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Old and Honorable

Anker was 12 years old when I took him out of our local kill shelter. No one wanted him because of his age, but I recognized something in him I couldn't put my finger on. His surrender papers said he was a "Sepaleigh" husky. Look up Leonhard Seppala to understand just how marvelous these huskies are and you will find a tale of honor and love. Anker is a silly love-sponge who, in his younger days, ran in the Iditarod. Now he is retired, thank you, and I am glad he is retired with me and my pack. He may be old but there is certainly nothing to suggest that in his behavior! I loved him even before I set eyes on him.

Anonymous
Casper, WY

Giving Lana a better life

I already had one beautiful American short hair cat named CeCe, who was very lovable but a little feisty sometimes. She was always alone, when me and my mom went to school / work, so me and my mom were discussing getting a new cat. I remember there was a house near my old house that breaded cats, so I was thinking that maybe they'd have some cats.

I was with my grandmother (she adores cats) and we were talking about the house that breads cats, and we stopped by the house. It had a lot of wood and nails on the ground. We went inside the house. We saw tons of medium sized cats running around the small house, but no kittens. There were cords running across the small living room and springs hanging out of the couch. I looked around for some kittens. I found the water and food bowls, and there was an ashtray right next to the water bowl! I was in shock! I yelled out the house owners name, but no one came! Well actually, a little black and white kitten that looked about 10 weeks old came and started climbing up my leg. Her purr was louder than an engine, and wasn't she beautiful. I immediately fell in love, as she fell in love with me. Another kitten found my grandmother and raced to her. They had chosen us as their mothers! There was another one, that looked smaller than the others... she was a beautiful black cat. I couldn't stand to leave her there, because I had seen the home they were in and it wasn't going to be loving. So i called my other cat loving grandmother, and she fell right in love with the little black kitten. The owner came home and told us to just take them, because he didn't want to keep them! So without even asking my mom, I brought the little girl home.

Now my Lana has a new home filled with love from me, my mom, and CeCe. 3 beautiful kittens got loving homes that day.

Jackie Higgins
Mount Desert Island, ME

Mattie & Courtney

My now husband and I adopted Mattie (on right) in 2009 as a graduation gift from me to him. We went to Boggs Mountain Animal Shelter in Clayton, Ga and he picked her out. She was 25lbs of pure cuteness. We took her to the pet store to get her bed, bowls, food, etc. Then we took her home and Mattie the terrier became Mattie the terror. She was not house trained, she tore up the house when nobody was home, she tore up her food dish, she broke out of her crate, she scratched up the floor, and on and on and on. I was convinced that we had adopted devil dog and there was a moment in time she almost went back to the shelter. Determined not to give up, we worked with Mattie for a year and a half to break her of all her horrible behavior problems. Bitter apple spray, long walks, and a routine absolutely were absolute necessities. If you have a terror at home, please don't give up. Friends tell me horror stories and we always have one to beat them.

After we had Mattie well behaved, my husband started what I call "lobbying" for a second dog. I did not want another dog. I was convinced that we would end up with another Mattie and I did not want to spend another year training what some would consider an "untrainable" dog. So after a year and a half, I finally broke down when Boggs Mountain came under scrutiny for one of their sponsor programs and they were trying to empty the shelter with adoptions and transports. We went to find an older largish male dog and we came home instead with Courtney, a 1-year-old medium female who had just weaned her puppies. She is a submissive girl which works very well with our head strong Mattie. Courtney has taught Mattie patience and she has taught us all how to love. She sits on your feet, will lick your face all day, and wants to be with us always.

I love our girls!

