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When Tom Met Sara

Tom Mylar was a man in need of a senior dog. Some may wonder why anyone would “need” a senior dog, but for Tom, it was all about balance. He’d just lost Dawson, the senior dog he’d adopted a few years ago from the St. Louis Senior Dog Project. Now he was down to his two younger dogs, and things just didn’t feel right.

“There was a void in my household with just the two younger dogs. I needed an older dog to provide some balance.” Tom explains what he means by “balance” in this context. “Perhaps it’s a sense of maturity, of greater contentment, of wisdom even – hard to say.”

Tom also has a soft spot for senior dogs and figures he always has room for at least one. He’d already loved and lost two senior dogs from the St. Louis Senior Dog Project. Now he was back to look for another.

Sara was a plain black dog with a grey muzzle. She’d spent most of her nine years at the end of a chain with only a shed for shelter. Now she was safe in a foster home, learning about a new way of life, a life of comfort and love. Sara had survived her past; now she needed a future.

We brought Sara to her first adoption event not expecting much. We just hoped the situation wouldn’t be too stressful for her.

Then Tom met Sara.

As for the balance Tom wanted, he says, “Sara provides it. Having come from a situation where she was forced to find comfort sleeping within a woodshed at night, Sara seems to really appreciate where she is now. She wags her tail a LOT. She is quite content and happy. And thanks to Sara, so am I.”

Ellen Ellick
St. Louis, MO

Bourbon finds his home

A few years ago a beautiful orange cat started hanging around our home. This cat would wander by the back door and look in. He would spend a couple of hours laying in the back yard. At night he would sometimes visit and meow but wouldn't let us near him. On our next shopping trip, my husband wanted to pick up a can of cat food. The next time the cat came around we gave him the food and he promptly moved in. At the time we had 3 large dogs. My husband didn't think dogs and cats could live together. Bourbon (as he has been named because of his color) proved my husband wrong.

Los Angeles, CA

Butter & Sugar

2 years ago a friend's JRTs had puppies. My husband stopped by to borrow a tool and seen the 6 week old puppies outside in the heat, it was about 95 and rising and very humid.

There in a tiny cage was 3 puppies and their mom. Trapped in a small dog house with a wire cage around the entrance to the dog house door. There was only room for their water bowl, so they were constantly walking in it. We felt horrible for them and adopted Butter. We didn't realize that puppies could have pimples on their tummies so that is why we chose her, she didn't have the little red bumps all over her.

After her vet visit, Butter was given a clean bill of health. After another visit to this friends house 2 weeks later, Sugar (the runt) came home. The mother and remaining sister picked on and tortured her so she was living in the house. After many medical emergencies with Sugar; both dogs are happily 2 years old, healthy, and very happy. Sugar grew into her paws and Butter grew into her ears! Sugar now is actually taller and heavier than Butter!

The friends have since quit breeding and no longer have Butter and Sugar's parents; other animals are still on the property though. We recently saw 2 of the other puppies, they looked horrible. I'm glad our girls got the better deal and I pray for their siblings to get into a loving, caring family like ours. Needless to say I'm so happy to have both of them with us!

Kim B
Decatur, IL

I don't do little puppies....usually....

All five of my dogs are rescues, but I usually get them after they've grown out of the cute puppy stage, when they get gangly and rowdy and people 'don't know what to do with them'...USUALLY...until about a month or so ago. I was standing in my front door, noticed a truck drive down the road, briefly slow down, drive on and then heard the most BLOOD CURDLING puppy screams. I rush to the sound and find a 10 week old puppy lying in the ditch desperately trying to climb the embankment to get away but not being able to use her hind legs. After several attempts (and a few teeth wounds to my hands) I finally scoop her up, take her home, let her calm down, inspect her wounds and discover there's nothing life threatening - her legs were just scrapped up-or so i initially thought. Her name is Kirby and she is now the darling of the dog pack, the other five dogs (my four plus one I'm fostering for a soldier in Afghanistan) play with her like she is a big dog (they all weigh 55+ lbs, she weighed in at 14 lbs at her last vet visit) but yet are so gentle with her you'd think THEY were her parents. She's going to have to have surgery on one of her hips when she gets a little older but it hasn't stopped her from running and playing and being the sweet little pup she was always meant to be. She's my newest sweetheart and melts the hearts of every person she meets!

Mari Coonley
Tellico Plains, TN

Petite and Pawly

After 3 years of being petless, word got around to the mice in our area and they began moving in. Something had to be done! Petite (gray) and Pawly (calico) came into our lives from the local animal shelter. Pawly is polydactyl, thus the name. The first day they met was the day we brought them home. Petite, although 3 years old, is smaller than Pawley who is 1, but insists on mothering Pawly, keeping her face and ears squeaky clean. Although it took a few months for them to be completely comfortable with us and their new forever home, none of us can imagine life without each other now. They continually entertain us with their playful antics. We look forward to many delightful years with them.

