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The Story of Duke

As a rescue volunteer, I was notified about a little red dog in a rural, high kill shelter, on the euthanize list in two days! The dog in the shelter photo looked scared, but I was immediately drawn to him. I named him Duke and set out to find him a great home.

I quickly realized he already knew quite a bit: sit, down, stay, spin, high five, etc. Wow, someone had spent some time with this dog and boy is he smart! I have always dreamed of having an agility dog, so I decided to sign up for obedience class at an agility training center close by.We learned how to capture and shape behavior using clicker training. Quickly Duke figured out the game of “click and treat” and we accomplished most of the objectives of the class.

By the end of our second class our basic obedience skills were honed with better focus and connection. The last night of that class we actually got to take our dogs on the agility dog walk. The first time Duke and I were both hesitant….Oh My we are actually doing this! After a couple times carefully walking across the dog walk, Duke got his confidence and was sprinting over it! I was out of shape and could barely breathe running to the other end to meet him. This was my Ah-Ha moment, a life changer for both of us. I decided then and there to officially adopt Duke as my own and vowed to get in better physical shape to keep up with this smart little dog with the big heart.

Duke is now able to do all the agility obstacles with confidence and I have greatly improved my physical stamina. We have become a TEAM of a little shelter mutt, just hours from the end, now trained as an agility dog, and an out of shape grandmother, loving a physical sport for the first time in my life! Two weeks ago we competed in our first agility trial!

I am having the time of my life!

Debbie Barnes
Lee's Summit, MO

My dear Lola.... oh wait... It's Lolo!!!

My sister and I went to a creepy shelter just to "see the kitties" because she wanted to adopt a cat (she wanted a girl)... We left the creepy shelter with "Lola" a tuxedo lovely girl... we took her home, feed her, loved her and the she got sick... When we took her to the vet, the first surprise was that "Lola" was really "Lolo" because she was a he! we had a baby boy! The second not so good news, was that he had an intestinal infection... we took him everyday for two week to get his medicine shots, but he recovered completely... At that time my sister had broken up with is boyfriend, so Lolo and my sister took care of each other, and loved each other, until they both were well... Then we adopted "La Pichu" (it's a way to say "little one" in spanish) and my aunt adopted Pichus's sister named Manchas (Spots)... Lolo and La Pichu loved each other and played all day long, until Lolo got sick again... Apparently food in my country was not very good (now we only buy imported food) and his urinary track was obstructed... we did everything we could, until the last resource was to cut is penis out... Fortunatedly, he's been healthy for over a year now, playing with "La Pichu" and they both are the most loved cats in the world! They've changed the dynamic in mi home, we now all get together to play with the cats, we set play dates with "Manchas" and they've been loving and supporting to us through some difficult times... They are part of the family and and I dare to say our friends also... Three moths ago I had to move away from my country and the ones I miss the most are my babies.. my kitties: Lolo, La Pichu y Manchas (yes, I consider Manchas mine too)... #CatLover

Mariana Blasini
Madrid, Spain

A different rescue.

For a long time i've suffered with mental health, and things always seem to go from bad to worse. I've never been able to hold down a job, a relationship or anything of importance. I was broken, incomplete and seemingly unfixable. I didnt see any point to my life.

This was until the day a mini panther was plonked on my lap! I scared the poor fella off by screaming with excitement, but one look at him and i fell SO in love. I vowed to do everything i could for my saviour; my little boy, Mylo. He became the centre of my universe, and the love of my life.

I had never felt so complete! I had a reason to carry on with life. He knows just how much i love him, and he returns his love by kneading my chest and suckling on my earlobe! And, he is the KING of headbumps ;)

A few months later, another panther stole my heart. This teeny little thing slept with a blanket i had as a baby, and looked so cosy when he slept with it. I decided his name had to be Blanket. He, with his little pure black 'go faster' stripes down his back (which he no longer has) honours his name; he cuddles on my lap and sleeps under the duvet with me, keeping me warm. He is my snobby, yet regal, velcro cat!

But the rescue doesn't end there.

Another wee little panther. Another instant love. Extra tiny, with the cutest blue cross-eyes. I'd met the third piece of my heart. Such a special boy, he could only be called Prince :) He's a cheeky little chatterbox who tells me lots of stories. I do sometimes think i should have called him hoover - you have never seen a cat consume treats the way this little bugger does!

