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Yesterday, I had to say good-bye to my friend Foster. At almost 18-1/2 years of age, his little body was starting to shut down. He was very, very frail and was having trouble walking and moving around in general. He had stopped eating and was dehydrated and anemic.
The vet explained that even if he was to order x-rays and run tests, it was obvious to him that something was very seriously wrong. He suspected either a tumor or kidney failure. He said there was probably nothing he could do to make Foster well again or provide him with a reasonably good quality of life.
Although it broke my heart to hear that, I pretty much knew that was what he was going to tell me. Foster, in his own way, had already told me so as well. I stayed with my little guy as the drugs took effect, and he passed peacefully with his head resting in the palm of my hand. I kissed him many times. I miss him so much.
I found Peaches on a rescue cat site when I wasn't even looking to add a cat to my family. However, one look and I was in love. She was an adult cat and was a bit bossy with my two resident cats when she came home, but they worked it out and she fit in well. She would follow the sun on the living room rug in the mornings and then follow me around when not napping. Her favorite place to be was on my newspaper or book, computer keyboard, or right next to me whenever I sat down. Peaches passed away from kidney disease five years ago, but I still miss her every day.
There are no words that can fully describe our Dice, aka Dicer Girl. Dice was already a year old when we adopted her from a couple that needed to rehome her for various reasons, but I credit them to raising a GREAT dog. She's a big girl weighing in at 82 lbs...part lab, part Great Dane.. but is so gentle and sweet...never jumping on anyone, but will lean into them for love, sometimes almost knocking them over. She has the blackest, shiniest fur, that is so short it can't be ruffled, with a white spotted chest, hence the name Dice, and the most expressive black eyes of any dog I have ever had. Dice is also a talker and never hesitates to let you know what she is thinking. She loves to be outside when the weather is cool, but most of all loves to be close to her people. Dice will be 4 in July and though she's 15 times bigger than her fur sister, Lil' Bit who is 7, they play together like puppies one minute or can be each others worst enemy the next. Our Abby is almost 13 and only cares about sleeping and eating, but Dice does try to get her to play on occasion. Dice sleeps between my husband and me like a person...under the covers with her had on a pillow every night...I often wake up during the night to see 2 front legs sticking straight up in the air or poking me in the face. She is definitely one of a kind and I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that she is our one of a kind.
4.5 months...that's how long it took me to catch this sweet baby after being dumped by my work place. Lil' Bit was 7 mos. old when I finally caught her & brought her home where she immediately became my black lab Cisco's BFF. When Cisco crossed the bridge with cancer at the age of 14, she grieved for him. 8 months later we lost our sweet Lady at the age of 15 & once again Lil' Bit grieved, but loves her fur sisters, Abby & Dice, both black lab mixes. Lil' Bit has now been part of our family for 7 years. She's a big dog in a little dog's body, makes us laugh every day, loves her 2 fur sisters, dances for her breakfast and dinner, and protects us from the deadly lawn guys each week. She still doesn't "trust" everyone. It took her some time to come around to my husband whom she now loves and she no longer hides when a new person comes to the house though she does keep her distance. Lil' Bit is definitely my girl and is in my lap any time I sit down. Lil' Bit hit the doggy lotto when I rescued her. She has been a blessing to me and my husband. We can always tell when it's 8:00 p.m. as she is ready to be tucked in to her kennel where she "fixes" her bed to her liking and sleeps the night through. She always has a full tummy, a great place to sleep, a wonderful backyard to explore, two loving parents and two loving fur sisters. Lil' Bit will NEVER want for anything and we can't imagine life without her.
For 26 years my husband & I have been the proud parents of over 48 kitties. Some were strays, some feral, some dropped off, and some decided we should be their family instead of our neighbors. We have loved & lost so many. Though our hearts are broken with the loss of each one we couldn't live without them! I can't write about them all, so I will write their names. " BOOTSY " my childhood kitty, " Whiskers " my single years kitty, Tinkerbell, Kittybell, Tiger, Sylvester, Wolfy 1, Charmin, Little Girl. Callie her 11 kittens - Pudden Pie, Butterscotch, Junior, Wolfy 2, Frosty, Klondyke, Baby, Bobby, Strawberry, Mini Mouse, Patches. Buddy Girl, Beauty, Raggedy Ann, Prince Charming, Wolfy 3, Slick, Rascal, Buttons, Scrounge, Cuddles, Got Milky, Huckleberry, Elvis, Blacky, Momma ( was dropped off pregnant with a kitten, Squirt 1 ) had her 2nd litter of 4 one week later - Putty Cat, Peekaboo, Spot, & Squirt 2. Wiggles, Bootsy 2, Mango, Hobo, and Missy a kitten cruely dropped off at a nearby boat ramp. Running up to everyone crying & crying & with a badly lacerated leg. Our neighbor picked her up & brought her to us as he did not know how to care for a kitty.
After recently moving, we learned that 2 kitties had been left behind by their owners who moved. So we are now feeding the 2 big boys, Tom Cat & Buddy Boy.