Norwood, CO

Grandma Miley

As a cat rescue and adoption volunteer I see alot of sad stories. But when Miley's plight popped up on our message board I knew I had to do something. Found wandering the streets at 16 years old with little- to no teeth, all skin and bones, her long fur dirty and matted, and completely blind from cataracts, the shelter immediately put Miley on the euthanize list and her days were numbered. But because she was so sweet and affectionate, the shelter volunteers immediately sent out an SOS. And I responded. With the help of my fellow volunteers, Miley was taken to my vet and pronounced "very healthy for her age". Miley is now living her golden years here in our home. Her pretty long coat is growing back after she was shaved. She purrs up a storm and loves giving head butts. She never ceases to amaze us and continues to puzzle our other resident cats!

Page Valgora
Haddonfield, NJ

Bellie-An Angel from Rocket Dog Rescue

In January our 10 year old pit bull, LuLu died of lymphoma. We were devastated. Without LuLu pattering around the house, we were lost.

We had heard good things about "Rocket Dog Rescue of San Francisco. My partner searched Rocket Dog's website for available dogs and suggested we spend time with some of Rocket Dog's available dogs to see how it felt to be around other dogs again.

I agreed and two weeks later we met "Princess". Princess was busy chasing after bugs when we met her for the first time. However, thanks to Janet from Rocket Dog, we arrived armed with Princess' favorite dog cookies. When Princess caught a whiff of cookies, she relaxed and came over to meet us. After a couple more cookies, Princess flopped over on my feet obviously-blatant hint for a belly rub.. The rest of the day was spent getting to know Princess. She became a member of our family after that meeting and there's never been a dull moment since.

It didn't take long to realize that Princess was not aptly named. No princess airs by this pup!. She is whirlwind of energy-inquisitive, fearless, nosy, full of heart, yes all of those things. And, always eager to flop on the nearest feet for a belly rub too! That's how Princess became "Bellie": her favorite past time-receiving belly rubs. We love Bellie and are thankful to Rocket Dog Rescue for saving her from a certain death by rescuing her from a high kill shelter. Without Rocket Dog Rescue's dedicated volunteer staff, we would not have this sweet girl that we love so much. Adopt a rescue! Save a life and fill your own life with the love of a shelter animal.

Cotati, CA

DD and Shadow

My husband found DD, a golden mix, roaming around at the shipyard where he worked. She was about 8 weeks old, covered with paint, dirt and fleas. None the less, she was a cute little fur ball and needed a home. He fed her, gave her water and she rode around with him the rest of the day. That was 11 years ago. Eight years ago he received a call from a friend who told him he knew of a german shepherd pup that only had a few days to live at a local kennel. He went to the kennel and met Shadow. He had been abandoned by his owner and the kennel owner said he couldn't afford to keep feeding him so he was going to put him down. He had been kept in a cage for over 4 months. He was underweight, his paw pads were raw and he was fairly aggressive. It took a few months for bonding to take place, but it was worth it. They have been a joy. Owning an animal is hard work if done correctly, however, the rewards are endless.

Virginia Beach, VA


We wanted another dog to join our rescue Lab mix Kida. At an Albuquerque adoption fest our eyes settled on an active little puppy abandoned by people who refuse to spay and neuter. We named him ZEUS....and nothing else fits. He recently underwent surgery. I am staying up with him as I write this at 3:40am....His big sister Kida is helping too. There is nothing we won't do to give this playful character a happy "forever home".

John W Cassell
Rio Rancho, NM

Bella's story

RIP Bella...

Bella came to our "Give a Dog a Home" rescue scheme when a member of the public saw her wandering,looking for scraps of food in bins,and called us.She had not covered much distance on her shaky legs by the time we arrived to collect her.We found a female terrier X of indeterminate age, weighing 7.4 kg, about half the average weight for her breed and size,with untreated mammary tumours, almost complete loss of sight and hearing loss.

Bella was with us for only five months. After a time, we ceased to notice her frail legs, barely supporting the tiny, fleshless body. Her daily walks were defined by little leaps of joy, grateful of the attention we lavished on her, eyes bright and responsive despite her milky-white blindness.

There were so many questions that Bella could not answer. We wanted to know the history of evident abuse that had led to her present state.

Eventually we located Bella's owners who were disinterested in both her welfare and her return.As the companion of a deceased family member, Bella's needs were ignored by the surviving husband and adult son. Neighbours provided the details of her tragic life.Literally 'turned-out' to fend for herself following her companion's death, Bella slept outdoors in all weathers on a thread-bare hessian sack and, infrequently fed,survived by scavenging for scraps...

During the final days we shared with her, we watched hopelessly as Bella weakened; she now waited,immobile within her blankets, signaling with a small tail wag for our attention.

We prepared for her death as for a wake, inviting those who had

contributed to the final five months of Bella's life and had been in turn inspired by her unconquerable ability to extend trust despite the abuse she had suffered. They all needed to say goodbye...

Rheya Linden
Melbourne, Australia
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