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Her name was Lola

Meet my Lola. I was walking at a Dog event with one of my basset hounds and a rescue group approached me to comment on my Barney (also a rescue). I always rescue my dogs. But this day I was told about a story of a basset hound that needed someone to give her a home. She had been in a puppy mill for 4 years and was a puppy mill mama. The place she was in, had 100 cages of dogs, stacked 5 high in a barn. The day the place was raided, there was an auction going on and my beautiful girl was on the auction block and was being purchased for $8.00 by a person with a Dog fighting ring that would use her for bait. My Lola had never walked on grass, was beaten and battered, X-rays showed many healed broken bones. The rescue was looking for someone that knew the breed and would be able to work with her. I have had Bassets for over 30 yearsI had 3 male bassets(all rescues) and all where trained as Therapy Dogs. So I decided this lady needed to be with me. I worked with my trainer who helped me help her to get over her fear. She was such a scared little girl. But with love and training she came out of her shell and now 4 years later my Lola is a Therapy Dog and we work with special needs children. She, like my other 3 bassets, love children. Lola became such a fixture at the training center that we now help with all the training classes for the perspective Therapy Dogs and Lola demonstrates how to do the behaviors they will need to pass the test. I am so proud of my girl and all my dogs. Mo, Reba and Andy love having Lola in the family. There is nothing like the loyalty you get from a Rescued Dog.

Lakewood, NJ

Almost Catnip

It was May 2010 and were getting ready to go on a family vacation, leaving on a Thursday. The night before we are supposed to leave, I hear a slight yelping which keeps me awake. This yelping is like a call for help but again, its ever so slight and I do not know where it's located. So I get up and walk downstairs to check the front and backyard - nothing there. The yelping seems to subside for a while and at this point, I'm headed back to bed. Just as I begin to walk up the stairs, I hear it again but this time its louder and more dis-stressed and at that point I knew i had to find what has making the yelping noise.

In my pajamas, I walk out my front door and investigate further and at first glance, i see nothing however as I walk further out my front door, I see a group of 4 ferrell cats near my garage door and as they see me they slowly scatter leaving behind a very scared, shaking little Min Pin. Backed into the corner of my garage door and almost catnip, is where I found our Panda Pooh. I walked over slowly and got down on the ground to attempt to get close to him - I didn't know and had never seen this dog but he was obviously shaken. It took about 1 hour to get close enough to him to pick him up and once I did I brought him inside. I placed him in our downstairs bathroom with a bed, food and water and went back to bed - telling my half asleep husband that there is a dog in our downstairs bathroom. He was introduced to the family in the morning and quickly joined our two Lhasa Apso's as part of the pack. P.S. We put up signs and submitted online post - but no one ever claimed him and we are so very thankful they didn't because we couldn't imagine our pack without him.

Waxhaw, NC

Ruger's Choice

I’ve fostered dogs for years. Last April I received a call from the rescue asking me if I would foster the “boys” from a litter of abandoned puppies found in a barn somewhere in the desert around Las Vegas. They had no idea what either parent looked like. The pups were 3-1/2 weeks old, just barely old enough to eat. When I picked them up from the transport relay, they were filthy and smelled like a barn, but they were fat and active. When I got home, my 2 year-old shepherd mix, Ruger, was fascinated with the pups. I named them Spike, Dewey and Trey, nicknames for the first three cards in a deck. (Vegas, baby!!) I found out the hard way that they were carrying the horrible bacteria Campylobacter. It didn't make them sick, but it sure laid ME low for a while! Ruger and I cared for the pups until they were old enough to go to their forever homes at 8 weeks. Just before the date arrived, I lost my beloved dog Lulu to cancer. Ruger was devastated. Hoping to console him, I let him choose a puppy to keep. It was very obvious which one he favored. It was Dewey!. A year later they are inseparable. Ruger still thinks he is Dewey’s mom, even though Dewey is now 70 lbs. of clumsy goofiness, and still growing!

