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My Boo

I lost my scottie to cushings, and never felt right again. I went to the county humane society's website and saw "Bambi." She looked like a lab. But sleeker. Beautiful! I HAD to go see her. I called everything off the next morning, and I was there over an hour before the shelter opened to make sure I was first to get to her. She was brought in the room with me, and wanted nothing to do with me. She was so shy, scared, timid...she was so hurt from her past. She wouldn't take treats unless I extended my arm all the way out. She walked up to me, got right in my face, and gave me a big kiss on the nose. I HAD to have her now!! I brought her home, and the first couple weeks were really rough with her. She was so scared of me. She never barked. She was just content laying in a room by herself. I decided to name her "Boo" instead of "Bambi." Felt fitting, at the time. Also learned that she was a Plott Hound, a very unknown breed of dog. We went to bed one night and I was putting her in the crate right next to my bed, and she gave me a look. I let her out, and she slept with me in my bed that night. After that night, she really opened up. She realized she was SAFE. I took her everywhere, to show her she was safe with me now, and that she would be happy with me. She is the BIGGEST goober. Today, she barks, throws temper tantrums, huffs and whines, she's just like me! I absolutely adore her! You just don't mess with her dinner time now, ya hear? She's my spoiled, pretty pretty princess and I wouldn't change anything! My fiance and I have three dogs, including her, and I really don't know what I'd do without my Boo.

Michelle Bastian
Greeley, CO

Lincoln at the rest stop

I was driving down the turnpike, toward home after a visit with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. I had just left their home and did not need anything to drink, eat or to use the restroom but something pulled me into that rest stop – I am convinced God took me there to save this beautiful cat. When I pulled up he was rubbing peoples legs and meowing loudly – begging for food. He was skin and bones – I could count every rib and vertebrae. So I went in and bought him a chicken sandwich. After he was done literally inhaling it I picked him up and he just purred and purred. It was at that moment I knew he had to come home with me. He meowed a bit but finally settled into my front seat and fell asleep. I called my daughter and asked her to prepare the guest bedroom with a litter, food and water so that we could keep him away from our other cats until our vet cleared him. When we got home he leapt out of my arms toward my cats food bowls and began eating the old dried left overs from their dinner. We gave him his own bowl of food and he gobbled it down in a flash. Imagine my surprise when we found a microchip at the vet. We talked with the owner who told us he had run away 2 years before – she was now divorced and a single mother and felt she could not take him back. I found out his name was Lincoln and I told her he had a home with us. His transition with my other cats has not been smooth but every day gets better. Linc is a love and a lap cat and has turned into the most beautiful soft cream-colored cat I have ever seen. God wanted me to save him!!!

New Cumberland, PA

You never plan these things!

At our local Petsmart, we went inside the adoption center and looked at cats and dogs.

On the dog side, it was chaos, everyone barking or starting to once you came up to the cage. We looked at all of them and read their stories. Then there was her.

Bottom cage, staring out, not really looking at anything, not making a peep, looking pitiful.

Sign: Madison. 12 years old. No adoption fee.

We finished looking around, came back to her, and starting discussing taking her home.

We left the store but came back a few hours later. Her medical records were dismaying.

Possibly blind, hernia or lymphoma, missing teeth. Pound and rescue group not willing or able to spend any money on tests due to age. We took her into the "get to know you" room and she just sat there on my husband’s lap. We said we'd think about it.

Googled hernia and lymphoma and decided hernia we could possibly fix, lymphoma not, but could offer her some comfort and love.

So we went back again and took her home.

Vet exam revealed not blind but probably very cloudy vision. She more likely has a hernia than lymphoma because the lump could be pushed back into place. This indicates fatty tissue rather than any organs protruding so no need to do anything at the moment. Although she started coughing severely a week after adoption, she's in better shape than thought.

Her reported birthday is 12/26/2002 birthday so she is a senior and had been surrendered over a month before we saw her.

She is a quiet and observant, fazed by nothing. We’re happy to give her a safe, loving home for the rest of her days.

K. B.
Phoenix, AZ

Luna -our special needs child

During 2013 my now husband and I decided to move in together. The idea was to get a kitten and bring my dachshund with us to our new home in Pretoria. My dachshund, Kiemie, unfortunately did not cope without having me around during the day, and we decided to give her back to my parents, who work better hours than we do. So, in order to get my mind off of everything my now husband decided to get a second kitten.

