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Best Cure for a Broken Heart

I adopted this adorable munchkin on the spur of the moment. It turned out to be just the day before my beautiful Chocolate Lab, Holly Berry, died unexpectedly of a heart attack at only 5 1/2 years old. She was the picture of health - strong, slim, went on 45 minute walks every day - then gone. The vets think it was just a genetic defect, as the necropsy showed nothing obvious. She just lay down on the driveway, and died, a peaceful expression on her face.

I had such a feeling of angst when I adopted him, as I thought my boyfriend would be mad at me for bringing a fourth animal into a small house (though with a huge yard), but he was the last one unadopted at the shelter's van at the farmers' market, and his sweetness won me over.

I think death is hardest on those left behind when there is no time to prepare for the loss... it seems the hole is bigger and harder to fill. But this little guy - named Buddy Holly in memory of the most precious friend a girl could hope to have - has been my life saver. If I hadn't had him after Holly died, I don't know what would have happened. But he's made me get out of bed when I didn't feel like breathing, and laugh when I felt like crying. He loves his Bubba and his Annie, too - both adult rescue kitties, as well. We're one big happy family trying to soldier on without our Holly girl.

Susanne P
Lakewood, CO

Lola (a.k.a. Velcro)

My husband and I adopted Lola 3 years ago from a rescue shelter after our first rescue cat died suddenly. We went there to look at a Siamese we had seen on for this shelter, but when we got there, they could not find the cat we wanted to see (I think she may have been hiding somewhere, sleeping). While we were in the adult cat room, Lola came up to us from no where and attached herself to our ankles and wouldn't leave. So we finally gave up on seeing the Siamese we'd planned to probably get and took Lola home since she had adopted us. I have never seen a cat who needs so much attention and wants to be held so much! She is also a very sweet girl and loves to tease the 2 dogs we have adopted since. When she is sweet-talked, she rolls around, being cute and coy, and at night, she likes to sleep with her head on my pillow, facing me. If anyone wanted a sticky, molasses type cat, she's the one!

Bonners Ferry, ID

18 years ago

"I was thrown out of a car window 18 years ago, while traveling down a local interstate. Someone was kind enough to stop and pick me up. They brought me to a local foster group, who in turn brought me to a big pet food store hoping someone would adopt me. To my surprise, I found myself on someone's lap with much discussion on what my name should be. I was soon called Mulligan."

"For the past 18 years I have had annual vet visits (much to my chagrin), heartworm pills,(in hot dogs!!), great food, laps, sunbeams for naps, rabbits to chase, balls to fetch, and lots of hugs."

Adopting a dog that someone else thinks is trash can change a life. Not only theirs, but yours. We know we won't have Mulligan for much longer. Eighteen years is a long time to expect to have someone as sweet as our Mulligan, but we wouldn't trade one minute of our time with her. Looking for someone to bring you joy for 18 years? Stop by your local pound this weekend. We guarantee you'll find what you are looking for. By the way, how many of you reading this have been married for 18 years? The great thing about a dog is - they love you unconditionally!

bath, OH

Who was given the greatest gift?

After much thought, I decided to adopt a kitten from a local shelter to add to the "family" here. Upon seeing little Elf's picture, I had to give him a try, even though he was past that cute kitten stage. He was found in very bad shape as a kitten, had surgery to remove a polyp and was left with only a rusty sound for a voice. He became fast friends with my other cats, even allowing them to snuggle with him when they were cold. He has since found his voice, albeit with a pronounced accent, and wakes me up every morning with his MEEERRR. Don't overlook an older cat or one with past medical issues. They have a LOT of love to share!

Gwen Cox
Petersburg, WV

Maggie May will Always be with us

I was looking for a large dog to adopt and went to our local no-kill shelter looking for a beautiful guy I saw on Petfinder named Corbin. As luck would have it, he happened to be at an adoption event right across the street from my house instead of the shelter 20 miles away! I figured, while I was there, I'd look at some other dogs and was blessed to have found Maggie May.

She was instantly my best friend and in time became such a big part of my life, it felt like she replaced my heart. She was a big baby, carrying her stuffed animals around and being frightened by thunderstorms - even hiding behind my legs to bark at strangers. She saw me through a divorce, cross-country move, the death of 2 grandparents and my mother. Sadly and after a courageous battle, she succumbed to cancer in September of 2009. Even though I miss her every minute I wouldn't trade a day that I was lucky enough to have her in my life.