Sandi Suda
Demorest, GA

An Answer To Prayer

Our 10 year old dog had just passed and my children were heartbroken. We had planned to visit the local shelter and adopt, but my husband called me from work about a month later and said his co-worker was getting rid of a Terrier mix puppy, about 6 months old, that was in her care temporarily. She said that it was a friend's dog that she got from a friend and couldn't keep her. Long story short, she had never had a "Home" and no one wanted her and was going to be dropped off at the pound that night if we didn't take her. I told my husband to pick her up and bring her home as soon as he got off of work. We named her Gypsy, we found that it was a fitting name as she'd never stayed in one place too long. We were her 5th and forever home! After her initial vet visit, he said she was only about 5 months old at the time! She's had separation anxiety issues at first, which I think is normal given her circumstances, but is totally over that now. We've had her now for over 3 years and she's the sweetest thing ever. She was truly an answer to our prayers, as she's given so much love and loyalty to my children, and us too! I don't know what I would do with out her! She's even played the role of momma to another pup we adopted from a similar situation!

Jenny Alessi
TEMPLE CITY, CA

Ziggy made me a dog person

My wife had wanted to get a dog for some time but not really being a dog person, I always had an excuse. On April 1st a few yrs ago our sister in-law sent us us a photo of a cute dog they had just found running in and out of traffic. I thought it was an April fools joke. He was very regal and sweet looking but I did'nt want a dog. 12 hours later and many photos later, I felt this lil guy would make my wife so happy and he needed a home so I told her to go get him if she wanted. I got home at 2 am and as I walked in there was this little bundle of love just looking at me, I was now a dog person. He is so smart and loving, just always wanting to say Hi and make everyone and everything feel good. He has raised our new kitten, also a rescue, and greets us with a smile every time we come in the door. Two years later he is my sweet boy, my wife sometimes accuses me of stealing him but his is our and we are his. Thank you Ziggy..

David
LOS ANGELES, CA

No looking

About a year ago we had to say good bye to our oldest cat. She passed away in the night of heart failure. She was my wife's snuggle buddy and would be missed terribly. That left us with two cats Dot and Patches and we decided that was enough. That was until one day at the pets store where we met Rosie. The no kill shelter at the local Air Force base brings cats to the store to be adopted. On that weekend a little fur ball caught my attention. The Shelter worker took her out of the cage and she immediately started her motor and was so friendly. We petted her and said thanks and went home. The problem was we could not forget her, and within an hour we drove back to the store to but the adoption people had left already. We filled out an application and it was sent on. We waited a week before we got the call we had been approved.

That Friday they showed up with Rosie and she wanted out of that carrier right now. She climbed out an went right over to my wife and snuggled and purred. We knew right then we had made the right decision. Rosie then proceeded to let the rest of the house know she was there. She went off tail held high to explore. When she would pass one of the other cats she would give them a growl as to say " I am here to stay and I will be in charge" That would fly for about two weeks. Then one day as she passed Dot and gave her a growl, Dot reached out and gave Rosie a smack. This was her way of saying " I was here first." That was the first and only smack and we are all now one big happy family. Rosie is my wife's new snuggle bug and that makes them both very happy.

Hiram Withers
Lancaster, CA

I adopted him but he saved me!

Transitioning from high school to college was hard for me for a handful of reasons. My sophomore year I transferred back towards home to a community college in Louisville, KY. With only going to school two days a week I had a lot of spare time on my hands so I started volunteering at the Heart Humane Society. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I got to meet two amazing individuals who ran the animal shelter in their backyard with only help of volunteers. My cousin and I went there every Friday and split the duties. I cleaned the inside kennels of small dogs and cats while she cleaned the outside kennels of medium to large dogs. One day we pulled in and went our separate ways to begin cleaning and feeding when I spotted the curliest, furriest dog. I immediately was drawn to his spunk and happiness. I asked about him and they just said they didn’t have a reason but just dropped him off. I tried to get my entire family and some friends to adopt him. Everybody thought he was going to be a big dog because being so furry it looked like he was huge for only being nine months. After constantly begging for people to adopt him, I finally did. We quickly realized that his previous owners left him alone a lot and he developed severe levels of anxiety. Over the course of three years he has improved tremendously and has wrapped all of my family around his little paw! Remie has helped me through a lot in life and I don't know where I would be without his puppy love.

