "I suppose you're going to be needing one of these?" Max came home with us that day - he was 6 weeks old. He was a shephard/red husky mix and for as long as I've been around dogs and volunteered in animal rescue, I've never been around a smarter dog than Max. He knew everything: words, sign language and he loved to watch TV, only certain shows, though. He grew up to be the handsomest boy in the world and I loved him more than any pet I have ever had. Because of his coloring, I called him my "Pooh Bear" - and I miss him every day. Max died at only 5 1/2 years old of mulitple seizures and it remains one of the saddest events of my life. He was a very special boy and we miss him daily, but know the Lord opened his doggie door in heaven for my Pooh Bear.

Nancy Sluder
Arden, NC


Many years ago we decided that if we ever got another dog , it would be two to keep each other company and IN the yard. We adopted a Golden Retriever from the Dumb Friends League and decided against two since they grow so big which was not the case with this one. Anyway, we returned to the DFL a year later to see what we could find as a companion. Nothing caught my two children and my eye. As we were about to leave, I told them we had to at least look at one dog. So we requested a dog in 10a and they brought us 10b. He was an Australian shepherd mix, black and white. We were unsure and when we got home, I told my son to call Dad, who worked across the street from the DFL, and ask him to check this dog out. Well, long story short, my husband thought he was supposed to adopt the dog. Now for the name...he was called Boomer by the staff and when I asked them why, they said it was on his tag. No, I said, it reads Bomber. I figured someone from the Air Force Base nearby had left him behind. Well, we couldn't call him Boomer because that was the nickname of the girl across the street my son was dating! As the staff said goodbye to the dog, the doctor called out "bye Barney!" My son and I both looked at each other and nodded our heads-Barney it was.The dogs became instant, inseparable friends. Barney died a month after the Golden to the day. Never had I loved a dog so much. Barney was a very easy going dog and always waited patiently for his turn. Shaving him each summer brought a new personality.

Sally Owen
Breckenridge, CO

Our Beautiful Girl, Deja

Deja, a lab mix, came to us from an ex-employee who was moving out of town and was plannng to dump her at the Humane Society as he was leaving. We couldn't let that happen so she came home with us! That was in March of 2005. We had some obstacles to overcome. In her previous home, Deja never had consistent food, water or love and was anxious whenever we left home. She was a food gulper and a garbage tearer-upper because she didn't know if and when she was going to get food or water again. We were patient and showed her lots of love, making sure she was fed on a very routine schedule. All of that anxious behavior stopped after about 2 years. Deja is nothing but a wonderful, beautiful soul, and full of so much love it oozes out of her! She is my big, precious Princess Deja and I'm so happy to have her in my life!!

Denise Paradis
Scottsdale, AZ

Khan: The therapy cat

After the loss of my beloved cat of 20 years,I felt ready to give my love to another. Having 4 dogs and being a foster family, it would have to be a cat that could hold his own to being around small dogs. We wanted a female Siamese, so we put the word out to shelters.

Two weeks later we got a call from Chatopia telling us that they had a female cat that was good with dogs. So we rushed over, she was a sweetie but had a bit of rhino, so we decided to wait for her to get better. On our way out we hear a deafening miow coming from a room. We asked what that was, and they told us that was their Bengal (who was beating all the other cats up) we went in and saw this BIG cat, we petted him and held him, and we fell hard for him. We found out he had been there for 6 months and was a breeding cat. Every one was scared of him, we went back with 2 of our dogs and then took him home.

He now shows the fosters how to behave with cats, he never lays a paw on them, just his deafening miaow in their face. He is patient and sweet and let one of our doxie (who loves him) snuggle with him. He is a great cat and we are so happy we followed our hearts and went for Khan. Even thought he is bigger than our dogs he never bulliest them, and his miaows have people guessing (baby, angry cat) we just tell them that the way he is.

Khan is my baby boy.

Turns out the Siamese we went for, horrible with dogs and attacked them.

Natasha Clayton
Montreal, QC, Canada

Reservation rescue

We adopted/rescued Umlaut (Umy) 5 years ago. At the young age of 2-3 weeks; he was literally thrown from a moving vehicle into an open garage door on the Ute reservation. Suffering from malnutrition, covered with fleas and ticks. Someone inside had the heart to take the puppy to the local animal shelter.

The shelter already at over capacity took him to a veterinarian who went out of the way to de-flea and de-tick his tiny body put him on an IV because he didn’t have the strength to suck from a bottle. He was kept at the vet for just over 2 weeks. The vet then took him to one of the local animal bed and breakfast facility that often took in animals that the shelter had no room for.