Please adopt a shelter dog! You'll never regret it!

Las Vegas, NV

Momma Kitty to the Rescue

Several years ago a friend found Sonshine for me at a local animal rescue and "Sonny" became my sweet companion, and quickly became the "loving mother" to our family of dogs. She took full responsibility for their "kitty" baths and tended to them with loving affection on a regular basis. Unfortunately, tragedy struck and over a period of just a few months, we lost two of our precious companions. Sonny's big heart soon reached across the neighborhood one cold night when she rescued our newest family member. I arrived home from work and found Sonny and a itty bitty baby chihuahua puppy on our back porch. Obvious marks on the back of this adorable puppy's neck proved that Sonny had saved her and carried her to her new home; her tiny little legs could not have climbed up onto our high porch. I found that neighbors had rescued two of her brothers and sisters from the middle of the cold, dark road during the wee hours the previous night. Our adorable little Roxie found protection, shelter and love from a motherly cat. Sonny continues to "mother" Roxie and comes to her rescue at the slightest whimper. We are truly a "rescue family" and enjoy the pleasures shared through all of our family members .. no matter how they find us and no matter who brings them home!

Tam McIntosh
Lipan, TX

Meet Kirby and Zoe

My husband and I were looking for a dog from local rescues, when we came across a picture of Zoe. We couldn't resist her beautiful spotty face. When we went to pick her up we found she had two litter mates also rescued from a kill shelter. One was big and beautiful; the other small, covered in mange and bald patches, and very talkative. We decided we had to take the ugly duckling, as his chances of being adopted seemed far less than his handsome brother. Nine years later, Kirby and Zoe are both happy, healthy, beautiful mutts. Adopting a shelter pet is the best decision you will make.

Daphne Bruemmer
Plymouth, NH

Trap Neuter Release finds home

A little cat roamed the neighborhood for months. One day we found that she had been hiding 4 kittens. A rescue group trapped and took her kittens for adoption, had her spayed and returned her to the neighborhood. She is only about 10 months old and was already adding to the population. She was skin and bones from eating frogs so I started feeding her. A nasty neighbor demanded she be removed. I grabbed her and put her in the bathroom overnight to be sure she would use the litter box. It has only been six days but she no longer runs to get out and is starting to ask her 2 big "brothers" to play.

Carol Singer
North Port, FL

Nellie found the perfect home.

I am a foster for JCCare and help find forever homes for the Japanese Chins. Nellie was one of my recent fosters who came from an elderly couple who could not keep her due to their move to a retirement home. When I went to pick her up from the couple I could see how difficult it was especially for the man who had gotten Nellie as a puppy. I promised him I would take good care of Nellie and find her the perfect new home.

Nellie was very sad for several weeks when I brought her home as a foster. Since she was 8 years old I did expect to find her a home.

One day I took Nellie to the vet and there was a women asking the vet's receptionist about shelters because she wanted to get another dog since her pet had passed away several months earlier. I told the woman I had a foster dog who was wonderful and to make a long story short after meeting the woman's husband Nellie found her forever home again with a wonderful retired couple. You can see the love in the picture of Nellie's new parents.

I have adopted senior dogs in the past and people need to realize what great pets they make.

Gale Rehbein
Barrington, IL

She's been through everything.

We get a call in one day that there was a 2 year old pit mix that was going to be euthanized if we didn't take her. Of course we took her in. Once she arrived we noticed that she had scars all over her body and face, and was missing a portion of her lip. This poor little baby had been dog fighting! But, that didn't change her a bit, she was still the most affectionate doggy! Once we brought her in and set her up, we started to notice that she had a case of kennel cough. Our wonderful vets nursed her back to health, but once her treatment was finished...we found out she was heartworm positive. Everyone at the shelter was heart broken! We started her on her heartworm treatment, and she did awesome. She will finish her treatment the end of July and will be ready to find her forever home. She's been though dog fighting, a bad case of kennel cough, and now heartworms! Her spirits are so high, and she's so loving and greatful.

Krystal Bopst
Baltimore, MD
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