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Born under the Brambles at our local vets surgery.

We'd recently lost two cats to old age, Smudge on his 21st birthday, then 6 weeks later his sisfur Dinkie joined him at the Rainbow Bridge. Shadow was on her own, going to their places looking for them, we knew she was missing them as much as were. She helped us decide we'd get another furbaby when the time was right. Not knowing it would only be a couple of weeks away.

One of the vet nurses told me later that a litter of kittens had been born under the surgery on the day Smudge passed over, we decided to go and meet them. Immediately my husband Graham (who claims "I'm not a cat person") fell in love with a tiny spotted tabby, who made a beeline for him. But she was already reserved. I asked if we could put a second reserve on her, just in case the person changed their mind, luckily for us they did!

Gray chose the name Bramble, which suits her. Like most kittens she's so funny, nose into everything, 4 1/2' jumps straight up onto her activity centre, a chatter box, giving us lots of headbonks, tongue kisses & purrs.

We're finding Bramble has many of Smudges mannerisms. He was, and she is Grays furbaby, play fights only with him. She did something only once the day she came home, using her claws to haul herself up onto the leather footstool. I said to her "That's what your old brofur Smudge used to do", "Purrt" the same questioning tone he used. It was like telling us she knew!

Shadow, doesn't like that Bramble follows her everywhere at full speed. But loves teasing her, hiding behind the blinds with her long fluffy tail poking out from under, swishing it back & forth, then a quiet meow calling her. If Bramble gets to rough, you hear the hiss and the thud of the thunderpaw! As if to say "Respect your elders" so we know they're becoming friends.

She's brought laughter back into our house, we couldn't be without her :)

Chris Edmondson
Horrabridge, United Kingdom

My unexpected blessing.

Well, this is about my baby girl. I was out for a walk with my flatmate and we were about to cross a busy road since it was just after 5pm. We heard someone beeping and out of curiosity, we decided to look over thinking it was an impatient driver, only to see this very skinny brindle kitty dodging traffic and running for her life. Automatically, I had to do something so, luckily, there was a small shop nearby. I ran over and had my flatmate watch her so i could buy some ham to lure her off the road. She was so friendly and let us pick her up whilst purring. We couldn't believe how light she was so naturally we took her in. Fast forward a couple months, 4 healthy babies were born. To our shock as we had no idea. She was a fantastic mum to them. Perfect even. Now she has put on weight and is a perfect cat, except from when we are eating she likes to try steal food off us. Cheeky but still I wouldn't change her. I'm always thankful for that day. And hope to have her for years to come.

Sarah B.
Dundee, United Kingdom

Ginger's Story

We heard of a little dog that her owner wanted to get rid of.

An incredibly friendly 8 yr old female Corgi, named Ginger. We couldn't quite understand why, but the owner explained that her boyfriend just didn't like her, they were tired of carrying her down the porch stairs to go potty (Ginger’s short legs couldn't manage the stairs), and worst of all, their larger dog used her as a toy, commonly kicking her around like a “soccer ball.”

We were completely disgusted, but decided to show a brave face and asked if we could take this little girl home with us.

A short time later, we placed Ginger onto our grassy lawn and attempted to introduce her to our first dog, a 4 yr old very lovable Beagle. She immediately freaked out, not only for being in presence of another dog, but of the grass as well. We later found out her previous owner never took her for walks, and kept her locked in a sky-kennel most of the time that was SO SMALL, she couldn't even turn around inside of it. When outdoors at her previous home, Ginger was only used to concrete underfoot; her lead was a 6 foot leash, much too short to reach the grass.

It took weeks for Ginger to acclimate to her new surroundings; surprisingly she got along with our cat, but she frequently nipped at the rest of us in fear. With tons of patience and lots of love, she became our precious little Gingy Girl.

Fast forward 6 years, Gingy Girl's health is declining. We know it won’t be long before she’ll be crossing the great Rainbow Bridge. But nonetheless, it warms our hearts knowing we've given her exactly what she deserved all along, a true LOVING forever home.