There is no love like the love of an adopted pet.

Peace. Love. Adopt.

Kayla
Leavenworth, IN

Simba

In September of 2013 at about 6:630 pm my 13 yr old daughter and I were walking to a doctors appointment and the street we were on was a busy Main street which see's alot of traffic. On the way back at about 7:30-8:00 pm it had gotten alot colder out side, we were walking along the same street we had gone down an hour earlier when we heard a noise, we stopped talking and stood there listening for a few minutes, the noise stopped, we got a few feet away and it started again but louder. It was like a low squeaking noise so we walked back to the spot and waited to see what it was. We seen a grocery bag behind a steel gate in between two building's. My daughter checked to see if the gate was unlocked and it was she went and looked in the bag, and the look on her face when she looked at me and handed me this cold tiny little kitten we looked around for more kittens there wasn't any. I took it and put it in my sweater and we walked home. When we got home I checked him out, his ears were still closed, eye's just starting to open and he still had part of his umbilical cord. So we got a small box, a comfy warm blanket, and a hot water bottle and made a warm soft bed for him. Got some kitten formula and an eye dropper and fed him. The size of Simba when we found him, he could actually just fit in the palm of my hand.

C. Springstead
Hamilton, ON, Canada

She chose US!

In February 1996, after a messy divorce, we discovered one of our two cats had somehow slipped out and was missing. We searched for him in vain for 6 days, and my sons were heartbroken. Finally we decided to check the local humane shelter on the off chance that someone had found him and brought him in. Sadly, Scout was not there, but we admired all the kitties anyway. As I turned to leave, I felt something on my shoulder. I turned around to find that a young tortoiseshell had reached out through the cage and put her paw there. That was all she wrote, and Precious came home with us! (Scout came back 3 days later, so this story had TWO happy endings!)

Tig-Tig and Scout (the 2 other kitties we had then) have since gone to the Rainbow Bridge (one at age 19, the other at 15 1/2), but Precious is still with us, charming us daily with her love and "catitude!" She will be 19 this spring (2014). Oh, and we have since rescued another cat, also, who had been at the humane society for 18 months. Miss Precious is not real happy with us (even though that was 3 years ago), but she tolerates him!

The picture above is recent -- taken in September, 2013. My "mature" little girl still likes to try her begging tactics when someone is eating!

Anonymous
Monroe, WI

Oscar Mayer

2002: we had lost 3 of 4 of our pack in 18 months, and noticed that our elderly schnauzer was acting depressed. We started looking online and found Oscar. He was a 10 pound mini Dachsie, and because he had seizures that required daily medicines, the rescue group was having a hard time placing him. We fell in love with his picture and made a leap of faith and started the adoption process.

Oscar Mayer was a 10 pound dog with 50 pounds of personality. He loved everyone he met. I volunteered for a local clinic and would bring him with me. He would go person to person, rolling over for belly rubs and kind words, and thanking those who responded with a bark and kisses. The feeling in the waiting room, which could be depressing, would lighten thanks to his antics and his attitude.

For almost 12 years, he was our best friend and constant companion. He helped change attitudes about adopting animals with medical issues. He never let the seizures bother him or effect his play time.

As time went on, it robbed him of his eye sight and his mobility, but still, it didn't get him down. He would still bark at birds and try to chase them with the younger members of our adopted pack, albeit slower and sometimes in the wrong direction. On April 1st of this year, he let us know he was ready and at age 16 years and 7 months, he crossed over, surrounded by those who loved him most. We miss him every day.

People told us he was a lucky little dog to be adopted by us. In truth, we were the lucky ones. Little did we know 12 years ago our life would be effected in such a profound way by a little dog needing a home.

Brent Beaman and Mike Black
Madison, AL
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