One lady at my mother's school had 11 kittens at her home. 5 were her own cat's, and 6 were orphaned kittens whose mother, a feral that had pitched up at her doorstep abandoned (she still lives with this lady). So mother number one had taken on to raise 11 kittens and when we arrived we struggled choosing one for ourselves. The smallest one stood out for my husband, and since I had chosen our first kitten, he had first option. He absolutely fell in love with this one. She was extremely small and black and white. Her head looked to big for the rest of her face and features, but nonetheless we took her home. Upon examination the vet revealed that he thought she might have suffered a loss of oxygen during birth and that she was developing slower than normal kittens her age. So she became my project. I spent hours teaching her how to climb over walls, how not to get stuck in trees and her sister tried to teach her how to hunt (that lesson is still in progress). Ironically she became my little girl and her sister became her father's girl, but Luna have proven to be extremely lovable. When all the other cats are playing outside she will be sleeping next to us on the couch and she will barely leave your side. She cannot hunt (she is now 2.5 years old), but what she lacks in skills she makes up in the large amount of cuddles that she is willing to give away for free.

Pretoria, South Africa

Mishka -the drain cat

During 2014 I walked toward my car at our office and saw a small ball of gray fur jumped into the storm drain that I was walking toward. After getting into my car I drove passed the drain, and to my surprise, there the gray ball sat on a brick, but still inside the drain. It was a long-haired gray kitten that looked to be around 5 weeks old. I immediately rushed to our vet, who gave me some kitten food, a cage and a blanket with clear instructions on how to catch the gray ball of fur. Upon arrival at my office, I set the cage up with the food in a small bowl positioned right in front of the drain. I had no clue how I was going to catch her, but with little effort I managed to do just that. The vet labeled her as the healthiest feral he had ever seen! So I took her home and set her up in our spare room. After a half and hour I opened the room's door so that she can explore a bit. Before long she had climbed onto the couch where I was sitting and found her way into my jacket and began to suckle on a piece of material. We couldn't believe that she was a feral. Her behavior seemed to prove everything wrong regarding ferals, however, the following day I heard that her description sounded just like the kitten that ran away when they caught the other cats (a mother and two kittens) that had made the ceiling their home. This had taken place around two weeks before I caught her. If she is indeed part of that family I do not know how she survived on her own for so long without her mother during the coldest time of winter, but I'm glad she did.

Pretoria, South Africa

I was definitely not looking for another pet

I moved to the central mountains of Mexico with my 15 year-old Golden Retriever and my 25 pound flame point cat in 2010. I soon settled into my new life and new friends. Two of my first friends were chefs and I tagged along to local, outdoor farmer market.

After parking, we crossed the dirt road to the market when I caught a glimpse of a tiny black kitten emerge from under a truck and head straight for the road. I ran back across the road, stopping taxis and a bus and scooped up the kitten into one hand.

I found myself standing in the middle of the street holding, in one hand, as this tiny purring ball of fur. "Now what am I supposed to do with you?" It was Day of the Dead and black cats are sometimes feared, especially in parts of Mexico. I definitely could not leave him there.

If I was going to "foster" this little thing, I needed kitten food and another litter box to isolate him from my other cat, Bean. Kitten and I drove to a grocery store but, they make you check your bags at the front of the store. So I put kitten inside my purse and shopped as quickly as I could hoping he would not wake and start mewing. So, there I was hurriedly shopping with a kitten sleeping happily at the bottom of my purse, along with my keys.

I had only planned to "Foster" OSO (spanish for "bear"), but this easy-going character won me over. He is surely a momma's boy and rules the roost, 5 years later. We live in Southern California, now. I am forever grateful that this crazy Mexican cat is in my life.

Glendale, CA

Cosmic Kronos the CowDog Mix

Born on the side of a road and turned into Pinal Animal Shelter. Abandoned and unwanted.

This was the beginning of life for a litter of mixed Blue Heeler pups and their mom. The dogs were pulled from the shelter by Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue and taken into a foster home. I went to photograph the eight-week old litter and to pick up a certain pup to foster to see if he would be a good fit and addition. However, I was asked to take a second pup to foster temporarily and was given a little houndy-eared, frosty speckled pup with different colored eyes-one icey blue and the other a muted silvery gold.

My brother named him Chronos for the God of Time, although I spell it with a “K." Kronos decided that I was his person and set out to convince me. He would wriggle between his brother to be nearer on the bed and happily race after me and the ball while his brother sat on the sidelines and stared at us. He would always have to be touching me when he fell asleep-he'd reach across from the passenger seat and push his nose into my leg as he drifted off.

The clincher was him putting his paws on my chest when I was crying and his forehead on mine as if to say everything would be ok before curling up in my lap and going to sleep. I officially adopted Kronos soon after.