Valerie Khan
Niagara Falls, NY

Sweety: the backyard stray

There has always been a few strays cats roaming around our neighborhood, none of them fixed. One summer day in 2009 our neighbor told us the one of the strays gave birth in his backyard. He told us to come visit the four kittens every few days or so as he wanted to them used to people and hopefully find homes for them. We did just that and slowly but sure fell in love with the smallest kitten, who we began calling Sweety. Over time we began bringing her inside to explore and soon enough we knew she would be a permanent member of the family.

About a year went by and our Sweety started getting lazy. Our vet suggested adopting a kitten for her to play with and mother. We started visiting shelters and soon stumbled across Dark Angel. Like Sweety she was the runt, and we had a soft spot for her, home she came. She had a bit of mange that needed tending to and Sweety wasn't thrilled at this new creature who smelled of many dogs and cats. The first few days were tense and a bit nerve wracking, but as days passed she smelled less like all the other animals and Sweety began to wash her and play with her all the time. At this point her skin was healing well and our vet assured us Dark Angel was home to stay and Sweety hadn't gotten any mange mites. They are four and five years old now. Most days they play fight a bit, but still love and snuggle with each other and us all the time.

Stephanie Bond
Mystic, CT

Happy Abby

I had been wanting to adopt a dog for quite some time. I began to search adoption sites, and on June 2, 2012, I decided to attend a local adoption event. The pup I wanted had already been adopted, so I looked at the other little ones. Then I saw a small Chi mix. That was it. I chose her. I walked her around the parking lot and told her I would take care of her always. She told me she would be my furever friend. Later, I found out that she had repeatedly run away from her former home where she had been tied up outside all year. Dogs should never be tied outside, especially a small 10-pound little girl. I was approved to adopt her and we went home to meet her older fur brother. Abby is always happy. She greets me with manic excitement when I come home. She watches TV with me and sleeps on my bed each night. This little girl will always live the good life. She brings me so much joy and company. I will never fully understand the force that pulled me to that particular adoption event. Perhaps she kept running away from her former "home" so I would find her. Isn't is amazing how events happen that pair us with our furever friends? This picture was taken on her second Adoptaversary.

Beth
Clarksburg, WV

The Unwanted Became Family

My (ex) husband was leaving the military, so I moved ahead of him. The location was 1,000 miles away from him (TX), as well as my family (PA). Finding an opportunity to get my kitten, I decided to look for one. I found an ad (pic sent through text) on craigslist. She stole my heart immediately! She was the runt, and last picked; everyone picked her siblings over her. The owner was glad to keep her for me until I moved (got her the day I arrived). She was three months old (2011), and I named her R'asha Selene. She and I have been through so much together! Six months later I moved back, as he decided to stay in TX.

R'asha scolded us for leaving her all day, so two months later, we visited the pound. We found an adorable playful black-and-white kitten, she would swipe at the keys of the employees passing by! We were told that no one wanted her despite having taken her to the room to get to know her better. I fell in love (named her Tsuki Yin), but waited a day, to get her spayed (they were going to fix and transfer them to the humane society the next day.) (2012) Some time ago, my ex wanted a divorce, and found someone else. I moved out, (my little ones were not the only '2nd-to-last choice' in the family, at this point, although a friend wanted me and R'asha to stay with her rather than move back). This next, wonderful two chapters of life would not have happened though, if I stayed.

Another friend took us in (he has a 17-year-old baby himself), and made us a family. Since then, good news took place! R'asha had a baby (MIel Qiyue), born in June this year! The cats all have moon names to bind them as family. Selene, Tsuki and Qiyue all mean 'moon'.

Our family is still growing, however... my own savior became my fiance, and we are expecting a baby of another sort... for I am pregnant! Our loving family is complete now.

Anonymous
El Paso, TX

Potato the Playful English Bulldog

Potato’s first owner had the best intentions but wasn’t able to offer the goofy English Bulldog the care he needed. Overwhelmed by puppy chewing and housebreaking, he had been consigned to the backyard. With a baby on the way, the limited time Potato’s owners had for the lonely dog was going to become nonexistent.

