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Bruno the heart healer

I lost my beloved Abbey ( a golden basset mix) 4 years ago. There was such a hole in my heart I thought I would never be the same.

My brother told me about a Golden in the shelter in his home town so I decided that after 2 yrs I might be ready. What I found was a sad and lonely Red Retriever whose master had passed away. This poor fellow found himself in a shelter and just didn't care anymore. He was in as much pain as I was.

We bonded with one moment of eye contact and from that time on we have healed each other's hearts. He is a joy and a love and I am so grateful he has allowed me to be his mom.

Audubon, MN

Oscar and Felix

In 2008 my sweet boy Oscar passed away. He was my baby boy of 14 years and I didn't think I could love another animal let alone another cat. My husband tried and got me a Calico but she and I didn't hit it off at all. I took her back to the shelter and found Cleo. She is my beautiful black Bombay and I love her to death. But she never really healed my heart from Oscar. In 2011 my eldest daughter comes home with Oscar's Doppelganger. He was only maybe 8 weeks old and was born outside and we figured his mother had been run over and killed. She begged me to keep this little thing and I couldn't help seeing MY Oscar in his face.

I was so hesitant to say yes but I missed my boy so much. I broke down and said yes and asked what to name him. She came up with Felix because of the "Odd Couples". She knew how much I loved Oscar and with this little guy looking so much like him it was only natural to name him Felix. He was so tiny I had to take him to work with me. When I got into the car Felix would climb up my arm and hide under my hair and sleep while I was driving to and from work. As he grew I had to stop letting him crawl around the car and eventual had to let him stay home like a big boy. He is truly my Oscar reincarnated and then some. He loves to sleep with me and my husband. His favorite thing to do is to play with my girls' hair right after they wash it. He hides under it and tries to eat their hair and if they are watching TV he will just lay on it and go to sleep. He has helped my heart to heal and Felix, Cleo and our dog Cupid are living happy safe lives out of the shelters and out of the cold.

Cathy H.
Clarksville, IN

Before and After

One night in 2000 we were sitting watching TV when we heard the cat biscuits being munched, none of us thought anything of it as we had a cat, but then we realised she was sitting on my daughters knee. We got up to take a look just in time to see a streak of white and ginger disappear out the cat door. When we got closer to the door there was a big fluffy ginger and white cat sitting there staring in at us but as soon as we moved closer he would take off, but always came back.. We then derived a plan as it became clear he was not well as per the top photo and the side of his face was in a terrible mess. The following night my husband waited in the spare bedroom and my daughter and I sat on the couch when we heard him come in the cat door husband snuck out and put a cat carrier over the cat door so that when we moved he ran straight into it. The following morning I took him to the vet who scanned him and advised no microchip he asked did I want him to put him to sleep - well there was no way I could do that he wasn't my cat and I was hoping he was being looked for. I told the vet to treat him and I would keep looking for any owners that may have been looking for him, the vet advised doing a Feline Aids test which came back as positive and said did we really want to take the cat back home with us, to which we said yes. Expecting him to run away once he felt better we let him outside again after a couple of days and low and behold he returned that night and never left. Turdle as we called him passed away in March this year 2014 aged approx 16 years after living a full and wonderful life with us I miss him terribly RIP sweetheart as per 2nd photo.

Lyn John
Hammondville, Australia

Boomer-Don't shop, ADOPT!

We had been looking at the shelters for a dog for quite a few months and just never found that perfect match. On a whim one day we drove to a town a few miles away to look at a yellow lab. We had nothing for a dog, not a leash or collar, we were not prepared to take one home that day. They brought the yellow lab out and he was really not interested in us. I asked about the large black dog we saw when we came in. Bubba Q was brought out and immediately went to my husband and put his paws on his shoulders. It was love at first sight. This dog was so excited to be around people. He had a lot of energy but also had an "off" button and would drop to the ground when scratched on the belly.

We took him home that day, without the typical doggie supplies. My daughter renamed him Boomer because shortly after we left we discovered his bark, a very loud, deep bark. He is incredibly smart and can sit, shake, commando crawl, and stay. His favorite game is "soccer"; he will kick his ball back to us when we throw it to him. He has enriched our lives so much. He is the best dog ever and people that say shelter dogs are "broken" have never owned one. Please find it in your heart to adopt, sponsor, or foster a homeless animal. Your life will never be the same.

Grand Island, NE

Love at First Sight

I had been thinking about getting another dog for a few months. My dog, Cheyenne, was lonely after her brother Remington had passed away. Two dogs can be much harder than one but I knew Cheyenne needed a playmate. A friend who was looking for a dog called me from the shelter to let me know of this really cute dog that looked lonely and so scared. I told her I would go look but I was definitely not getting a dog that day. I went to the shelter and saw this skinny, shaking, terrified dog who was sitting in a kennel with his ears back. I called him over and he came and I began to pet him. The shelter workers told me that he had been in there for 10 days and hadn't eaten the entire time. His "family" had dropped him off and left him because they didn't want him anymore. He was 7 years old and a golden retriever/chow chow mix. He was so sweet and as I was petting him he put both paws on my hands and sat on his back legs almost in a praying position. That did it for me....he was coming home with me! His name was Titan and I kept his name the same since I didn't think it was fair to change it since he had had it for 7 years. Titan and Cheyenne got along very well and loved each other. Titan ended up having some skin allergies that took a while to figure out. He is now on a special food and has a thyroid condition, but is overall healthy. He is a sweetheart and loves nothing more than to lay next to you and have his belly rubbed. His only vice is that he likes to get loose and run away. It's a big game for him and he wants you to chase him. He is now 15 and has slowed down considerably. Titan has taught me so much and he will always have a piece of my heart.

