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The Girl Who Stole Our Hearts

Our story starts in September 2011. We unexpectedly had to put a beloved pet to sleep. After our hearts started to heal, we decided to look into adopting another rescue dog. We scoured petfinder.com for weeks and weeks. One late Friday night, this adorable puppy's eyes just called to us, we had to meet her, we had to have her. She was listed through Last Day Dog Rescue from Livonia, Michigan. Her name was Sonoma and she was listed as approximately 7 weeks old. We filled out the online application and were in contact with Sonoma's foster mom. After we passed our vet check and home visit, we got to meet her and bring her home! We had a dog tag made with her new name Daphne ready to go! When we picked her up, we learned about her story. She and her brothers were dumped off at a lake to fend for themselves at approximately 2-3 weeks of age. She had a lot to overcome when we first got her. She had coccidia, giarida and demodex mites. She lost a lot of fur around her eyes and on her nose. She never complained when it came time to take her medicines several times a day. We learned quickly that she was younger than we thought but is she smart! She mastered sit, stay and down in a matter of weeks. She has grown into a 1 year old dog who is happy all the time, people say seems to smile, listens well, loves people and other dogs and is just as sweet as they come. Even after a rough start, she has such a strong spirit! We can not imagine our lives without her! Thank you LDDR!!

Jill Smigielski
Fenton, MI

Penny the not so Perfect Pup

Sweet Penny was taken in as a stray by Acadiana Humane Society in Sunset Louisiana, 70584. She had a terrible cough and was slightly under weight. Her teeth were in pretty bad shape. We were thinking it was kennel cough or worse, heart worms. We took her to the vet to have her checked and assess her over all health. She was heart worm negative and did not have kennel cough but was diagnosed with a heart condition. Penny was spayed and had a dental. We were hoping by having her teeth cleaned and the bad ones removed it would help her little heart but we soon found out that without the proper medication Penny would surely die. She would need to be on medication for the rest of her life. We really didn't think we would find Penny a loving home because not many people want a not so perfect dog. But Scott and Julaine came into Petco, saw Penny and fell in love instantly. They could see beyond the heart condition and knew she deserved a second chance. It has been almost a year since they adopted her. They have taken Penny into their home and hearts and have given her the best home we could have ever hoped for. Penny is now on 3 medications a day to help her heart function properly and is happy and healthy in her new home. She has another Chihuahua to play with. She loves to chase lizards on the patio, sun herself in the yard and best of all be a Daddy's girl. Penny is the perfect example of what a loving home can do for a not so perfect pup. It turned out that Penny was the PERFECT pup for Scott and Julaine

Andrea Mire
St. Martinville, LA

Sherbert

I was looking through craigs list last May and saw a post asking for someone to adopt a tiny orange blind kitten. I really struggled with the decision to adopt this special needs kitten. Did I have it in me? I decided to wait a day to see if someone else would adopt her. I called the next day and the woman said I was the first to respond, so I went and picked her up. I was startled to say the least when I saw her, she literally had no eyes at all. She did have spunk though. I tended to Helen day and night for several days, then she just started going downhill. I took her back to the vet and we decided it would be best to "let her go". I felt terrible it broke my heart.

A few days later, the vet called and said she just could not do it, and she had been treating Helen, day and night, and she was starting to thrive. She asked if I wanted to come get her tomorrow. I said yes of course. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. The next day I was getting ready to leave the house to get Helen when the vet called to say she had just suddenly passed. My heart was broken all over again.

I was at church four weeks later and I got a text from my husband saying a tiny orange kitten showed up on our porch. I firmly believe the kitten was a gift from God. To have another little female orange kitten appear out of nowhere could not be a coincidence. We named her Sherbert. She immediately fit right in with our other fur babies. She healed my heart.

Karen Sandifer
Moss Point, MS

A Little Bird That Could

Like other pets, our bird companions sometimes get lost, but it often seems that the fate of a bird is all but hopeless--especially when lost in the mouth of a hawk! Hopeless, that is, unless it's a bird like Austin, a little cockatiel who proved that you don't need to be the 'king of the jungle' to have the heart of a lion.

His body a mere 8 inches long, Austin came to the attention of Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue volunteers after he was seen making a crash landing in a San Jose, California, USA backyard. Sometime after getting outside his home, Austin had been caught and carried off in the beak of a hawk. The hawk was flying with the little bird in its mouth when Austin made a decision. Mid-air, this 8 inch cockatiel, refusing to give up, fought with all his strength until the hawk actually opened its mouth and let go. Austin helicoptered down, crashing into the grass below.

