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She rescued right back

Late one night in 1992, something caught my eye on the side of the road. Looking in the rearview, I saw a tri-color ball of fluff peeking out of the tall grass. She was all eyes and fur back then, covered with dirt, with buckshot wounds in her chest, and scared to death. She was about 3 months old. Surprisingly, she came to me readily enough when I talked to her and, when I asked if she wanted to go home, she jumped straight in the car. Little did I know that when I saved her, she would return the favor a thousand times and then some. I am a veteran with PTSD, and Maggie quickly became an unofficial "Service" dog. I discovered that I could cope with everyday situations (and some not so everyday) that had given me trouble before. Crowded, busy places weren't so disturbing, and the house wasn't so empty and unnerving any more. Maggie went everywhere with me. She worked at my side on jobs that would allow it and waited patiently for me to come home from jobs that wouldn't. She saved my life literally on two occasions, and figuratively more times than I can count. Unfortunately, arthritis and age began to catch up with her a few years ago. Last year, when it became obvious that we had tried everything to manage her pain and mobility issues and nothing was working, we had to make the most painful decision of our lives. Maggie is and will always be greatly missed, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. A little dog rescued from the ditch? Yes, but she was also a Rescuer with a heart as big as the sky.

Kate
Shawnee, OK

My little Misty

I was looking to get a kitten when a neighbor said she had found a small kitty abandoned in her back yard and didn't know what to do with it. When I got her she was covered in fleas, both eyes crusted over with infection, coughing and sneezing with a runny nose. I took her to the Vet for medication for her eye and respiratory infections. The Vet said she was about two weeks old. For the next two weeks of her life, I was her Momma feeding her replacement formula every two hours and cleaning her just like her real Momma would. I held Misty all the time close to my heart for warmth and companionship. As she grew up, she became my heart's joy. She always seemed to remember the time that she was hungry, cold and sick and that I was the one that rescued her. Whenever I was sad, she would climb on my lap, stand up so that she was facing me, put a paw on my cheek and talk to me like she was saying "What's wrong Momma? Don't be sad, I love you." Her favorite place to sleep was on my chest with her face snuggled in to my neck and she would purr like an engine. I have never had a pet that loved me as much as Misty. I lost my little girl to CRF on May 3rd of this year and to this day I miss her and cry over my loss. She was a beautiful and sweet angel that blessed my life.

Gayleen
Cypress, CA

The most "Precious"

In July of 1996 I adopted this cute fuzzy thing and she earned the name "Precious". I have had animals as part of me all my life, but this one was different. One thing was the precious princess would not tolerate getting her feet wet, in fact one time she played mule for 3 days before doing her duty. She would run and play with kids and other dogs with one minor detail, the edge of the lawn was her boundary before hidden fences and without a leash or runner. She never strayed once in over 14 years and always without any training. Any animal who came to visit us, whether canine or feline was her friend. My cats would lay with her to snooze, guess they knew a safe spot when they sensed it. This is more of a grieving for a best friend lost as about 6 weeks ago, Precious slowed way down and did not want to move a lot. But she seemed to hang in there though and I knew her time was short. On the 12th of July I laid down on the floor and hugged her and loved on her and told her, Precious if you are fighting to stay close it is okay, you have been a best friend a person could have and given the most love anyone could ask for. At 200 am I woke to her breathing changing, I laid with her on my lap and held her, she gave her last breath at 945 am, in the spot she loved the most even though at 45 pounds, she was a big lap dog. Precious I love you and thank you for your devotion. And this from a "shelter Dog"

Andrea Valdez
Florence, KY

Sadie's not stressing anymore

A holiday festival in Greenville, MS., turned out to be the best one. While taking a break from our booth, my husband and I were checking out the other booths when we came upon this white ball of fluff. The folks from the Leland animal shelter were doing a pet adoption, and I couldn't believe this pretty little girl didn't have a home. Needless to say, it was love at first sight for all three of us. Sadie finally could rest easy; she had a home for keeps.

Andrea Yeager
Long Beach, MS

Taloose & Layla

We adopted Taloose and Layla 7 years ago at a gas station from an ad in the newspaper. They were both 4 weeks old, terrified and underfed and looked terribly neglected. The mother was "hit by a car".

So far in the 7 years of their life Taloose has been to the vet twice, once for a UTI and the second time for being so terribly bone skinny and because she needed to be fixed. It turned out Taloose had a "false pregnancy" and her uterus grew to 3 times it's size and was causing her horrible pain, if we hadn't taken her that very day she would've died. They even showed my mother the uterus and compared it to Layla's normal sized uterus.

