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My husband of 13 years died of a heart attack in April of 2008. At that time, we had a Sheltie named Cody. He was definitely a daddy's boy. He became so depressed after David died that I feared I would lose him too. Fast forward to December of 2009; Cody was having trouble walking. I took him to the vet hospital and they determined he was in heart failure but said with medication, he would do just fine. Three days later, he had a seizure at 5 in the morning. After another work-up, they found a brain tumor. I couldn't bear to see him suffer so he went to the Rainbow Bridge on December 2, 2009. It hurt so much to say good bye to him but I knew that it was the right thing to do. As you might imagine, losing both the men in my life in such a short time span took a toll on my mental and physical health.
About a month after I lost Cody, a friend sent me an email telling me that there were two Shelties at the county animal shelter in desperate need of a good home together. Their mom had cancer and she couldn't keep them anymore. They had spent the better part of a month housed at a veterinarian's office and then were moved to the shelter. Her last request was that they find a home together but no one was interested in the larger of the two. I agreed to go and see them. That was all it took. I knew they had to come home with me.
Today, Brody (left) and Darby (right) are my grief counselors, my angels. They know when I am feeling down; they climb up on my lap to give me a snuggle and a kiss. They are truly my best friends and the best medicine around.
Last year after going through a divorce I was learning how to be single again. I already had two indoor cats and had been feeding the ferals in my neighborhood for a couple of years. I was outside on a beautiful spring day, when a beautiful cat came up to me and jumped on my lap. The eyes had me - it was like I was looking into a beautiful soul who just wanted to be loved. He let me pet him and feel his paws (he was declawed in the front so I knew he had been someone's pet at one time). A few weeks later he wandered into my home. My indoor babies were not that thrilled and it took many months before they would begin to accept him.
As I came into the house last night I had three little boys lined up in a row to greet me after an incredibly long day. I am not sure who saved who - because I know by giving him a good home I saved him from the life he was leading when someone gave up on him. I think he saved me as well because he taught me to reopen my heart and to love again.
He comes over to me when he's tired and wants to go to bed for the evening, sleeps in my room watching over me, and curls up on my lap and has the most incredible purr. When I am feeling bad I have all three boys on my lap or near me so that they can comfort me. I am so blessed to have my babies and will continue to do what I can for the other ferals to ensure they at least have a good meal. Some times just doing the smallest of things (like putting out a bowl of food) will help those who need it the most and it just may put you on the path to healing yourself as well.
My spouse and I have two Yorkies, Tia and Bubbles. Two is about all we figure we can handle, however small. But when a friend of ours in Omaha told us about this little guy that his neighbor found roaming the streets of Omaha, we took interest. The "Little Dude" was a purebred Yorkie with a breeder's tattoo inside his thigh and a docked tail. Every shelter and vet were contacted but no one claimed him.
When the neighbor could no longer keep him, our friend suggested us and asked if we would take him. Our Yorkie girls were about nine years old and this little guy was a puppy, but we took him in. We originally called him Jasper but his name devolved into Jazz. Our little Jazz-Man is such a delight and brings puppy energy to our household. He has such manners in a household of females and is a great little snuggler. From a street-wanderer to man of the house, I think Jazz has made it.
On December 12th 2008, My Shih Tzu Roosevelt died a awful death left me heart broken and alone. Little did I know the love of my life was born almost a month to the day of Roosevelt. Everytime I saw a Shih Tzu I just cried I thought I would never love again. One day a friend of mine called from the local humane society saying they were raiding a puppy mill and would I like to ride along. So I tagged along to check out the animals. We went in and I picked up a puppy and the world just stopped and he was the center. He has been with me when time were bad and times were good. He has been with me for 5 years and I love him more and more everyday. People tell me I am not a mom cause my children have fur. I am Eme's mom and I will talk about him as much as any child.
AMAZON was "delivered" to the doorstep of one of the fosters of a Georgia rescue with her bed, bag of food and bowl of water in July of 2013. Her left eye had a ruptured globe and was in a state of disrepair. She was spayed and the eye removed and upon recovery became available for transport up to NY to be adopted. My girlfriend, Nicole, who fosters for the rescue here in NY brought her to my attention. It was love at first sight! We have another rescue shih tzu and I had long wanted a sister for our boy, Stryker. Many followed her story and liked her photos but only one (not local) put in to adopt her. Who wants a 6 year old dog with one eye? I did! I filled out the several page adoption application for her 4 times .... and 4 times I didn't send it. I wasn't sure how my husband would feel about a second dog ... a one-eyed dog! My birthday was coming up in late August and he asked me what I wanted. I showed him AMAZON and said "her!" He asked what I was waiting for, to fill out and send the application. Two days later, it was approved. I spoke with Diana, her foster mom, here in NY and 3 days later we met. Before I even had her in my arms, I was crying. I already knew that she was home. And home we went with her! Although she was dropped off like an AMAZON package on a doorstep and although AMAZON means 'female warrior' and she is, I changed it. Giving her part of that name but something feminine....and now she is ZOEY. Zoey "O.E." (one-eye). She is my heart, my best birthday gift ever.....
Champ, Coco and Breezy - in order left to right in the picture - are our wonderful Granddogs. My daughter and her family rescued each one of them. Unfortunately, last year we lost our 2 lab mix dogs which we had adopted and now have a big void in the house - but after having many adopted dogs and 1 cat throughout our 48 years of marriage, we decided not to adopt anymore. Sooooooooooooo, now we can dog sit with our Granddogs whenever their family is going to be gone. Another Granddog, Sage, belongs to our son and his family, but they live in Santa Fe, NM and we do not see them often. If and when they may move back to KC, we may have the opportunity to dogsit with Sage also. All in all, we have been blessed over the years with many wonderful adopted/rescued canine friends in our household. I strongly urge everyone to consider rescuing a wonderful dog or cat!