I had just lost my other dog and in hopes of finding a replacement visited the B&B who happened to have the funniest looking pup I had ever seen. His body was so very tiny and his head was twice the size of the rest of him. When I first walked in he was all wiggles and totally beside himself. It was love at first site from both of us. I signed all the papers etc. to adopt this funny looking pup. I made him a bed in the house with his own pillow, he slept on his pillow, and he never had an accident inside. After a full year of a special diet of hamburger/oatmeal/liquid vitamins. He finally began to grow into his head. He turned into a lover of everyone, people, cats, and dogs; he is a pure joy to have around.

Susan Pernot
Cortez, CO


Geoff came to us when 2 little neighborhood girls came to our door one summer afternoon. My son went to answer the door and returned, telling us that the girls, whom he knew from the 2nd-grade class room they shared, were asking if he could have a cat. We had just lost my husband's seventeen year old cat and did not want to adopt another one. My husband and I said, almost in harmony "NO!" The kids were persistent and my son stepped into the living room a second time to repeat the question. Again we answered "No!" However, after a moment or two curiosity got the better of me and I went to the door to look at this 'cat'. There in the arms of one of the girls was not a cat but a three-month old kitten. His ears and wide eyes seemed way too big for his head. He looked like an alien cat from another world. An orange tabby - my favorite color - with deformed feet and legs, both front and rear. His back feet looked like that of a snow-shoe hare. The girls told me the sad story of how the kitten followed them, even crossing a busy street just looking for attention. I could tell he was very ill and needed help. My resolve was weakening, but when the kitten literally jumped into my arms purring, I knew further resistance was futile. With a sigh I stepped into the living room and announced to my husband, "Sorry honey, but we just acquired another cat". The vet bill was $400 just to get him healthy enough to neuter him but the love and gratitude we got from Geoff over the next nine years made it worth every penny!

Kathryn Terhune Cotton
Springfield, OR

Marco the Entertainer

I fell in love with Marco and his sister at the local no-kill shelter, ARF. Marco bit his sister to get her off the banister and proceeded to straddle it without realizing the impending discomfort. When he saw mom with the camera, he sucked up the discomfort and gave the facial expression as to say, "I am in great pain, but I must smile for mom because I am her gorgeous and brilliant furry son." Marco is brilliant and loved by all!

Karla Carmichael
Muncie, IN


9th Life Hawaii is Maui’s largest, non-profit, NO KILL all Cat Rescue & Sanctuary. Our 100 pound much-loved Doberman passed over a year ago and we were looking for a dog that would not hurt any of the 275+ cats we shelter at our sanctuary. Meet Gidget a rescue from the local municipal shelter. Gidget had apparently been hit by a car and was brought to them with a broken leg. It is still healing but she is finally walking on all four legs. She was placed in foster care with Cynthia and we thank Cynthia for the wonderful care she received prior to us adopting her. Not only is she smaller than most of our cats, she is a great watchdog and lets us know when strangers approach the sanctuary. And she loves the kittens, always choosing the smallest kitten to mother. She fits in purrfectly. Doesn’t she? The only problem: she likes to sit in our laps while we work in the 9th Life Hawaii office. Makes it a little hard to work on the computer but we love her.

Phyllis Tavares
Makawao, HI

Cyndaquil the Texas Tumbleweed

Cyndaquil is a rescued african pygmy hedgehog. He was a rescue from U.S. Global Exotics in Arlington, Texas. I was able to adopt him in Febuary after the final Judge denied USGE's appeal. The conditions he came from where cruelly confined, severely crowed, and denied basics such as food, water, space, humidity, heat, and veterinary care. He is now living with me in his forever home. He loves sleeping on my lap during the day and running on his wheel at night.

Thanks Peta and The Hedge Hog Welfare Society.

Somers Point, NJ


We went to Rhode Island to attend a funeral. When my sister in law came to the hotel, she told us that she had a little dog in her car that she was keeping until she could get him to the shelter. His previous family had had him for about10 years but their children were mean to him so she took him in. Unfortunately, she was moving to a new apartment and couldn't have pets.

I fell in love with Pookie, but my husband had asked me to PLEASE not bring any more strays home - we already had 3 cats and a dog. I told my sister in law that I couldn't take him. However, that night, we hid Pookie and brought him into our room. Well, when my husband saw Pookie, he said, "He needs to come home with us!"

When we brought Pookie home, he was afraid of everything, trembled constantly and would cower if we stood over him to pick him up. Eventually, he came out of his shell and was the most lovable, adorable dog I'd ever seen. Pookie was my dog from the start. He loved to be on my lap, go everywhere with me and slept right beside me in bed. Pookie's favorite thing was to stand on my lap in the car and lean as far out the window as I would let him. He was my canine soul mate.

Pookie had a heart condition. Four years later, he developed heart failure. Thousands of dollars and multiple trips to the vet over two months later, Pookie passed away. There will always be a spot in my heart left by him. I am so grateful to have had him because he definitely had me!.

Portland, ME
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