Deb Sander
Parma Heights, OH

The Ultimate Survivor

When we had to put our beloved 15 year old Aussie down, I had determined that I wanted to find a Rescue. When I happened upon a photo of 2 year old Reacher (so named by the Vet who saved him after the protaganist in Lee Child's books about Jack Reacher, an ex army cop who seems to survive any situation,) and read his heart-wrenching story, I knew he was the one for us. The Vet told me that he was the worst case of abuse she had ever seen, and she really didn't think he would make it. He was half his normal weight and was having constant seizures. He wouldn't look at her for two weeks, but she said when he finally did, it was the most profound experience she had ever had with an animal. Well, I fell in love with his picture, and the description by the Rescue where he was placed after he had recovered that he was a loving, enthusiastic little guy so we went to get him as soon as we passed inspection. It took a few weeks for him to settle down and believe that he was truly saved, but he is the most loving, happy (he didn't even wag his tail for a few weeks) little guy now. He and his sister, Molly, enjoy playing with the plethora of toys (which he had no idea what to do with at first), and running with abandon on the mountain several times a week.(Molly keeps a close eye on him and sometimes has to retrieve him when he wanders a little too far.) He sleeps in my room in a memory foam bed which he LOVES; it is "his place." We feel very blessed that we were able to save him and give him the life that every dog deserves.

Casper, WY

Saving my sweeties

My husband was not a cat person.

But before we got married I demanded a cat to his dog. My Regina (the little queen, a black calico/tortie) came from a hoarding situation. at least 8 indoor dogs, and 6 indoor cats. Many more were outside. I adopted her, and her twin sister Georgina. Unfortunately Georgina fell to an illness before I could take her home.

Reggie needed a friend, and so, I adopted my black cat Claudia on the week of Halloween about a year later. She was a wal-mart kitten. Blind from an illness in her eyes, we spent nearly $200 to fix her vision within the first month of her being at our house.

Now they are the best of friends, and my husband can't deny the cuteness of a ball of cats in his lap after a hard day. The dog still gives them about a 6 foot span though. I couldn't ask for better pets, they are trusting and loving to an extreme. I can't walk by Reggie without her licking my nose (giving kisses); and Claudia, who we call the kitten more often than not, is a little special, and loves to shove her nose up her owners nostrils as her form of kisses.

I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Lake Ozark, MO

Little Jack

We heard from the neighbor girls that there was a cat living under our deck. We finally were able to see it the middle of October, which was still warm in MN. He/she was friendly but cautious. I fed the kitty and then didn't see it for about two weeks. The next time I saw it, it followed me into the house. This was a good thing because it got really cold within a week of that. Because we had four other cats, we kept this one away until we could figure out the next step, which, of course, was a 5th cat. We thought it was a pregnant female because of the big belly, but it turned out to be a starving male. The vet told us he was about 3 or 4 years old and had been outside for about two years. He has three and half legs (the back left is only half, but he was born that way). His ears are folded from the cold and mites and one of them is half-way missing. He has permanent scratches on his face and his shoulders from fights. He is gnarly through and through, but he is the sweetest, most affectionate little guy. He sleeps every night next to my husband's head. We saved him and he has been nothing but joy. Little Jack.

Forest Lake, MN

Mary Read, Pirate Cat

In 2013, we sadly lost our little angel, Misty, to hyperthyroidism. In her last few months we had to administer subcutaneous fluids, which she hated. It was so difficult to say goodbye. She was such a well behaved little girl and always wanted to be in our company. She was 19 years old. We did not adopt right away and were a little hesitant about doing so because we wanted to adopt another little sweetheart like Misty who was always so attuned to us.