Hoping for a better life for Potato, his owner brought him to the Humane Society Silicon Valley. The first thing they noticed about the big bulldog is that he was desperate for attention. The second was that he was totally uncivilized. He jumped on everyone and couldn’t contain his enthusiasm for other dogs and people. With his stout build, he was a linebacker on the loose.

With a lot of support, HSSV’s behavior staff was able to work with him on new-people manners and helped me ease Potato’s transition from outdoor dog to beloved family pet.

Anonymous
Milpitas, CA

The Chief

I rescued Chief from a shelter when he was about 2 years old. He had been there since he was a tiny puppy, except for a brief two week period in which he was adopted by a family who returned him to the shelter, saying they couldn't handle him. I saw his sweet face on the humane society website and went right out there to adopt him. When I told them which dog I wanted, the ladies at the shelter looked at me doubtfully. Several times, they asked me, "Are you sure you want that one?" Before I left, they told me his name was "Chip", but that the family who had briefly adopted him had changed it from "Chief", which is what they'd always called him up until then. They also told me he loved water, and I was happy to hear that because I lived right on the Kentucky River and my golden retriever, Clyde, loved swimming.

By the time I'd wrestled his 135 lbs. into the car, I was having doubts. Could I take this on? It turned out Chief didn't even know how to walk up or down stairs, and by liking water, they meant he liked to drink a lot of water! He and Clyde immediately became brothers and Chief modeled all his behavior after Clyde. I called him "Chip" a couple of times he didn't respond, so I asked, "Is your name Chief?" He ruffed! The beginning of much talking!

That was 8 years ago. Chief does love water...drinking and swimming! He and Clyde have traveled with me to California, hiking mountains and swimming in the surf. When he sleeps, he often hugs himself, as he's doing in the photo. I know in my heart this is because he was once lonely. Not anymore!

Denise
Louisville, KY

Was meant to be

3 years ago I phoned West Yorkshire Dog Rescue after reading about a chihuahua x jack russell which had been ill treated and needed a home with other dogs preferably. My husband and I had 2 dogs, we felt it would be too much to take on a third dog and decided to not phone up

Two days later neither of us had slept properly and decided to check if they had a home for this little dog. On phoning up we found that they hadn't and that the dog was extremely poorly. The dog had hair missing from her back end, flu and was very timid and frightened and was not in a fit state to leave the rescue.

2 weeks later my husband and I were going away for a week with our dogs and asked the rescue if there was any possibility of us taking her with us to get to know her with our little family. We were invited to go and meet her, although she was still ill. I was so nervous driving over, we had seen photos of her and she looked so poorly and sad. When we met her she didn't make a fuss, she was not really well enough. My heart melted and after a discussion it was decided that as she was on the mend we could take her with us. We were in the position of being with her 24/7.

Suzy is the most amazing little dog, she is beautiful with a glossy shiny coat and she stands so tall with her tail curled over. She never leaves my side, following me around the house even to the loo. She snuggles into my neck and just looks at me with her big eyes.

My husband says when I am out she just sits by the window waiting for me to come home. I adore her and my other 2 dogs love her too, she has enriched our family and I am so glad that we made the call and adopted her. It was meant to be.

Anonymous
Leeds, United Kingdom

Susie - the unadoptable dog

I meet Susie while doing my internship as a dog trainer with K9 Unleashed. She belongs to the Fayette Humane Shelter and was given to me to work with. I knew in the first 3 minutes I would have to take her home in order to help her. Susie was terrified of everything! She had spent her last two years in some kind of kennel at various shelters. I knew she would not have a chance to be adopted if I didn’t do something. So I took her home and introduced her to my pack.

I took Susie to doggy daycare, obedience classes, and the dog park as well as other places around town to expose her to as much as I could. She will always be a fearful dog, but she has come a long way. She went from letting no one near her to going up to people to get petted.

Susie needs a very special kind of forever home. Like an older couple or someone with no kids. She will let kids pet her and is fine with them; it is their energy that is the problem. She needs somewhere calm and quiet. I have decided to keep her until we can find that special home for her. I love her with all my heart and she deserves a wonderful home full of love and patience.

Debbie
Peachtree City, GA
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