Layla has been to the vet just once, to get fixed after having 4 sweet little kittens we sadly had to give away to warm homes after being a little overwhelmed in a one-bedroom apartment.

Taloose and Layla are currently beautiful, healthy and wise and have faithfully stayed with us for all 7 years, 3 apartment moves and hopefully for all the years to come, and our trip to another state! These cats are so sweet and intelligent and nothing can ever come close to the experiences we've had with them.

Taloose is the white and black calico and Layla is the tortoiseshell.

Zonadow
Port Hueneme, CA

... and then there were 5

The Canine Chaos Crew consists of 1 Husky-Labrador, 2 Corgi-Dachshunds, 1 Golden Retriever and the newest arrival 1 Beagle - and 2 cats that are honorary canines. All free to a good home, destined for the pound or euthanasia. All special needs ranging from 7 months to 9 years.

They were "stupid, untrainable and defective." They ARE, loving, intelligent, funny and heroic. The Husky-Lab has defended me 3 times from peril. Oh there are days of exasperation like when the Golden ate the sofa. However the rewards of what they give back by far outweigh anything they have taken.

Sasha
Mesa, AZ

Abby

Abby had two "owners" in her first year of life. The first said she was too destructive and gave her up. The second tied her up outside in the Las Vegas summer heat. We got a call from a rescuer asking if we could take in another dog. We jumped at the chance to add her to our family of two other Cairn Terriers. She now has parents and sisters instead of "owners." She is unbelievably smart and loving. Those other people missed out on a great companion.

Keith and Chris Kobielsky
Henderson, NV

Stormy-Girl: I truly miss her.

Back in 2001, a friend of mine asked if I could adopt her 6-year old cat Stormy-Girl. My friend had adopted her as kitten (half Russian Blue and Scottish Fold) About a year after she got Stormy-Girl she got a small dog that bullied Stormy-Girl. So Stormy-Girl was relegated to a tiny room in the basement where she lived alone for 6-years. So sad.

When I learned of Stormy-Girls's sad situation I agreed to adopt her. She was so frightened of her new home with my Son and I and woud bite, cower and run. My Vet said to give her lots of extra love and attention and she'd come around. The best advice I could have ever received. After about 2-weeks Stormy-Girl stopped biting and started "kissing" and had the loudest purr. She'd not only kiss us but anyone who came to visit. She was so playful and her happiness was quite evident. After all, she went from a damp, cold basement room to a 3-level Townhome. She had full freedom to every level with lots of windows to peer out and loved it!!! We also had just recently adopted a male Russian Blue mix breed cat, Smokey about 2-weeks prior to bringing Stormy-Girl into our home...so she now had a Brother to keep her company.

I've had cats my entire life and loved them all dearly, but Stormy-Girl was my "special" little girl. She gave us 7-1/2 more years of love and kisses. She became ill with renal failure and traveled to the "Rainbow Bridge" on January 7, 2008. I look forward to seeing her again one day. We love and miss you Stormy-Girl.

Lina Campbell
Roselle, IL

From Argentina to New York

I found Tita (a.k.a Tosti) and Moma as little kittens in a small park in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1995.

Buenos AIres is a city full of stray cats whose fate tends to be quite horrible. I had been taking care or a small stray colony around the corner of my house. However, when I saw little Moma (the gray one) looking at me with her huge, expressive eyes, I knew that she really wanted to come home with me. I started asking around if there were other kittens living with her. A group of old ladies who went to the park everyday told me that there was another cat, very shy, that had also been dumped in the park. After looking aroud, I found little Tosti hidden among debris, who was obviously Moma's sister.

I decided that separating them would be cruel and brought both of them home. They have been with me since then!

I immigrated to New York City in 1998 and brought them with me shortly after. They have been the most fabulous blessing in my life!!

Moma has cancer. I am nurturing her gently until she lets me know that she wants to go.

I wanted to publish this story honoring my sweet, smart and unconditionally loving Moma, who will not be with me for much longer.

Fortunately, Tosti is still going strong and just a sweet and mischievous as usual.

My dearest Tosti and Moma, I love you both so deeply!!

Andrea
New York, NY

My Girls

I rescued Chelsea, my Sheltie, at age 3. She was petrified of people and hid under my bed. All she needed was lots of love and now she never leaves my side. That was 7 years ago. Three years ago I got Chloe, my Chihuahua, from a breeder. She had never been outside. Grass, rain, and snow were all new to her. Now my squirrels don't have a chance. She thinks she rules the back yard. I take Chelsea and Chloe to a local Nursing Home once a week. The residents love it and so do my girls - especially on popcorn day !!!! Rescue or adopt - it's the only way to go.

Gayle McCray
Michigan City, IN
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