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A Different kind of Rescue

While walking with my dogs early one morning a large brown dog walked out of a neighbor's yard and stood looking at us. He had no collar and was not a dog I recognized from the neighborhood. So after putting my dogs away I jumped in my truck with a leash and drove down to the house where I had seen him. He was now a couple of houses down but came when I called him. He was large, part mastiff, but as I could see old with white on his mussel. He was friendly and eager to get pets. I called him "Old Man". Due to the high temperatures here I was concerned about him needing water. I put him in my gated front patio and gave him water and food. I knew he belonged to someone as he was not too thirsty or hungry. The neighborhood children said they had seen him wandering the street a day before I took him in. We played round robin with my dogs in the back yard then in a bed room while I brought "Old Man" thru the house and into the backyard. He was friendly with my cats, but I did not want any problems between "Old Man" and my dogs. So when I brought him inside (as it gets too hot for older dogs to be outside) my dogs were in the bedroom enjoying the bed all to themselves! His owner placed an ad that night on Craig's List Lost and Found. I found out he was called Bam Bam. We connected and he is now back with his family! With luck and the internet, I only had him for a couple days.

Mary
Las Vegas, NV

The hitch hiker puppy

My parents went for a drive to Tim Horton's when they saw a man standing by the doors, he had a duffel bag filled with 8 puppies. 6 white ones and 2 brown ones. After talking with the man they learnt that he had hitch hiked here (in the middle of nowhere) with the puppies and was still going. My mother NEVER wanted a second dog, since we foster dogs she didn't want a puppy around. But after seeing one of the puppies trying to get out of the duffel-bag and wiggle over to her, she knew our home needed him.

It was the last day of school before march break in grade 9 when he came into my life. Like an angel, Buddha had come to me right when my clinical depression was at its worst. He helped me get through the stages of my life where I was questioning life itself. After being told that he has social issues and that I needed to bring him around places to get him use to people was scary at first; as i suffer from severe social phobia and I have panic attacks when I'm in a room with strangers. But I did it for Buddha, he helped me get over my fear while getting rid of his. 3 years later, he is now a registered therapy dog, we go to old age homes and he cheers up the residence as he always cheers me up when my depression gets hard.

people say "I rescued my dog" but I think it should be more like "He rescued me" because I don't know how I could get through college let alone life without my best friend right beside me.

Hayley Smrczek
Nepean, ON, Canada

Bruce Wayne, The crazy little dog no one wanted.

I was a volunteer at a rescue and was there when Bruce Wayne was brought in. I learned of his story about how he was surrendered to a local shelter due to his high energy by his family. He was adopted by a 2nd family for a couple of months only to be returned again for his high energy and “bad” behavior. Then a couple adopted him only to return him two weeks later saying he had “little dog syndrome” and they didn’t want him anymore. Not good for a dog to be returned to a shelter 3 times as many are labeled “Not Adoptable". Luckily for Bruce a volunteer from our rescue came by to rescue some dogs and wanted to give him another chance to find his forever home. While at our rescue he was a stressed little guy only getting along with one female dog and could not be around any children volunteers because he started to become too excitable and would jump and nip. He didn’t have a lot of interest because, while I found him to be so cute, most thought he was funny looking or ugly and with his behavior it made him not the most desirable dog. I could tell he was just nervous and fed off all the other dogs’ excitable energy. He didn’t know what was going on or why he was there; he just wanted to be part of a family. I really wanted to learn more about him and see how he would do in a home setting so I could find the best home for him. I was a little nervous about bringing him home to my dogs but they are used to me bringing dogs home for visits so I figured I would give it a try. It was to be just for a few days or until we could find him a home. Well, turns out we were the best home for him. We just couldn’t let him go. We wanted to make sure he had a great life and never gets given up on again.

Anonymous
Conowingo, MD

Kitty in the Snow

On a bitterly cold January night, my husband and I went out to dinner and then stopped by the garage where we get our cars repaired to pick up his work truck. The temperature was in the teens and very windy and so I was very surprised to see a black and white cat hanging around in the dark. She meowed at us and I went over to say hello and ended up giving her the last of my prime rib. I simply couldn't leave her there, so the next day I went back with a carrier and took her home. She about turned herself inside out to get to the canned food I had brought.

She had a hard time of it at first. It was clear she was unsocialized with other cats and I already had two boys. She found my husband terrifying and almost all of her communication involved hissing. But despite that, she never actually bit or scratched. I named her Minavi, who is a Hindu deity of wisdom. I was worried about keeping her because I travel and take my cats with me. For our first trip I took her alone. Our first night I got to see a whole other side of her as she climbed up on the bed, wrapped her paws around my neck, and produced the most urgent purring and kneading that I've ever seen on a cat. I was smitten.

