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When I was 11, my terrier mix got hit by a car and killed. It was my first heartbreak. My mom knew what would make me feel better and told me we would save another dog's life so that my dog didn't die without reason. So, we went to the pound and picked out a nice dog. We signed all the paperwork, had a home visit, and got a pickup date. But at the last minute, the old owner claimed the dog! The shelter didn't want to send us home empty-handed, so they recommended a dog that was going to be put to sleep the very next day. We said, of course we'll save her! So we did the paperwork and drove home, with my new dog on my lap. It brings tears to my eyes right now to remember the state she was in then. She was only 17 pounds, skin and bones for a German Shepherd mix. There was a mark around her neck where fur hadn't grown back yet after her collar had grown into her skin. She was shaking, and when she got home I had to coax her to eat. She was aggressive toward men and other animals. But I understood her, and we quickly became best friends. Over the years, I brought her with me wherever I went. We grew up together. When I met my boyfriend, she would not let us lay in bed together. She had to be right in the middle! Later on, when I got pregnant, she knew before I did. She would rest her head on my stomach protectively. Now, Molly is 10 years old, but still as graceful and patient as ever. She is great with our toddler, who's first word was,"woof!" Yes, she was talking to Molly.

Severna Park, MD

Happy ending for a down-on-his-luck kitty

Leo is proof that no cat (or any other animal) is unadoptable because of their condition when come in to a shelter. When Leo first came to his forever home he could barely walk. He had lost most of the fur on his hind quarters and his white paws and belly were grey. He had bordeline frostbite of his paws and an upper respiratory infection. It took nearly 2 years for him to regain his health. Now, nearly six years later he happily shares is home with 4 other rescue cats. Please adopt a hard-luck case – you won’t be sorry!

Grantham, NH

Mister Mojo

I was on an out-of-town excursion and saw Mister Mojo laying in the grass, chained to 2 tires in front of a run-down house in a poorer part of the town. I slammed on my brakes, backed up to take a closer look, and declared that he was the most beautiful dog I'd ever seen.

Two days later, I was passing by the same house and again, he was chained up outside.

I pulled over and was talking through my car window to him when the owner came out. I told her what a beautiful dog I thought he was. She said, "he's for sale." "How much?", I asked. "$20 dollars", she told me. "I'll take him", I exclaimed!

I asked her his name, "we call him Mister", she said.

It took me a couple of days to figure out what I might call him, but I decided on calling him Mister Mojo, because it took some mighty big "mojo" to make me back up and take a second look.

Mister Mojo is very sweet and gentle and has a gray, heart-shaped birthmark on his pink tongue. I take that as a sign that we were meant to be together.

Tina Piper
Columbus, OH

Meggie Baby

"Someone has to love me best," Diane Keaton's character cries in The Birdcage. I looked over at my husband whose two-year-old boxer, Ares, was draped across his daddy's lap where he insisted on giving me the "he's mine" look. "I want a dog who loves me best," I said. My husband agreed it would be great to have a playmate for Ares and we went back to watching the movie. I didn't think too much more about it until he called me into the living room a few days later. "I found the perfect dog for you on" The picture showed a two-year-old boxer/pitbull mix named "Nutmeg." "We won't call her Nutmeg," Jeremy said. "We'll call her Meggie. Meggie Baby." When I picked Meggie up from her foster mother's house, I was told only part of her story. She was half her healthy weight when they found her and she was skittish around men. The rest of her story unfolded a little at a time as we got to know our Meggie Baby. We found if we picked up any object, a hairbrush or a pencil, she would run from us. If we turned on a flashlight, she grew extra legs in her effort to get away. She hated men and growled every time my husband entered the room. It took patience and some training at PetSmart, but she finally learned to trust us completely. Although she loves my husband now, even letting him put her on her back to rub her belly, she's still my dog. She follows me so closely that we've nicknamed her "Secret Service Puppy." I definitely found a dog who will love me best. But, you know what? I love her best, too.

Shelley Decker
Newnan, GA

Rhapsody, the Racing Greyhound

Two years ago, our 11 year old Doberman Pinscher passed away. Last spring, our 12 year old adopted Shepherd mix had to be put down. Needless to say, we were devastated. Our hearts were broken. We decided that there would be no more dogs in our house.

In the fall of 2009, we moved to a retirement village. We were comfortable and happy in our new home, but something was missing. We still had an emptiness in our hearts.

My husband started researching rescue sites on the Internet. He came across a Greyhound rescue in our area. We took a ride there, "just to look". We were greeted by three different Greys in the visitation area. The first one paid no attention to us. The second one was too young, too playful, and too jumpy. The third one walked over to me. She looked right into my eyes and kissed me on the cheek. She was just the right one for us. We brought Rhapsody home with us that day.

