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I was teaching a class at a community college located in the country on the outskirts of town. It was raining that day and a small, brown puppy was trying to find shelter among the campus buildings. Some of my students and I coaxed him toward us and gave him water and crackers. He looked so pitiful and sad, I could not resist. I put him in my car and drove straight to the vet's office. Although the puppy was filthy dirty, the vet pronounced him to be a "good, solid pup." I took the puppy to the next class session and my students helped me decide on the name Bacchus. Bacchus accompanied me to class many times that semester and could easily convince the students to pet and spoil him. That was over 12 years ago. Now Bacchus is grey around the muzzle and he has lost his hearing. But he is a happy dog who loves walks, sleeping on the bed, eating any snack that comes from a plastic wrapper, and being the center of attention. Bacchus has been the light of my life and I feel so blessed to have him.

Amy Andres
Fresno, CA

Sweet Sadie

Sadie was found running the streets of a large city, a million people.

She was so fast no one could catch her.

Finally the "dreaded dog catcher" did capture her and took her to the pound. The pound here house dogs that are undesirable , I think, because after a long while, no one claimed this magnificent dog. She is a pure-bred Brittany Spaniel. We didn't care , though, we just loved her little grin.

Well, being a bird dog, she was thrilled to find her forever home on five acres in the country, where she could romp and play to her heart's content.

We would be missing a big part of happiness if Sadie hadn't wanted us for her family. She is the sweetest, most content, animal I have ever had, and I've had many in my 68 years.

Jackie Sikes
Callahan, FL

My Baby Boy Taz

15 years ago - a friend of mine told me she found a little tabby in a garage all covered in dirt and oil and told me I would be a great "mom" to the little guy. How cold I ever say no although I had another cat at home and was not sure how they would be with each other. Bringing Taz home was certainly an expereice at the beginning and he got his name becsuse he was the biggest brat in the world, climbing up and on everything, chasing my other cat everywhere, totally terrorizing (in a nice way...) the household but he had a heart of gold and that's how he got his name, The Tazmanian Devil that I shortened to Taz He was my baby boy and acted more like a dog than cat. He followed me everywhere in the house, when I took a bath - he sat beside me, he never left my side for a moment. I loved both of my little ones so so dearly. Then one day - unexpectedly- he devoloped severe kidney failure and after a week of treatments , intervenus, etc he was so sick and weak I had no choice but to put him to sleep.A shock becasue my other cat was 4 years older. That was the hardest day of my life. It has only been 7 months since his passing and I still miss and love him dearly. But he is forever in my heart. Thank goodness my friend brought that little guy to me all those years ago- I believe we lightened up each others lives for the time that we were both blesssed to have together.

Montreal, QC, Canada

Mr. McCool

I was spending a week in at our small beach house in Mexico with my friend Frances. She went out onto the patio on her way to the shower at the back of the house and said to me, "There is a dog out here, should we feed it?" "No, we don't feed the dogs", I immediately replied with my mother's standard refrain. Unfortunately, there are many, many unhomed dogs in Baja California and my Mom was always worried that as kids we would want to take one home. Well, this big, red, smelly dog jumped the low wall into our compound and I was undone by his sad eyes. He seemed to be saying to me, "You're my last chance. If you don't help me, I'm finished." I gave him a large bowl of water which he immediately emptied. As he drank his second bowl of water I hunted through the cupboards for something to feed him. Frances came back from her shower as he was finishing off a can of corned beef hash and said, "I thought we didn't feed the dogs?" We found out from neighbors that he had been hanging around the camp for a few weeks and no one had taken him in. The fate of nuisance dogs in this area is that that are eventually taken out to the town dump and put down with a bullet. He was 20 pounds underweight, had the beginnings of skin infections, smelled like dead fish, and knew no commands. I was in love. He and I both quickly decided that he should come home with me. His name is Finn McCool and his eyes are now smiling, he is a solid 85 pounds, smells like popcorn, and has a fine repertoire of tricks.

Kellie Horton
Simi Valley, CA

When Buddy Came Calling

One morning as I was backing out of the garage I noticed this little bedraggled, scared looking dog sitting on the driveway. I stopped the car and coaxed him over. I remembered my neighbor lady driving around the neighborhood the week before looking for her little white dog so I went to her house and he followed along. This was not her dog though and the neighbor said this little dog had been wardering around for three days. I remember seeing a family in the neighborhood moving on Sunday before, so I figured they had left him when they moved. I took him home and put food and water on the patio and left for work. He looked like he had the mange so I took him to the vet that night and he was pronounced a healthy dog, didn't even have fleas. I advertised for 2 weeks and didn't find the owners, so he is a member of my family now and since he was such a sweetie I named him Buddy. Buddy has been with me for almost seven years. What a smart little fella. Everyone who meets him loves him. I am so happy he found me.

