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Saying Goodbye

On December 18, 2014 my family said goodbye to a beloved family member, our 19 year old Siamese Nala. Nala was born in April of 1995 to my aunt’s cat Sasha. My cousin adopted and named her, and gave her a loving home until May of 1999, when her house couldn’t care for her any longer, so my parents brought her and another cat Sammy into our home. I was 7 at the time. She was a sassy little queen and she knew that first day in the door that she would own our home. Even as we brought a few more cats in our home and lost a few, Nala was a beautiful and prissy constant in our lives. She loved to play and loved the outdoors and climbing in trees. For the last 15 years I have grown up as she has grown old. It was really hard to say goodbye to her, but I am happy to know that she is not in pain and I know she running and climbing to her hearts content again.

Sam Steelman
Lubbock, TX

Miss Tortitude

This little Calico/Tortie had been abandoned or dumped in my condo complex. For about a month, she was wandering the property, exploring each stairwell and talking up a storm to everyone. She wouldn't allow anyone else to get too close to her, but she would follow me right up to my front door and allow me to pet her and pick her up. I had checked with many of the neighbors and no one knew where she came from or if she belonged to anyone.

We were having a very cold snap with temperatures in the teens and I couldn't imagine this poor kitty being outside in the cold. She was also getting very scraggly looking and was getting skinnier each day even though I would leave a little food out for her. I decided to bring her in for the night to the displeasure of my two boys (brothers from the same litter) who were 4 years old at the time. Little kitty got put up in the bathroom for the night on 12/29/11, 4 years to the day that I brought my other two home (had to have been fate). Next day she was taken to the vet to get checked out. She had no microchip and was only 6 pounds. All the no kill shelters were full and after two days in my house, she had my heart. She had clearly seen the word "sucker" on my forehead.

Flash forward 3 years and Charlie is now a healthy 12 pounds. She's the queen of the house, has a horrible raspy meow/screech and still doesn't get along with one of the boys. Things have definitely been challenging, especially with two not getting along and there have been may issues resulting from that, but, I wouldn't change a thing. Still to this day I don't understand how anyone could leave behind, dump or abandon such a sweet kitty let alone any animal. I love her and am happy that she's a part of the family. I think I'm now officially considered a crazy cat lady!

Christine Jacobson
Everett, WA

Dobie, my rescue

I just lost both my dogs to cancer. I didn't think I was ready for another dog when my sister told me about an adoption event in our city. I said we could go "just to look". Well, after looking at all the dogs, I kept going back to the Doberman. There was something about him. I saw a goodness in him, and he was playful and friendly, being only a year old. I took him for a walk and he was so friendly with people and other dogs that I knew he was the one for me and I for him. The volunteers there were very supportive and I took him home that same day. He has wrapped his big paws around my heart and I know we will be best friends forever!

Keith Dugas
Huntsville, AL

All grown up

It was trash day in my area and as I walked down my drive with my last bag,I saw a taped box sitting next to my cans.As I got closer I could hear frantic scratching and meowing.I opened it as fast as I could and out popped momma and inside were her 5 babies,maybe just hours old.I brought them in,set her up in a tote and prayed for the best.She was weak and frightened,but after awhile,she knew she was safe.I eventually found homes for 3 of the kittens.Taz(in the pic) refused to be adopted.We tried 2 times and each time,he cried for hours and was returned to me.His brother Big Mac was afraid of everything, so we knew he would stay with us.Taz has always been my snuggler.When my late husband died,he didnt leave my side for days and allowed me to cry many tears in his fur.He would lick my cheek,stare into my eyes as if to say "You were there for me,I am here for you now." We like to think we choose our pets and they let us think that.I am grateful I made that last trip out or I would never have seen them and I would have never met my Taz!