My story starts with a little puppy that was gave to a man that didn't deserve to have any animals. Malaki is a shepherd/pit mix and the most gentle soul you will ever meet. I begged and begged the man to sale the dog to me so I wouldn't have to continue to see this little puppy getting trampled on. One morning I got a phone call they was taking him to the pound and if I wanted him I could have him. Poor Malaki came to us with all his ribs showing at 6 months and had a limp. For the first couple days he ate so much he was getting sick and he slept by his bowl because he was scared he wouldn't have no more food. I got him into the vet and they told me his back hip was injured and we got him fixed. First month he slept away from everyone because of his fear of people. Now it has been over four years and this loving dog has taught me so much about Love and he never sleeps alone no more...
The name Jude means "giver of joy" and that is exactly what Jude did. I am a long time foster mom and first met Jude when she was surrendered to "my" shelter. I made an instant connection with her and knew she was meant to be with me.
I named her Jude after the patron saint of hopeless cases because while she was in foster with me she suffered from mysterious illnesses that had no known cause and did not respond to treatment. We all loved her dearly, but in our hearts we knew something was not right with our little Jude.
Through all her treatments she was happy, loving and amazingly caring. Anytime I brought a feral kitten home, she would sleep next to its crate. Socialization that would normally take weeks took only days with Jude's help. Sadly, when she was about five months old, we were able to confirm what we had all feared. Jude had a terminal condition called dry FIP.
We officially adopted Jude and she lived out the rest of her life with us as a much loved member of our family. Although that life only ended up being six months long, the impact she made is still felt today. Many feral kittens are now loved house pets because she helped them learn to trust people.
Having Jude in my life even for a short time brought me joy. And if you ever get the chance to share your life with an animal that has a limited life expectancy, do it. Your life will be changed for the better. I know mine was.
Jude made me a better foster mom. She helped me realize that my job is not to "save them all"; it is to make a positive difference in their lives for however long they are with me. I now specialize in "hopeless cases". I am committed to giving them a chance, even if that chance is one in a million.
So sweet Jude, thank you for watching over me and my hopeless cases. You help me make miracles happen every day.
I discovered Kirby, a stray black & white "cow" kitten & rescued him from the woods in our yard years ago.He was emaciated, covered with ticks & fleas & starving.But that wasn't all...he also had only 1/2 a tail! As a longtime cat rescuer, I immediately fed him, eliminated all his fleas & ticks, & brought him into my rarely vacant foster room.Once he had gained enough weight, I had him neutered, plus shots & testing done. After examining his 1/2 tail, the vet agreed it had indeed been cut & he had suffered a fracture! My heart went out to him & all the pain & suffering he endured at such a young age.Both his adorable 1/2 tail & the fact he looked like my first cat when I was a little girl, were enough to convince my husband that we should keep "this one"! Years later, cute "Kirby Kow" is still purring & playing in our home today loving his home & big feline family!
(*Note: I am a longtime, independent/private cat rescuer & a published author.My book is about the cat overpopulation crisis, with 21 of my own, true & rather amazing cat rescue stories! "Kirby's Tale" is Chapter 18 in my book entitled "The Cat Magnet: A Rescuer's Collection of Cat Tales". Kirby is in this photo beside my book! I wrote "The Cat Magnet" as a way to help both entertain & educate about the sad cat overpopulation crisis & the many ways all can help.My book is my only fundraising for my rescue.As a private/independent cat rescuer, all expenses are from my own pocket.I would welcome any assistance in helping me promote it, if possible. Ideally, I sell it directly instead of via online, as I make little profit from my online sales.If you are unable to help, please let me know if I can just edit & post one of my cat tales & submit a different photo on this site.But, if you know anyone interested in "purrchasing" my book, please email & I will mail an autographed copy!Thank you!)
We rescued Sundance him from an overcrowded shelter. He had been there for a while because no one wanted to adopt an 8 year old cat. My husband and I were just browsing, not looking to adopt but Sundance had other plans. He crawled right up into my husbands lap and fell asleep. I looked into my husbands eyes and just knew. We took him home that night. Over the next 4 years he brought so much into our lives. He made us a family. I miss his big yellow eyes.
After a tumor took his life, I was a mess. My home was empty for weeks. I was lonely. I decided to finally gather his old things and toys and donate them to our shelter. I went into the cat room and immediately broke down again but it felt good to get some love from the cats, I really needed it. I started to visit on a regular basis, to get my cat fix. Then pretty soon, felt it was time to adopt again.
I saw Bo, a tripod cat who had lost his leg from a dog fight. He was just sitting there on the floor of the shelter, fresh out of surgery. Patches of hair shaved off. He looked up at me, into my eyes, as if he knew I was in pain to. As I stroked his head, I felt relief for the first time since Sundance's passing. I needed someone to help me grieve. He needed someone to help him heal. I adopted him and we began to heal each other.
After about a month, we decided to adopt his shelter buddy Churchill who had spent 2 years of his life at our no kill shelter because he is partially blind. Bo and Churchill are like brothers now. (Bo and Churchill are in the picture)
I know that Sundance was the start of something good. He taught me to look past what others see as "deal breakers" when adopting animals. I now own a tripod and a partially blind cat and I feel so blessed.