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We've only just begun

On 06-13-10 while driving in Waller County TX, we came across a dog--filthy, sick, frightened and emaciated--barely standing in the center of a busy county road. We scooped him up, gave him water, and headed to an emergency veterinary clinic. Tests showed that along with extreme malnutrition and dehydration, he had non-contagious mange, conjunctivitis, a skin infection, and a significant heart murmur. The vet pronounced him a "proper" (purebred) Boxer and estimated that he was nine months old. He weighed thirty-five pounds---half of normal. Due to the heart murmur, further testing was done from which we learned of serious and irreparable cardiac disease (cardiomyopathy and heart tumors); thankfully he tested heartworm negative.

That day we almost decided to have him euthanized. We chose instead to have our own vet examine him. She indicated that if, over two weeks, he could gain weight and show signs of fur regrowth, he had a chance of surviving.

We decided to give him that chance. He was treated for mange and medicated with antibiotics. We took him home and named him Roadie.

Within ten days, he'd gained sixteen pounds and fur began to grow. Since then, Roadie has continued to receive mange treatments and a "5:00 shadow" has started to cover his body. His heart condition is stable. To lessen the hormonal stress on his heart and extend his life, he was neutered---something the ER vet said Roadie would never survive. Our vet indicates that if improvement continues and is sustained, Roadie could live a happy and loved life of several months to even a few years.

Considering his illness and the hardships he's endured, Roadie is an incredibly friendly, gentle and loving boy. He is, and will now always be, a member of our family and hold a special place in our hearts.

V. Perry
Houston, TX

Unbelievable Story <3

We found Coz on petfinder.com. The picture of him was pitiful, and just a short captian said he hadn't been treated well but was very sweet. My family and I had just lost our previous rescue about a year before and were ready to try it again. One look at his picture, and we knew he was the one. I couldn't wait until the day after Thanksgiving when his rescue lady brought him over from "Saving Saints," in Michigan. She went on to tell us one of the worst stories I had ever heard. They found Coz, a beautiful pure bred French Mastiff in a junk yard. A dog of his breed and age should weigh around 140 lbs. He weighed in at about 40. A sheriff deputy found him and said that Coz "fell into his arms." They brought him in and found that he had been shot in the face, and still has a large scar on his cheek that will never go away. His hip had been fractured and left to heal on it's own. He was in bad shape, but everyone that he met from the sheriff on just fell in love with him. After hearing his story and meeting him, I knew that he would never have to live that life again. And he has been the biggest, sweetest, most cuddly & slobbery love that we or any of our family and friends has ever met. At first he would cower when I would get the broom out to sweep. Now, he hardly notices. He is content to lay on the couch with his girls and my husband and I. He's part of our family now, and we are all better off because of it.

Becky McCallum
Vernon, MI

Challenging sure, but so worth it!

We adopted Bailey from the Michigan Animal

Rescue League in 1998. She was dumped with her littermates at only 4 weeks. MARL took care of them until they were old enough to be adopted. Bailey has been our most challenging dog to raise, probably due to the tough start to life she had. She's not so great at making new friends.

However, those she knows she loves with all her heart. She is a total character. When it's dinner time she howls beagle style and bounces with enthusiasm, terrible behavior I know. Since there is no stopping it, we have learned to see the charm in it. She kind of walks with a bounce too, like Fat Albert, so we sometimes call her B-bop. She is a fantastic swimmer and super smart. She picks up on any pattern before it really is a pattern. New shoes for walking? Wear them for the first time and she's surprised. Day two, those are walking shoes, let's go!

Rich & Roberta Angelo
Goodrich, MI

From Dakota to ShiShi

My husband had a large white husky and I wanted one of my own as well. I found Dakota whom I have since renamed ShiShi online. She was not yet 1 yrs old, had been tied to a tree her whole life and had just given birth to 6 puppies in the dead of winter. She was a skinny, scared mess. We had to put down my husband's dog so now ShiShi rules the house and is our true fur child. She is funny, quirky, sweet (everyone falls in love with her) and playful - she is a new dog and I would be lost without her. Love you ShiShi!

Laura WB
Duluth, MN

A Home for Baron, Too?

Thanksgiving was bitterly cold, with snow predicted. Another Humane Society of Cherokee County rescuer and I met that afternoon to try rounding up a skinny, abandoned black lab and her eight toddlers I’d been caring for at a vacant mobile home east of town. But they weren’t under the trailer as usual. Mama had stashed her brood in a locked shed full of junk, through an opening too small for humans, on the other side of a barbed wire fence.

What to do? Aha! In my car was the turkey carcass a friend had given me after lunch, thinking my own dogs would like a treat. I scrambled through the fence, tore off a few turkey scraps and tossed them toward the gap. Here came a little nose, then, ever so hesitantly, another and another as I slowly made “Hansel & Gretel trails” to within arm’s length. I grabbed the babies by ones and twos and handed them across the fence. We were freezing and my greasy fingers were numb by the time all pups were loaded and mama realized she had to come as well.

Mama became plump and sleek. She and all but one of her offspring were eventually adopted. That one is Baron, our next-to-longest shelter resident. Shy and fearful, he’s been passed over for years as others come and go. But at last there’s been a breakthrough because of a team who made him a special project, spending untold hours patiently building trust. Each step has been encouraging, such as when he first came forward for a treat, and the first time he sat for several minutes of petting.

Dear, beautiful Baron, we’re not giving up and we know you’re trying. Could there also be a home for you?