After 9 months we went to a couple of shelters and were so overwhelmed by the many cats needing homes that we left empty handed, but there was one little girl that we couldn't stop thinking about. While most of the cats were roaming the cattery, a few were in cages for various reasons. There was this small, one-eyed, black cat in a cage having a grand time batting a toy around all by herself. Mary Read (named after a female pirate) had been attacked by a dog and lost her eye as a result. We returned the next week and asked to see her and the moment my husband and I held her we knew we would be taking her home. She immediately nuzzled my neck and licked me, claiming me as her own. She fits in so well with us that we feel as if we have always known her.

Cedar Knolls, NJ

Lulu's story

Our cat Jasmine was lonely after we moved, so we decided to get a kitten from the local Humane Society. When we arrived, they had just received a group of cats from a California shelter. The employees showed us to the kitten room and I immediately noticed a tiny little kitten hiding under a bench. All of the other kittens were running around and jumping on her, but she didn't seem to mind. We asked if we could visit with her and the workers tried to discourage us by telling us she was very shy and did not like people. We visited with a few other kittens but they just did not seem to be the "one". I asked for the tiny kitten one more time, and they brought her to us. She was so skinny, you could see every rib. She was shy at first, but when we pulled out a feather toy, she meekly came out from the corner to bat at it. Then she walked over to my leg, and gently rubbed her body along my leg. Then she walked to my daughter and my husband and did the same thing. It felt like she was telling us, "I choose you." We were hooked. I was so in love with her and so worried about her, my husband had to fill out the adoption papers without me because I didn't want to leave her side. We named her Lulu. When we took her home, she seemed very nervous and wouldn't eat at first. But, after a day and a taste of some wet food on my finger, she started to eat. A couple of days after that, she developed kennel cough. A couple of days after that she showed signs of ring worm and had to get medication for that. She had a very rough start but in the end, she became the sweetest, funniest, happiest kitty I have ever had. We love her so much, and we are so glad she picked us!

Vancouver, WA

Butterscotch Butterfly

I never planned on owning a cat. I am a dog person; always have been. Somehow they gravitate to me anyway. Our first cat had gotten extremely sick, and after a few stints in the kitty ICU with a "mysterious" neurological disorder, I finally accepted the fact that it was unfair to subject her to further trauma. So two days after 9/11 when she again got extremely ill, we allowed her to go peacefully. I often wonder if she sent our next kitty to us.

A few months later, another cat started hanging out at our house, in the bushes. She was so friendly that our neighbor's 1-1/2 year old would cart her around with hind paws dragging on the ground, without a hint of protest! One day his mom asked me if that was our cat. I responded "I thought she was yours" to which I was informed that their daughter was deathly allergic. It was then that we decided to keep her. I decided that with her wonderful disposition, that was the cat for me! Our son named her Butterscotch Butterfly. Off to the vet we went for shots and spaying. It was then that I was informed that "She" was approximately 2 years old, and was a emaciated (at 12lbs) neutered male! I tried as hard as I could to make him an indoor cat, but he never fully got used to that idea and would sneak out every chance he got! Tipping the scale at about 20lbs, he was always friendly and loving to all of us, always wanting to be with us and sleeping on my pillow each night. For fun he would lay on the coffee table swiping his paw at my dogs as they walked by.

We lost our beloved baby to a nasty tumor one year ago. It was devistating having to say goodbye to our angel after being together for 11 years. We love and miss you Butterscotch Butterfly, and we will never forget you!!

Laura Miceli
Ormond Beach, FL

Rescued in Israel

Last year we were living in Israel. Just 2 weeks before we left for Israel our 11 Year Old French Bulldog developed cancer and instead of moving to Israel we had to put her down. One week after we arrived there we saw daily postings for a French Bulldog that was lost and roaming the streets. She was undernourished and frightened when we adopted her. and brought her back to Florida. Today Chloe is happy, healthy and is a wonderful sister to our Long haired Chihuahua. It took a while to get her to follow commands as she did not understand English, only Hebrew, but she has now adapted and loves everyone.

Gary Rosenfeld
Bradenton, FL
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