Barbara Bonner
Phoenix, AZ


The painting is from a photo I took of Al the cat. I was feeding a colony of stray cats and there was always a black cat who stayed around after everyone was fed; just to keep me company. I started calling him 'Big Al'. On Halloween night I saw 'Big Al' wandering the neighborhood. It worried me to see a black cat being so visible and knowing how friendly he was I stopped the car, opened the door and yelled out (yes, I knew this seems a little odd) 'Hey Al! Get in here!' We were trapping cats with bait and cages and that took a long time. Al came to the car, recognized me and hopped on the seat; just like a family member. I was a few blocks from my house and we drove home together. He's been here ever since; and every Halloween is Al's anniversary of finding a forever home.

deborah mann
nyack, NY

Our "Bones"

My husband found Bones in our backyard one morning in early April 2006.She was lying under a bush and at first he thought she was dead.He spoke to her and she slowly raised her head to look at him.She was so skinny and dehydrated that she could barely move.He went inside and got her a bowl of water and some ham to feed her.He had to tear the ham into tiny pieces and hand feed her.She was covered in matted fur and fleas and was so weak she let us bathe and clip her knotted fur without any fuss.I think she was grateful someone was caring for her.

We took her to the vet the next day and found out she was declawed and spayed.We also learned the small lump we'd found on her spine was a tumor.The vet removed it a month later.It wasn't cancerous.We named her Bones because she was so skinny but 4 years later her name doesn't fit her anymore.

She is fully recovered,much fatter and happy.She is truly a joy to have around.The siamese in her makes her very vocal and she loves talking to everyone.She is the most loving cat I've ever had.

Patti Conlee
Hot Springs, NC


When the time comes for our family to adopt a new family pet, we always go to our local shelter. I have always found wonderful animals there. This is Charlie in the forefront { he would'nt have it any other way } We adopted him after our beloved greyhound passed away. Even though our hearts were broken, Charlie was angel sent from heaven. Lulu our kitty was found in the middle of a busy street by my husband and daughter. She was only four weeks old and had a huge gash on her throat. Last but not least is Patches.

We were told that Patches owners moved and left her behind in the backyard, and this was in one of our coldest winters. We could not ask for better pets. They are an important part of our family.

sue koonce
oak lawn, IL

Foxy Lady

My husband works at a railroad yard driving a truck. He had been seeing this stray running all around the place. Rain, Snow, hot and cold weather.

She was a nasty looking critter that most thought she was a wild animal part Fox part dog. She didn't trust any human. He started to throw food at her just so she would get some nutrition in her skinny little body!

This went on for almost 4 years, when one day little by little she started to trust him. She knew the sound of his truck so she would follow him everywhere he went. On a sunny Saturday in May of 08 he was getting out of his truck to put some food down for her when he felt something on his leg. There she was putting her paw on him so he could pet her..That was it, next thing I knew he was on his way home with her in his car. I was scared becasue we had two dogs at home and if she was wild she would hurt my precious ones. But No, she came and met my Riley and Puddles then waslked inside sniffed around the family room and jumped on our sofa and looked at us as if to say Ok I am home I like it here!!

So we have had her ever since and once we washed away the dirt and grime on her, she was perfectly healthy. Not even a flea on her!!

Everyone tells us she is a Shiba-Inu. She is a Beautiful Blonde girl around 7 yrs old. She is a perfect angel inside with hardly ever an accident.

she will be with us for the rest of her days here on this planet!! We love her!

Oak Lawn, IL

Our Sweet Kabela

One day me and my husband were driving around in dallas going to junk yards to get car parts. As we were leaving the last one we noticed a very thin malnourished pit bull on the side of the road. We immediately stopped and went to her. She was very scared she had obviously been in dog fights from all the scars on her face. Her teeth were missing and she was covered in ringworm and ticks. She wouldn't get near us at first we took it slow to approach her. She finally was at ease and we were able to pick her up and put her in the car. She was so sweet and gentle the whole way home. We cleaned her up and fed her she was starving. We immediately decided to keep her and nurse her back to health. We took her to the vet and had her treated for ringworm. We then found out she had heartworms and started treatment right away. She was then spayed the vet said she had been bred so many times. They apparently took her pups away and then ditched her. Today she is a healthy 4 year old sweetheart who is very loving and playful. Her favorite place is our bed as you can see in the picture. She loves our other dogs and the family. People say pit bulls are bad dogs but I say its the people that make them that way. We are so lucky to have her our other pit bull Kahlua loves her so much they are sisters for life and we wouldnt have it any other way!

Argyle, TX
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