Having watched what happened, a kind person made contact with Mickaboo volunteers who responded immediately, rushing a critically injured Austin to an avian vet for medical attention urgently needed for the multiple wounds he suffered.

With time, one person's compassion, and a quick rescue by volunteers, Austin's injuries healed. Not only did he recover from his ordeal (getting lost, then carried off by a hungry hawk), Mickaboo helped find a forever family that adopted him. His family reports that Austin is a happy little guy who embraces life, often singing for minutes on end without stopping so much as to take a breath. An enormous courage in a small package, Austin reminds us that no matter how terrible the circumstances, when all seems lost, don't give up hope and never stop trying.

Eva-Lynne Carlson
San Jose, CA

AN INTERVIEW WITH COFFEE AND HIS MOM

I’m Coffee the German Shepherd. Mine is a rags-to-riches story: I was a thin, abandoned pup and found a home. In return, my parents say, I’ve been a treasure in their life through the quiet, unassuming power of my personality and wisdom.

“When Coffee was about six,” mom Lisa recalls, “we learned that our neighbors - some of whom had only heard about him – called him ‘The Mayor’. He has long been revered here as being special and unique; he has this magical ability to capture everyone’s heart. He’s no trickster; he’s a healer…”

I was only 4 months old but I remember my travel crate opening at the airport. I rushed to my parents with huge kisses, ignoring everyone else around. Ten years later they still can’t imagine how I knew them! Anyway, to distract them from asking me about it I did a ‘California Pee’: it lasted about a minute (gosh, I’d waited all the way to Florida!).

“From day one Coffee has been amazing in every way; his goodness and thoughtfulness combines with an innate sense of right and wrong. He has never done anything ‘wrong’ or destructive. The FIRST time he had to go outside he walked up to the door and pawed it as if knocking. No training needed!”

Mom forgot to say that I once allowed a kitten to burrow into my fur and sleep. As to the opossum intruder into my back yard, I knew he meant no harm so I simply went and sat by him.

“We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Give me a lever, a place to stand, and I’ll move the world.’ For us it’s ‘Give me a dog like Coffee and I will show you my blessed and restored life,” Lisa concludes.

Aurora Franz
Newcastle, WY

Freeing Peanut!

There sat a sweet, cute little pup staring into the camera. He was scared. His deep brown eyes said it all. "What did I do wrong?!" We knew we couldn't let him die in the gas chamber. With the help of Animal Aid for Vermilion Area our Peanut was pulled and into temporary foster until we could get transport arranged to us. On a very cold, wintry day this past January, my husband, myself, our 4 year old daughter, and 2 year old son waited anxiously at the local airport for his volunteer pilot to bring him to us. We heard a pilot on the radio. It was our Peanut's pilot! They were landing! Soon, they taxied in and the pilot opened his door. Peanut immediately hopped down, and ran over to love on us all. How can such love and life and hope and forgiveness live in one little 11 pound body? We don't know. But it does! That scared little puppy is one happy little boy now! He sleeps curled up next to our little girl each night, and is the most playful and joyous pup we could ever hope for. He runs and leaps around our yard like a miniature deer while barking and chasing the squirrels up into trees. He's the best friend we could hope for our kids to ever have. He is going to teach them all about life as they grow up. Their relationship is the type movies are made of. And that is what we have always wanted for them. We may have only changed one life ourselves that day, but Peanut has changed four lives since he has been here. We are all better people because of him! And we believe that ALL dogs possess that gift for humans!

Amy Koenig
Terre Haute, IN

Rolling Into Our Hearts

These days, it’s depressing to watch the news. It’s a cynical time, and too often, the news contains a cart-full of bad news. But in the case of a news story out of Cabot, Arkansas, an inspirational little pup rolled his way into the hearts of people all around the United States.

Grimmy, a year-old Shih Tzu, was a matted, dirty mess when he was found on a Cabot road. But a bath could fix that. The biggest problem? Grimmy’s back was broken. He couldn’t walk, move his legs, or wag his tail. According to Mike Wheeler, the Cabot Animal Services Supervisor, he had probably been hit by a car.

So what makes this little rescue special? Even with a broken back, Grimmy had “more heart” than Mike had ever seen. Grimmy didn’t complain when the shelter shaved and bathed him, and he just seemed to want to survive. Mike refused to give up on the little fur-ball. He just needed a plan.