It took over a year before she settled in with the boys. There was quite a bit of territorial peeing, and I'm grateful to have Animal Planet's, My Cat From Hell series, with Jackson Galaxy to help me figure out how to cope with it. Now all three eat together, and travel with me monthly. Minavi now follows me around, loves being groomed, will sleep next to her tabby pal, and likes to snuggle in front of the computer while I type. She's my sweet guurl kitty and has been a saving grace and welcome distraction during some personal challenges. I'm so happy to have her in my life!

Anonymous
Trumbull, CT

Shadow's Chance

About 10 years ago, I was at a friend of my mother's. I was tired from working all day at a restaurant and had some food from there with me. I saw this tiny black and brown puppy. He was covered in mud, cold and really tiny and hungry. They allowed me to take him home. After a bath, a feeding and some doctoring on his paw we settled in for the night. The next day I took him to the vet, got his shots, learned he was 3 months old, got him wormed, got his paw professionally looked at and was sad to know that it would take a few days to get his health fully examined, but I could get him back after. A few days later, I brought him home and named him Shadow and for the past ten years he has been my shadow and my constant and dearest friend. I joke with my husband that I've had the dog longer than him, but Shadow is a part of our family and after I gave birth to my six year old son, he became a friend and protector to him too. To me he's the best dog ever and will always hold a special part of my heart.

Miranda
Viola, TN

We didn't planning on getting another dog, but it was Karma...

My husband and I stopped at the grocery store, at 10:45pm - 15 minutes before it closed. While we were there, someone in a car dumped a dog in a cage in front of the doors. When we came out, people were staring at the cage, debating what to do. We decided to take her home and see if we could call a rescue the next morning, since we already had three dogs.

Once home, we realized something was wrong. She had multiple abrasions, was dazed, wasn't moving her jaw, was panting and anxious and bleeding from her mouth. We rushed her to the emergency vet who said she had been hit by a car and she had a broken jaw and head trauma. He said the prognosis was poor and her care would be costly. We decided to give her a chance and do the x rays for a further diagnosis. When I pulled out my credit card and paid her bills, that was the moment that I knew that she was ours.

We arrived home at 3:00am and went back at 8:00am to take her to the Veterinary Specialist for surgery. When we got to the Specialist, he confirmed that her jaw was broken, but was primarily worried about her head trauma and said she was blind from her brain swelling. For 8 days she was an admitted patient. Her prognosis was touch and go, but they never did surgery because her jaw was stable and they didn't want to risk anesthesia with the head injury. Several times we were told that they weren't sure of the outcome, but slowly she got better. We eventually took her home and nursed her back to health. Her sight returned as her brain swelling diminished and she became one of our pack.

She is a sweet and happy dog who loves food and playing with our other dogs. She trots around with her tail held high and whenever we see her, we laugh about how we didn't want another dog, but the universe gave us one, so we called her Karma.

Anya Lester
Las Vegas, NV

Kerbey Lane

We adopted Kerbey Lane in May 2013. When we got her she had some current, but albeit curable, medical issues – alopecia, chronic ear infections, and a nervous bladder.

From what the shelter told us about her, she was left in an abandoned house for an unknown amount of time, fostered for over a year before being returned to the shelter, adopted to an individual who in turn gave her to another family who ended up dumping her in said adopter’s back yard without notice, and then back to the shelter.

Kerbey always walked a little funny - the best way to describe it would be ‘pigeon toed’ – but she ran, jumped, and played like all other dogs. A few months after we adopted Kerbey we noticed she wasn’t jumping on the bed. Shortly after that she was having accidents during the night and was reluctant to stand. A trip to the vet with a full work up revealed a slipped disc. We tried crate rest, steroids, a wheelchair - anything and everything, but she unfortunately just didn’t recover, and surgery was not a good option in her case. We later discovered she has intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), and unfortunately will probably never walk again.

Kerbey is extremely affectionate, eager to please, and her only want is to be by your side. She hardly ever barks and has never shown aggression to any other animal or human. She loves to go on walks and especially car rides! She wants to meet everyone she encounters and always does so with a huge smile. She has never missed a beat, even with all that she’s been through. Her spirit remains strong and everyone who meets her instantly falls in love. She has taught us more about ourselves than we could possibly imagine. Our lives have forever changed because of Kerbey. She is truly our special girl!