Albany, NY

Piggy Gave Us Purpose

We got a call one day from a shelter in our area about a small, female chihuahua that had been surrendered by her owners. She had a large tumor on her belly, which was removed by shelter, but it was found to be cancerous. The shelter didn't feel that anyone would want to adopt a dog that was going to die, so they checked to see if we would take her home.

The second I saw her, I knew she was my baby. She didn't have a name. She was fawn colored, 4 lbs and as cute as she could possibly be.

My husband and I watched her for a few days and after hearing her snort while she ate, we knew her name was Ms. Piggy. The Pig, Piggy or some combination of that name is what we called her for the next 6 months.

She loved her mama. We sat on the couch many nights, her fast asleep by my side. Daddy would say "where's mama?" and she would immediately lift her head, look around, see her mama and back to sleep she would go.

Her cancer returned and slowly her heart began to failure, but her zest for life and her mama never stopped.

The day we said goodbye to that 4 lbs miracle was the hardest day in our lives but it pushed my husband and I on the path of doing what we were meant to do on this earth. We have hospiced 5 dogs since Piggy in 2 years. Each and every dog is loved in her honor.

We will always love you, Piggy.

Mama and Daddy.

Leann Oxley
Des Moines, IA

Who Would Have Thought...

My niece and her girlfriend started feeding a stray cat that showed up at our house, she was extremely friendly and loved everyone. Shortly after that I realized she was pregnant, so she came inside and gave birth to 6 babies. One died shortly after birth but there were 5 very healthy kittens, we thought 3 boys and 2 girls. The mama cat became ill when the kittens were 2 weeks old and ended up at the vet for over a month. My niece, her girlfriend, and I fed the kittens by syringe for several weeks, all through this I was ADAMANT that I was not keeping any of the kittens.

My male black lab decided that these kittens were his babies and he started caring for them. He bathed them and watched out for them, and when they slept they slept next to him. Except for one little boy kitten that decided that I was more comfortable than my lab. The picture is of my little Petey on my shoulder sound asleep, every time this kitten was around me I found that this little furball was attached to me. I was still claiming that I was not keeping one of the kittens.

My niece and her girlfriend decided to keep two of the kittens. We had homes for the other three kittens and when the time came I could not do it this little baby chose me and I was keeping my Petey.

The last surprise was when we took the kittens to the vets to start shots we got a big shock, there were 4 girls and 1 boy, apparently we are not very good at telling the sex of cats, but the cats already knew their names, so my baby girl stayed Petey and she brings me joy daily.

My black lab still sees her as his baby, and my female dog Daisy, well, Petey has finally won her over too.

Winder, GA

my Diego

I found him as a stray, sitting in front of a dollar store. He was waiting patiently for anyone to give him a little something to eat. Instead, he was taunted and teased, and even hit. Never once did he growl or bite, but just backed away. The management said they were going to call the pound to get him. I couldn't let that happen...I fell in love and brought him home 3 years ago and love him more than ever. He is the most gentle and gentle dog I have ever loved....he is my Diego.

Frances Omlansky
Linden, CA

Bar Kitty

My mom and dad were downtown at a local restaurant/sports bar which was a local hang out for many people. It was about mid-September and the main door was open leaving the screen door closed for ventilation (its a rather small place and gets stuffy). My mom was sitting a table towards the middle of the room when the door swung open catching her eye but no one was there. No sooner had she turned away from the door thinking a breeze had caught it did a tiny little black kitten run straight up to her and jumped into her lap! With huge eyes and huge paws he snuggled into my mom.

It was like destiny! He sought her out of the room full of people. My mom looked at my dad who did not want another cat as we already had two. Mom promised to look for his home but to no one claimed him. He grew on my dad and he was my moms baby and would never leave her side. So mom took him to the vet and he made a nice home with us. His name became Spooky because he was black like midnight. My female orange tabby who was much older than him took to him like a mother.

Unfortunately being a stray and eating out of the trash for at least 6 months took its toll on Spooky and had worn down his kidneys. He was having to eat special food and would lose patches of fur. He made it a good 14 years before he got really sick. Finally his kidneys went into complete failure and my mom had to do the hardest thing, she finally needed to end his suffering. He could have lived a little longer with special medication and an IV drip but mom couldn't put him through that.

He had an amazing life. He was the baby of the family and was SO spoiled. He was so lovable and adored attention. R.I.P Spooky. You are always with us! <3

Jes Chorney
Belfast, ME

The cat that stole my heart

In December of 2012, I was bringing back the current foster I had to the SPCA for his adoption. It was close to Christmas time so I didn't want to take on another foster cat till after the holidays. When I was in the office talking to the people who worked in the foster program, they asked if I wanted to take another cat. I immediately said no, but then they mentioned they had blind female kitten who was sick with rhino. I became curious about this kitten so I decided to at least go see her.

The moment I saw this tiny kitten I fell in love. I begged my boyfriend to take her but he was still unsure about another cat. We told the woman that we will come back after discussing it for a bit and she agreed to reserve the cat for us. After a lot of convincing on my part, we went back to the SPCA to take her home.

Although she is blind (she was born with no blood vessels in her retinas), she didn't seem to have too much difficulty getting around. The stairs were a challenge at first for her but she also mastered those in no time. We decided to name her Rosie for the patches of beige-peachy colouring on her fur. Of course we adopted her soon after, and she has been a constant source of entertainment and companionship ever since. I am very proud of our foster failure.

Montreal, QC, Canada
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