We learned a big lesson early on, all kitties need to be fixed. From our first litter, we kept the boys thinking we didn't need to get them neutered. We were wrong. One morning we found 4 kittens running around our porch. Then the next morning their momma was there. Tiger had gone out & found a wife & brought back his family to his home!
Though our hearts have been broken with the loss of each one, God has mended our wounds with another! We feel we could never love another as much, but we do!
We can't wait till we're together again with ALL in Heaven!
Shortly before Christmas a couple of years ago, we kept hearing meows in our basement and thought one of our cats had gotten out. We made sure they hadn't, but we kept hearing the meowing. So I went down into our crawlspace and looked around. Quickly I found a terrified little orange fuzz ball running around. How he got in there we aren't sure of to this day. We were able to coax him out of the crawlspace, carefully load him into a carrier and get him to a vet. Turned out he was relatively healthy, only a little dehydrated and wasn't chipped. He might have been born to a feral colony, but there aren't too many strays running around our neighborhood. When nobody responded to our online listings, we adopted him. Because he was orange, small and sweet, we named him "Cutie" after the little oranges. He's a LITTLE bigger than those small oranges now, and he's still skittish a couple of years later, but is happy, healthy and secure. Couldn't imagine our lives without him!
In early 2018 the SPCA of Westchester got a call from a local vet about a toy poodle who needed to be rescued from a neglectful owner. The SPCA’s humane law enforcement division seized Charlie Brown and their veterinary team got to work. Charlie’s front right leg had been broken and neglected, resulting in an infection. The leg couldn’t be saved and was amputated. We fostered and then adopted Charlie Brown and have been delighted to see him come out of his shell. He loves toys, playing with our other rescue dog, Romeo, and cuddling. He is now a very happy guy and is the Grand Marshal for the 2018 SPCA Walkathon!
I first saw Beck in our local Park's dog run being walked by someone from a nearby rescue group. I remember the exact spot where he was standing when he caught my eye. Beck was a character & I learned had been returned twice by adopters to the city animal shelter before the rescue got him out. I was not in a position to immediately adopt him but started volunteering with the rescue & taking him out for longer and longer periods.
A couple of months went by & then one night my daughter said "what time are you taking him back"; she still remembers me turning and saying "he's NEVER going back". So for nearly 16 years this "mixed nut mutt" was my "buddy boy", "bubba ringo", "monkey bear". He tested me for a while with his antics but I remember turning & looking him straight in the eyes & saying "you can try whatever you want, you are NEVER going back" - somehow he then KNEW he was my forever boy.
Beck slowed down in his last two years & then in March 2018 I knew it was time to let him go. I miss him every day, he was the "shelter dog" I had always envisioned having. I just had a dog bone plaque with Beck's name added to the "memorial tree" in our dog park - it stands only a couple of feet from where I first spotted him in 2002. There was only one Beck but I continue to volunteer with shelter dogs & not unexpectedly, I am drawn to the bigger, hard to place "characters". How lucky I was to find my forever boy.
Several years ago we had our elderly Japanese Bobtail at the Vet for a checkup when the Vet tech asked if we would consider taking on another cat. At first I said no, because as anyone who has cats knows, someone is always asking that question. But then he explained that someone had brought in their one year old cat who had been hit by a car, but after finding out how much it would cost asked the vet to put him down. Instead the vet asked if they would sign him over and he would see if he could find anyone who would take him on. They agreed and an hour later we walked into the office. When we first saw Christopher he was swaddled in bandages from multiple breaks and cuts. But one look into his cool, still, green eyes and we knew we had to help this beautiful cat. So, we took him on, the vet kindly donated all his surgical and rehab care and now he lives in the last home he will ever have, loved and cherished and safe.
My daughter wanted a small dog for her 16th birthday. We found a litter of Cairn terrier puppies on line and agreed to go get one of them. We naively did not recognize what was really a puppy mill with various breeds of puppies running in and out of the barn. The Cairn mother looked awful - the sellers claimed she had lost most of hair from hormone imbalance but now I suspect she had been over bred. A small puppy came running out, truly the ugliest puppy I had ever seen. My daughters loved him. Then his father walked out and he was spectacular. Hamish came home and grew into a darling sweetie who loved our 6 year old Airedale, Max. 8 years later when Max died, Hamish grieved for months and our new Airedale never measured up to Max in Hamish's eyes. Hamish loved the beach but not the water. Loved to chase the ball but not to return to the thrower. Loved the dog park when he lived in NYC for 5 years with my daughter but did not like to play with the little dogs. He was great at flying under the seat with my daughter as she regularly flew home. A great mouser, we had no rodents ever while he was on patrol. He lived his last many years back in our house, barking at the yard crew, chasing the squirrels and sleeping snuggled up next to me. A month ago, at age 18 we had to let him go. I envision he is now playing with Max in doggy heaven and is still adorable and dear. We miss him a lot.