Evelyn
Tahlequah, OK

Love; Pure and Simple

I'm trying to find the words to explain what Roman meant to his people, and its a lot harder than I thought it would be. He wasn't a rescue, shelter, or puppy mill dog, he was well cared for and wanted from the moment of his conception, and the first and only litter his mother would have. Maybe this means I shouldn't be posting here, but I believe you'll excuse me for this.

Roman was only with us for 2 1/2 years due to epilieptic seizures that could no longer be controlled with medication, or what we now suspect may have been a brain tumor, but the time that we had with him will be cherished for as long as the hearts he touched are still beating.

"The best way to honor a beloved pet is to love another."

Our handsome baby boy deserves to be honored and he will be. His fur and people family will see to that.

Thank you to Dr. Lore, and the staff at Cliffcrest Animal Clinic for your kindness and support.

J McCluskey
Toronto, ON, Canada

Amy

2008 started off badly for our family. We lost our Jack Russell, illness, and our Chihuahua, old age. So for valentines day I wanted to do something nice for my wife. While browsing through petfinder.com, I discovered a mixed breed Jack Russell/Chihuahua. On Saturday morning we packed up our other 2 dogs and headed to the adoption site. While waiting for this dog, my wife spotted this little Long Hair Chihuahua. It was a lovely dog, but she had some hip problems and she was missing one back paw. My wife declared that no one would adopt this dog, so we would. During the adoption process, we learned that she was dropped off at the closed animal shelter in the middle of the night. One of the workers noticed a little head poking out from a cardboard box on the ground. How can people be so cruel? She has been a lovely addition to our family. At the rescue site, they named her Skitter because she would "skitter" across the floor. It sounded dumb so we named her Amy instead. She still gets around pretty well for her condition. She loves going out with the other dogs for a walk. However she gets to ride in a little pet stroller.

Andrew Koper
Benicia, CA

Tala the BIG "Little Sister"

Tala, (Native American for WOLF) came into our lives on Halloween. We already had a poodle (she was my sweet 16 gift) and knew we had much more love to share since we had no kids (yet). I was browsing Craigslist and found this beauty, wolf/husky\shephard mix and thought she was one of the most beautiful girls in the world. This was the first time I saw her on Craigslist, but the woman from whom we adopted her said that is where she was when she got her :(. My husband and I immediately fell in love with her, she grew attached to my poodle and they are BEST FRIENDS! 'Lil Bit the poodle, rules the roost and the cat, Jack, is the alpha, but they all seemed to fall in love with eachother. When I went out of town and tool 'Lil Bit with me, Tala found a stuffed animal (pictured above) that was similar to little bit and decided to have herself a "baby" she took that thing everywhere for the week, then laid off of it when 'Lil Bit and I came home, but continued to be "momma" until the stuffed animal was no more. I don't know how many times I sewed that toy back together just because she enjoyed it so much.

Without Tala, 'Lil Bit would not have her "Big-Little Sister" who has brought life back into her. She is aging, but there is something about having that girl in her life!!

We love you babies!!!

Love,

Mom & Dad

Kathern Schilling
Centerton, AR

Days of Old

I wanted to get a dog for my son. The local Humane Society told me about a lab mix who was in need of a new home. With my son in tow, we took our red station wagon to pick up the dog. Since the current owner's landlord would not allow the dog in the house, he was tied to a stake in the yard. He was in sad condition covered with mange.

After a brief talk with the owner, we loaded the dog, named, "Cracker" into our car and headed for home. I took the dog to the vets and he gave us some icky orange cream to apply to the mange. After regular applications, Cracker soon appeared much better. The vet was surprised at Cracker's quick recovery. He told me that Cracker was happy in his new home and being under less stress allowed him to get well.

Years later we received our homeowner's association newsletter. I quickly glanced at it and left it on the kitchen table. After a few days, my son and daughter told me that they believed an article in the newsletter was written by the previous owner of Cracker. I read the article again. The lady said that she was suffering guilt over having to give away her. All the previous owner could remember was a lady and her son came to pick up the dog with a red wagon.

I had forgotten about having had a red station wagon. I called the previous owner. She had been driving through our neighborhood hoping to see the dog. Our backyard was fenced so Cracker was never out where she might see him. I assured her that Cracker was well loved and having a happy life. She was delighted Cracker had found a happy ending.

winnie burton
prince frederick, MD

Saving Miss Daisy

Sal was on patrol in Prospect Park when another officer noticed this scared female boxer tied to a chair. She was thin, with a horrible rash around her neck where her collar was. Her previous owner must have had her tied up all the time. She was barking, so the officer went over and gave her a plate of food and water which she happily gulped down. When Sal came over to pet her, she jumped and licked his face. Sal paraded her around the park and announcements were made asking for her owner to come and get her. To no avail. After his tour was over, he called me and told me he was bringing another dog home. We were a little concerned, since we already had another rescue named Max, and were worried if they would get along.

Once home we put Daisy in the back yard and introduced her to Max. Right off she went to attack him. We felt horrible but we didn't want to put Max in a bad situation, so we immediately made phone calls to see if we could get her a home. A lot of people seemed interested, because she was a full breed, but I became very suspicious that people were only looking to breed her for financial gain. During these phone calls Daisy would jump on us and lick our faces, as if to say "NO! Please! Give me another shot! I want to stay here!"

So we looked at each other and decided to try once more to bring out Max and see what happened. Max came out and Daisy and him started playing and chasing each other through the yard. And we knew right then and there that she wasn't going anywhere. She was our new girl.

Flavia Miralles
New York, NY
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