I still struggle with my mental health but i'm honoured to say that it is i who has been rescued, 3 times over. I am owned by 3, and i wouldnt have my life any other way. ♡♡♡

Danielle Davis
Hartlepool, United Kingdom

Francine the Boa!

I had owned a ball python who had passed away at only 2 years of age. He was sick since i bought him. After he passed away i was devastated. I waited a few months and decided that i was going to get another snake. I wanted an albino python this time. Right before my birthday i went to a reptile show, and they had one male albino that i wanted...BUT i found another snake that had captured my attention, there was a sign that said 'special needs"...she was a 3year old boa. She was in a tiny little cage, the owners stated that they rescued her, but could not keep her because they only breed snakes. The female boa had a spinal defect, a kinked spine, which means she cannot be bred, it could possibly kill her. However, her previous owners were breeding her because she had albino genes (they can make a lot of money from the babies). This beautiful boa had burn marks on her too, it broke my heart...so needless to say i ended up taking her home with me. Later i discovered that not only does she have albino genes, she is part HOGG boa, which means she changes colors.Francine does have some strength issues due to her deformity, but she is extremely friendly and happy, and living a normal life now.

AveryMaxine Newland
Shelby Twp, MI

Rockie, My Detroit PRINCESS!!!!

I worked at an animal hospital, and one cold miserable day a client called & said that for the past week on his way to work he had seen the same dog sitting on an abandoned house's porch in Detroit (and this was in the middle of winter when there happened to be a winter storm). He brought her in to see if she had a microchip, which she did not. He couldn't keep her, & was going to take her to the humane society. I've worked there for 3 years and never felt inclined to take a stray pet home, but with her something in my heart knew i couldn't let her go. I took her home & she cuddled under a blanket on the couch for hours trying to get and stay warm. She was really thin, & i found out when i had her spayed that she was pregnant! The dr. advised me to abort the pregnancy due to possible complications. Now i've had Rockie almost 8 years, and she is the kindest, sweetest, most loving and loyal dog ever! I could not imagine my life without her in it, and i am so thankful she was brought into my life. I've never owned female dogs, she is the first, and she is also the first rescue i've owned. She has forever changed the way i feel about rescues, i will never own anything but a rescue pet!

Shelby Twp, MI

A true Buddy

My husband was not a cat lover until one day while he was sitting on the porch a cat came into the yard. My husband clapped his hands to try to make the cat leave but instead the cat approached my husband and jumped up on his lap. I commented that he had a new "Buddy". Buddy was in poor shape with orange and yellow fur (instead of white). He was thin and had a runny nose. He also had a patch of black fur on his side which the Vet later said it might have been from a previous injury of some sort. People thought that Buddy had a grease mark on his side but my husband would say that we branded Buddy to make sure he was ours. My husband fell in love with Buddy immediately and I became 2nd place in his life but I wasn't jealous because I too loved Buddy.

Buddy entertained everyone that came to our house, even the State Police. One day the police stopped by and Buddy approached the officer. The officer said he would like to pet Buddy but was allergic to cats. Buddy proceeded to go to the officer's car, jump up on to the hood then to the roof and on to the light bar and promptly sat there as if to say "You'll like me one way or another". The officer laughed. When people came to visit I think they came to visit with Buddy and not us. They would always ask where was Buddy.

We lost Buddy 9 years later but is still the most loved cat that ever owned me. He ruled the home with a gentle paw and will be remembered always. I've had many cats since Buddy but never with such a warm personality.

Edinboro, PA

Dr. Van Thrashenstein

I picked up Dr. Van Thrashenstein, then named 'Spanky" from our local Animal Control office in 2008. "Thrash" was a special cat, he had been a victim of animal testing and we later discovered had both a heart murmur & neurological disorder that prevented him from maturing past the age of a kitten mentally. When I walked passed Thrash's cage at the shelter, he pawed out and grabbed me! Later, when I decided to meet him, he wrapped his paws around my neck and hugged me. I decided to go with the eager older cat because at that moment I knew I had found somebody special, who deserved a forever home.

