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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


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

Our Handsome Picasso

I was never so blessed as I was the day Picasso found me at the EGAPL on adoption day. I had stopped in to just look at a cat I had seen on their website, she was already being visited by another family so the volunteer walked me around. When she came to one kennel she opened it and the cat who seemed like he could care less that we were there walked slowly, stretching , to the edge of his bed. When she picked him up and just handed him to me I was surprised he was not scared or trying to get down. He just turned to me and started licking my cheek. I knew right away he was meant to come home with me. That was 4 years ago and he is the most cuddly, love-able guy. We now share our lives with my fiance who loves him just as much as I do. He always puts a smile on our faces when he greets us at the door and then runs around the house like a nut so happy that we are home from work. I will always feel so lucky that he picked me that day.

West Warwick, RI

Sticks to me like glue

August, 2009: I vowed never to adopt another dog. Just too painful after having to euthanize my beautiful boy Cosmo.

I live in a community in which dogs seem to outnumber people so 4 months later, my vow overridden by the longing for a pet, I found a shelter that had a dog that seemed just right. As is so often the case, 2 weeks earlier the shelter had taken her from the pound the day before she was to be euthanized. At the adoption location Bricken was thrust into my arms and the little frightened animal started shaking. I adopted 8.5 lbs of thin straggly hair and fear, and renamed her Misty.

Though her exact age and history are unknown the vet says anywhere between 2-5 years old. Three abscessed teeth were removed and her teeth cleaned. She was treated for giardia and for an ear irritation. She'd had at least one litter, maybe more. Small as she is she'd managed to survive the streets.

A bath, shampoo and grooming, voila, she was beautiful. Her coat and teeth are brushed daily, she sleeps in my bed, under the covers and in the morning wakens me by placing her little paws on my face.

She's become a foxy blond; smart and bossy.

She is still distrustful of people, men in particular. But she has finally begun to play with toys and to trust a few people.

I still miss my Cosmo but how lucky I am to have found this special girl, my little treasure who sticks to me like glue.

Roz Katz
Apache Jct, AZ

A Big Baby!

When we arrived at the Puppy Adoptathon at our local shelter, we saw 50+ puppies running, playing, tumbling, wrestling in the play area. Near the fence on the far side sat a 9 month old with drooping head and all of her bones sticking out. My husband immediately went to her, picked her up gently and held her in his arms. It was obvious that she had had rough treatment - beaten and starved. She looked at him for a moment, put her paws around his neck and tucked her head under his chin. Skye Elizabeth and Fergie Anne (one of the tumbling, wrestling, running group)came home with us that day over 9 years ago. Great Girls!

Leslie Ballard
Terre Haute, IN

Lokje, our Big Bad Girl

This is Lokje. We found her when looking for a Mal puppy on Petfinder. She was an owner-surrender named Sheba at the time, and she was 15 months old. My husband fell in love and applied to adopt her, and the next day we drove the 150+ miles to Indiana to get her, taking our other large puppy along to ensure compatibility. Of course she came home with us! She's been with us for 7 months. She has a LOT of bad habits that we are working to break, but we wouldn't give her up for the world. (Chewed cupboards and torn out plants can be replaced, after all.) The kitten? She and he have been together since he was born (his Mother was a rescue, too) and he's nursing on her!

Kathy Lentz
Midland, MI
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