Through a lot of research and a little luck, Wheeler found a company in Washington State who makes mini wheel chariots for dogs and cats. Mike sent in Grimmy’s measurements, and the company sent Grimmy a new outlook on life, completely free.

According to Mike, Grimmy acted like he had been connected to the cart his whole life. He took off, running, and then immediately backed up when he got into a corner.

Thanks to local reporter, Adam Rodriguez, the story moved faster than Grimmy. The Lawson family from Connecticut fell in love with this little dog and called Cabot to adopt him. Soon, Grimmy flew to Connecticut to meet his forever family. They were all smiles to meet their new little addition with the big heart!

Thanks to the Cabot Animal Shelter

Cabot, Arkansas 72023

Roberta Calhoun
Cabot, AR

Scooby, the multi-personality beagle

Scooby doesn't know if he's a beagle, thoroughbred racing horse, cat, or fish. He spends much of his day displaying traits of each animal: sniffing out any crumb of food left on the floor, racing around his yard and leaping over the one-foot fences that surround his human's garden, trying to catch a laser light with his cat siblings, and swimming laps in the pool with his people. It's a truly amazing sight to see this sweet boy display such feats of athleticism when you consider the fact that at this time last year, he had his back left hip socket replaced.

When our boy was rescued by the Almost Home Foundation (located in Elk Grove Village, IL., USA), they generously provided him with the surgery to fix his broken hip, which was caused by a car accident and left to heal incorrectly without any proper vet care. An AHF foster family took great care of him post-surgery and helped him become the athletic dog he is today. When we adopted him, his "foster mom" accompanied us to vet appointments to help us understand his treatment and rehabilitation.

Now the only remaining sign of any previous injury is displayed when he helps train his humans for running races: If he wants to make us go even faster, he holds up his rear left leg and hops like a rabbit. Scooby might look like a beagle, but he's happiest when he's acting like an array of different animals.

Jenna Y
Glendale Heights, IL

Penny

Sweet Penny was taken in as a stray. She had a terrible cough and was slightly under weight. Her teeth were in pretty bad shape. We were thinking it was kennel cough or worse, heart worms. We took her to the vet to have her checked and assess her over all health. She was heart worm negative and did not have kennel cough but was diagnosed with a heart condition. Penny was spayed and had a dental. We were hoping by having her teeth cleaned and the bad ones removed it would help her little heart but we soon found out that without the proper medication Penny would surely die. She would need to be on medication for the rest of her life. We really didn't think we would find Penny a loving home because not many people want a not so perfect dog. But Scott and Julaine came into Petco, saw Penny and fell in love instantly. They could see beyond the heart condition and knew she deserved a second chance. It has been almost a year since they adopted her. They have taken Penny into their home and hearts and have given her the best home we could have ever hoped for. Penny is now on 3 medications a day to help her heart function properly and is happy and healthy in her new home. She has another Chihuahua to play with. She loves to chase lizards on the patio, sun herself in the yard and best of all be a Daddy's girl. Penny is the perfect example of what a loving home can do for a not so perfect pup.

Andrea Mire
St. Martinville, LA

Scruffy Mutt to Pampered Pooch

Jasper was rescued from the pound and brought to a no-kill shelter, Stonecliffe Animal Rescue (located in Lemoore, CA) at the young age of 7 months. Looking at the picture, it may seem hard to believe he spent 4 months at the shelter. But he had some attitude. He barked and growled at other dogs, picked fights with dogs, and was just plain irritating. Nicknamed “Drama” and “that evil dog”, it’s amazing that he has a loving home.

I had just begun volunteering with Stonecliffe at their adoption events outside a pet supply store when I met Jasper. Initially, I agreed that he was crazy. But just before the dogs were loaded up to return to the rescue, he decided to snuggle with me.

Two weeks later, I had finally won over my family to foster a dog. I chose to foster Jasper. He became a totally different dog, and the whole family loved him. He had zero problems with other dogs. Almost perfect, he nearly became a permanent resident. But then, Jasper found a loving home with a friend, and it was obvious it was a match. When they first met, it was love at first sight. The next day, when his future owner came back to visit, he went crazy. He was more excited to see her than me- his primary caretaker.

Despite having a rough first year of life, he is now pampered relentlessly, and will continue to be for many years to come! None of this would have happened if Stonecliffe had given up on him, and the money will go towards their expansion project, which includes a maternity ward for whelping dogs, more kennels, and potentially a play area.

Lindsey Fletcher
Danville, CA
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