Chandra
Austin, TX

Pucks Aren't Only For Hockey

My niece and I were on our way to pick someone up at a local racetrack. The races were setting up; so all the race-car trailers were pulling in to the pits. As we’re waiting in line I saw this small white and black dog running in and out of the tires of the trailers. I knew if we left her she’d be toast, so I opened the door to my car. She ran right up to us and jumped straight in the car. She was so skinny and dirty. She was so happy though.

I took her to the vet to get checked out. They estimated her to be about 6 months old and an Australian Shepherd mix. She’d clearly been on her own for a while, weighing only 13 lbs. The vet gave her all the shots she’d need and some medicine for if she had parasites. I posted her picture on all the lost and found sites in our state and the next day I plastered her picture at all the local vets, pet stores, and grocery stores. I kept her posting updated on Facebook in an attempt to find her family. They never came forward. I tried to not name her, because we already had 4 dogs. My husband had said no more dogs. I tried to find a rescue to take her, but none of them would because she wasn’t spayed or in a high-risk situation. I refused to take her to a shelter, because most around here are high kill. We finally gave up and admitted defeat; she was one of the pack.

We named her Puck and she has found her forever home here with us. She loves everyone, but especially my husband. She loves lying under his desk on his feet and licking his toes. When he gets in to bed at night she climbs on the bed and gives him a “hug”. She rubs her face along his neck and then lies on his chest. She then lets out this little sigh, as if all is perfect in her world.

Amber K
El Reno, OK

She was so tiny and afraid.

I saw a blink of gray one day while I was outside. I turned, saw a tiny kitten. I looked for it, thought it must be a neighbors and it was gone. The next day it came to the sidewalk and I realized it was super tiny. I'd try to get near it, it ran off. I did this four or five more times. I baited for it with food to get it a little closer, while telling myself, "We didn't need another pet, we have two dogs and an old cat." By baiting for it we ended up getting it closer and finally one day, it came to us. I took it to the vet.

SHE was 5 weeks old by this time, had the vet check her from head to toe. Made sure she didn't have anything transmittable. The vet called a week later. We found out much later after we brought the gray kitten to our home and lives. She was one of over one hundred kittens abandoned in a vacant field. The mother cats lived a few blocks down from us, and this was an annual ritual with the owners. They let them breed, they let them year after year have their litters, and as soon as they found them all, they would scoop them up and dump them somewhere to die, horrible deaths. Only our Sophia and one other were saved. She'd been surviving under our shed, and wouldn't go to anyone else. It took two years to bond with our old cat, Lexi (about three years before losing Lexi). Sophia is over fourteen years old now, she sleeps next to me. She's about thirty pounds still. Technically, we rescued her but most of the time, I think she rescues me. When I feel bad, she will get right under the blankets, right up against me, and purrs till I fall asleep. Then she will come out and lay around my head, and occasionally she wakes me cleaning my hair. SHE CHOSE US!

Jacqueline Rogers
Bicknell, IN

Saying Goodbye to our Gorgeous boy.

As I watch my poor boy at the end of his days, I thought I would share his story. My husband seen Zeus' picture on a local shelters website. It stated only experianced cat owners because of his behavior problems. He was beyond stunning, and with our experiance we knew we had to bring him home. He was my husbands Christmas of 2010 gift from me. When I went to meet him, the shelters workers told me that Zeus was not the nicest cat, that he would bite for no reason. They really didn't think he would find a home because of his temper and him being a senior. He had been found in the woods, tied to a tree with fishing line. And I don't mean tied like a leash, this boys whole body was tied up to the tree they said, someone did not want him to escape.

We brought him home and very quickly we learned to watch Zeus' body language, if the tail started to wag we needed to stop petting him and give him his space. Within a week, I got my first bite from him. He was trying to sneak outside. So with my finger wagging, I sternly explained to him that he was not to go outside. Well let me just say, I have never seen a cat look so scary except for in the movies. He lunged up at me and bit my forehead. I think we were both pretty dazed by our heads hitting together. And boy did he leave a mark, which lasted for a couple of weeks. However, we knew this wasn't a bad sign, no instead it was a challange, to show Zeus what it was like to be loved unconditionally and to have a family.

As time went on Zeus became the biggest lover boy. With all of the cats we have had, I've never had a cat that would give you kisses. Even now, as he can barely lift his head up, he still wants to give kisses. Zeus will always be a part of us.

Tracy Howard
Plum, PA
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