Rhapsody is such a joy. She fills the emptiness that we felt, and she mended our broken hearts. After being a racing dog in her earlier days, Rhapsody seems to truly appreciate her forever home.

Trudy Garofalo
Whiting, NJ

The Three Amigos

We adopted Coco and Roxanne when they were 4 months old. I was 14 at the time and super excited because I never had a puppy let alone two puppies. They have brought so much joy these last eight years I couldn't imagine my life without them. Two years ago Dozzer came into our lives. My sister was visiting a friend and this friend couldn't afford to keep him so they were going to shoot him. Luckily for him my sister intervened and brought him home in her new car for a six hour ride. It turned out a seemingly free dog had a lot of problems; mange, fleas, roundworm and tapeworm. He was a mess but we took care of him and an 86 lb dogs ballooned to a 115 lb dog. He was nine months when we got him so he had some growing to do. All my life I never thought I would have two dogs and now I have three, I am still in disbelief. I love how, even the sisters, have their own personalities and I love all of them their own special way. They fit in perfectly with my small, crazy house even though they are three gigantic dogs and I wouldn't change any of it for anything.

Forked River, NJ

Saved From Death Row

My little Raceway's mom was a Balck Lab and her dad was a Mini Dauchsund. She was on death row. She eats with us, sleeps with us and is the most loving little girl. I can't imagine life without her!

mary e seymour
strafford, NH

Finally Home

When I got the call from my own dog's breeder that another fantastic Beauceron was being rescued from a shelter and desperately needed a home, I knew that our home was the right one for him. Viking had been in a "breeding kennel" (aka puppy mill) for 4+ years, kept in a cage, the only contact with people was when they put food in for him. He had no toys, no companionship, and no hope. When they tired of him, they dumped him in a shelter where his story really begins. He was terrified of everyone, unsocialized, teeth worn down to the gum in places from chewing on the bars of his cage...yet something in his warm brown eyes told me there was a wonderful friend in there somewhere. He came to live with us, and slowly the dog he is going to be started to emerge. Viking loves his squeaky stuffed toys, the daily treats, the brushing, the companionship, and most of all the love he gets daily now. His tail wags, his ears are no longer flat against his head, and his eyes twinkle. He has turned into the most affectionate, sweetest, gentlest cuddle puppy you could possibly imagine. To think that this wonderful dog was just thrown away makes me ill, and I am so blessed that he now will live his life in the way he deserves - with me!

Noelle Waller
Bixby, OK

my casey leigh

well my casey leigh is a staffy cross been told she is 2 yrs old, after loosing my 12 year old chihuahua from having him from 6 wks old i thought i would never want to go through all that pain of loosing such a close family member, but after going through a bad time myself i felt i needed a companion and so when i moved into my new home after recovering from an ectopic pregnancy, i decided to start looking for a rescue dog, so i could give my love to something someone that would actually appreciate it, i rescued a alsation whom i named deefer ( d for dog ) after having him with me a day i soon realised he had a prob with his back end and snapped at me, sadly because i have two children i had to take him back that was so hard!! but as i was going the owner of the shelter said we have a staffy cross !! i refused as all the storys you hear are not all good for stafys! but then she said she has a lovely temper,and when they found her she was guarding her owners deceased body,my heart melted and i instantly thought this dog has been through some bad times! the owner also said she has just had an operation and has a scar on her tummy. well me ectopic i thought well i gotta see her,she came running out to me like she had known me forever,we just clicked n been together ever since i wouldnt be without my little girl now x and she is unbelievably clever and so good with the children!!! men are her favourite though but she is a great protector of me and us all.

mandi louise
manchester, United Kingdom

Slave To The Cat

Scratty boy - a cat thats cool -

Like a tiger, no-ones fool.

Eyes are big, purr is loud,

A gorgeous cat, smart and proud!

Every morning, at first light,

Comes to thank me for tea last night.

Like a motor purring free,

Jumps on my bed and nudges me,

I fuss him long and fuss him well,

But when I stop he gives me hell!!

I pick him up like a child

His purrs grow louder, claws are wild.

My face and arms, scratches bear.

My nose? It's full of moulting hair!

When hes ready down he jumps,

Nonchalantly, sniffs my pumps!

From my glass he gladly drinks,

Then down the stairs, he merrily slinks.

Round my legs he twirls and twists,

The meaning of which, I get the jist.

I grab a fork to do his food,

I dont want a Scrat who's in a mood!

He looks at me and rubs my hand,

Which makes me feel really grand,

We have a bond that none will know,

Because we love each other so!

Dale Preece-Kelly
Rugeley, United Kingdom
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