I had my suspicions of him having hearing problems, though it wasn't until a few months later that I officially had him BAER tested and was informed he was unilaterally deaf (half deaf). However, that has not slowed him down too much-Kronos loves vaulting into water, racing around the yard, learning tricks, and going for walks. His adventures with his sisters can be seen on Tiffany's Diamond Dogs. Kronos is a total goofball with his wide array of mighty noises for a roughly 30 lb dog. He is brimming with personality and vigor and he loves to get a laugh and make me smile.

Tiffany Hughes
Sierra Vista, AZ

The Sunshine to my morning

Coming home after my last exam, I found three little soaked creatures who were about less than a week old, in a box in the rain. They got weaned from their mother this early and this little one is the only survivor as the other two died the next day I brought them home. It literally broke my heart. I called him Rengar and he just turned 2 months old. It requires a lot of care and love to be a foster kitten parent, but I think i did a good job when I see him playing around so happily now. *taps myself on the shoulder* The way I love him is the way a mother loves her child. I still remember when I rushed to town to get him a milk replacement as soon as possible. I give him a bath once a week so he stays clean and free from fleas. I make his food that last for one whole week. I started feeding him soft food after one month. He prefers cooked food rather than raw food but I try to half cook it for him. He has become very playful and this playfulness makes him bite a lot. Sometimes I think he's crazy by the way he jumps around xd We made him this little skirt for his one month even though he's a male. Youtube helped me find out his sex and a lot more. The weird thing is that every time he purrs he looks for my hand to suckle. He's currently teething and becoming very curious about his surroundings. He also saw a big cat for the first time yesterday. It's funny how he won the heart of my family as we have never had a pet before. My parents never allowed me but now Rengar makes them smile so much everyday. He is like a special gift of happiness that has been placed into our lives. My grand father and grand mother who are ninety and eighty seven years old respectively finds peace and joy in his company. Long Live Rengar :D

Port Louis, Mauritius

My Friend Max

Two years ago I was about to turn 50 and wanted a present that would just be for me. I decided that I really wanted a dog because I had never had one. Also, with the kids leaving home, I needed a substitute “child” to take care of and spend time with. It had to be a small dog so our two elderly cats wouldn’t be intimidated. I found Pegasus on the website for Heaven Sent Animal Rescue and, as luck would have it, they were having an event at Pet Smart that weekend. When I walked up to the little corral where they had the dogs, Pegasus came running over to me, barking as if to say “I’m the one you’re looking for!” It was meant to be! I’m sure they had named him Pegasus for his huge ears, but that was too big of a name for a little guy so I renamed him Max. Max was scared of everything at first and hated going out for walks. But with time, patience and training, he is now fine about walking with me around the neighborhood and parks. He’s just scared of large trucks and loud noises. He and the cats have an agreement where they have their own territories in the house, so it's mostly peaceful. He’s a wonderful companion and friend, and loves his people family as much as we love him.

Albany, NY

My sweet Lilith Rose

A close friend's cat had just given birth to a litter of kittens, but sadly only two of her kitten had survived. Monster, later known as Lilith Rose and Roxy, two beautiful calicos, Lily, long haired and Roxy short hair. I was sixteen at the time and when I saw Monster, I was in love and knew she was going to be mine, I would just have to convince my mother. We had already had four rescued furbabies, Caramel, our oldest, Siberian long haired bridle, our second oldest, Lelo, half siamese bridle, Artemis, our all white ragdoll and Coletta, our shih tzu. So it took a lot of convincing to let me bring home a new kitten. At first meeting with all our fur babies, she hissed and growled at them, and she especially bullied Lelo. She even tried to take on Caramel, our queen and alpha of our little pack, that didn't last long, Lily had learned her place.

From the beginning, she knew she was mine, and she made that clear, that I was hers. In the morning, I would find her toys in front of my bedroom door, my mom had later on told me, she was bringing me her kill, showing me how happy she was, that I had saved her. As the years went on, Lily ballooned, she became a big and beautiful cat, who I loved more and more, everyday. Sadly, at 22, my oldest cat, Caramel had crossed the Rainbow bridge and later on that same night, I lost my mother to cancer. I was destroyed and I have to break up my furbabies, finding them all new homes and Lily stayed with me, I lived with my sister for a short time, before moving out on my own. Lily kept me sane, while I learned to live on my own, which was hard. It's been nearly five years, but life has gotten better, Lily is 11 now, I dread the day I lose her but I still have lots of time with her.

Rochester, NY
Purple Paw Quilted Jacket
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