Thrash was a constant companion to my mother & me. If you were home, Thrash was in your face talking to you. If you were eating, Thrash was on the arm of the chair in your face. If you were using the restroom, Thrash was in your lap. One time he even got in the shower with me! Nothing could keep him away from loving you. Last August, most likely due to complications from his past as a testing animal, we very suddenly & unexpectedly had to put Thrash to sleep. It was heart breaking for our entire family & everyone who ever received one of his trademark hugs. At one point, we were told we'd be lucky if Thrash lived 3 weeks ... Thrash lived 5 happy, healthy, well-loved years with us and I am truly grateful to have been able to had him as my furry companion for even that short period of time. I sometimes think animals who have been rescued have a greater capacity for love because there is a mutual gratitude between pet & owner that bonds them. Some people say animals don't have souls, after experiencing the love of a cat like Thrash, that seems impossible to believe. Take a gamble on the eager, oder cat - believe me, you won't regret the new friend you'll make.

Richmond, VA

My Little Girl

I had just moved into a new apartment. I was out of town visiting some friends when they told me they had a litter of kittens ready to go. She laid in my lap and slept the whole way home. She was so little and sweet and she grew up to be such a little diva! Everyday I came home from work she would just pop her little head out from underneath my dresser and meow for me that I was finally home. She made that little apartment my home, she was there when I was alone and lonely. Maybe I didn't rescue her, maybe she rescued me. She was my little aquatic kitty, she loved being in the sink and playing in the bathtub. She made silly faces and loved laying in the window. Unfortunately, a few months before she would have two years old she fell ill, not being able to eat or keep food down. She went from 12lbs to 7lbs in only a months time. She was sicker than I even knew about. I attempted to save her but was unsuccessful. She died in my arms on a Tuesday in July. It was such a bittersweet moment. I was finally able to remove her from her pain and let her feel some peace. It was one of the hardest things I've ever experienced and I will never forget the last moment I spent with her. Rest in Peace my Darling Little Girl!

Wausau, WI

Gift from my Daddy

On July 10,2014 I was on Facebook a friend posted a picture of a kitten about 6 weeks old,that was looking for a home. My friend found her on the freeway near her house. Without a thought I told her I would take her, I already have two boys at home and really wasn't even thinking about another. Something in her face made me fall in love instantly. I picked her up that night and noticed the sore on her ear looked liked someone had burned her, my thinking someone burned her and threw her out on the freeway.

My father who had been very sick passed away the next evening, I thought to myself you will never get to meet your new grandkitty. My dad use to have me bring the boys to the house for sleepovers because he missed them after we moved out, he loved them so much. On Sunday I took Freeway which is what we named her to the vet because I was worried about her ear. When the vet came back out with Freeway she said there was motor oil in his ears so her thinking was he was in the car engine and jumped or got thrown out of the car. at that moment I realized that my daddy sent him to me to ease the pain in my heart that would come the following day, my dad was a car man he spent his whole life working on cars it was his passion and for Freeway to come from a car like that I know it was a sign. If you realized I also changed the her to a him that was the surprise the vet told me first. I am now still the only girl in the house that consists of 1 human son and 3 furry sons. Thanks dad jokes on me.

As for Freeway he gets along great with his brothers, he's healthy and so lovable, he has lost part of his ear which just makes him more PURFECT.

Dawn Castelvetere
Harrison Township, MI

How i met my kitten....

My Aunt has one cat and that cat gave birth to 8 kittens.My Aunt called me to take one or two from them.I took one cat from my aunt because my neighbour was asking me from many days to bring a cat for her.I gave that little kitten to my neighbour. She tied him with a small thin rope. I was there at that time,that little kitten was continuously screaming. After some time i came to my house. At late night i opened the door because i realized that my neighbour was calling me. I asked her what happened then she told me that kitten was shouting too much and her sleep is getting disturbed. And now she don't want that cat. I took that kitten and put it on bed and i went to kitchen to take some milk for him ,when i returned i saw that baby was sleeping. On Second day i tried to feed him milk but he was not interested to eat anything. This continued for next two to three days.Then i took him to vet .Vet told me that little kitten was infected by intestinal parasites. His treatment continued for 10 days. In that ten days i realized that kitten only wants some love that he could get from his mother. I kept him with me.and now he is 3 years old and very healthy.

Deepali Rane
Kolhapur, India
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