Canton, OH

4 is a good number

We have always and only rescued dogs and cats in our life. After our beloved Rotti Ronda died my husband said we should have another sweet Rottweiler to complete the pack of three dogs again. We had Bobo an older “yellow dog” and Lacy a brain damaged Australian Sheppard. So at Christmas two years ago we found Roxie who was thrown out of a driving car just 7 weeks old. We adopted her as a Rotti but soon had to figure out she is a Doberman/ Belgium Malinois Mix. Young, wild, playful and very active she constantly bugged the two old dogs and I finally convinced my husband to get a young companion for Roxie to play with. I went immediately online and found a little brindle who sat on death roll at Animal Control. She just had a few hours left before getting destroyed. Advertised as a “shepherd mix” (that’s what they always say if they don’t have a clue) she reminded me very much of my wonderful Catahoula/ Greyhound mix who died of old age with 16. I rushed as fast I could to Nogales, risking my driver’s license, not to be too late. And here she was! Feral born, frightened she cowered in the fares corner of the concrete cannel. She was tiny with about 7 month old and not a Sheppard at all. When I reached in to touch her, she simply pretended to be dead. I called my husband in tears to tell him “she is very little” since we always have big dogs but he just said “do what you think is right”. So I came home with Molly who turns out to be a Chihuahua/Pitbull Mix. Roxie and Molly hit it off immediately being inseparable, playing and running for hours at our ranch. Now a year later she is pretty much trusting but won’t get in a car and approaches people on her own terms. She is a terrific hunter and super brave, loving and affectionate on the other side. Four is actually a good number of dos to have…..

Sonoita, AZ

Saving Miss Daisy

It was my 1st day of vacation. I was shopping on Front Street in Phillispburg, St. Maarten when I was approached by the sweetest little angel face. She had a collar on, so I kept telling myself, she was someone's dog. Don't worry about her. I gave her a pet and went on my way. I couldn't stop thinking about her all week.

On our last day, we were again shopping on Front Street and this little dog found us again. I watched her go up to little kids and try to play with other stray dogs on the beach. None of them were very nice to here and I was heartbroken. Being in another country, I didn't know what to do.

I found a rescue on the island from the Destination magazine I received boarding the plane. The founder of the rescue was originally from CT too. They watched her for a few days to make sure she didn't have a home, picked her up, got her the medical attention she needed and delivered her to me in the US.

She couldn't be happier or healthier now in her new home. Thank you Team Goldendog for helping me save little Miss Daisy.

Melissa Albrecht
Glastonbury, CT

Pretty Petie

When our only son left for college I needed a "project".

So I decided to volunteer at our local shelter.

On the first night of orientation this black,white and pink creature came towards me and sat next to my purse.

I could not find a place to pet it that wasn't seeping or scabbed over or looked scalded.

We just kind of shared our space during the meeting

but the connection was complete.

I got her story before I left and when home I told my husband that if she was still alive next week that I would ask to

"foster" her. (that did not go well as we already had 2 dogs of our own and I had to gently remind him that the house is my name too!)

Well she came home with me the next week and the smell!?! Have you ever smelled Demodex?? I will never forget her aroma.

Well eight years and thousands of dollars in vet bill later the 23lb Stafford shire mix is now 52 and on a diet due to arthritis.

We have never been apart and she is the ying to my yang. She has an invisible umbilical cord that we still share.

She is fat and sassy. She is a typical goofy Staff and has really squeaky farts that still amaze her.

Her strength and trust continue to amaze me I wish she would live forever.

Petie is a gift from God.

Lisa Jajowka
Stow, OH

Gypsy, home at last

About 6 1/2 years ago, I adopted a puppy from Animal Control in Downtown Detroit. He was almost the same color as my childhood teddy so I named him Bear. While I was filling out his paperwork, I heard someone say that Bear's sister would be available for adoption the following day. I wanted so badly to adopt her too. It broke my heart but I didn't have the money. As time went on, and Bear grew, I often wondered what had happened to his sister. Sometimes I would even go on PetFinder and search. But I never found her.

One evening last August, I was reading posts on Facebook when a dog's picture caught my eye. She was badly emaciated but, even so, her resemblance to Bear was striking, and she was the same age. Could she be Bear's sister? I had never thought of fostering a dog, but the rescue organization desperately needed someone to take this poor dog while she regained her health. When I met her, I was completely horrified by her condition. She weighed 42 pounds, and should have weighed at least 60 pounds. Due to malnutrition, she had lost most of the hair on her back, her tail and her legs. She was absolutely manic, licking the hands of everyone in the room. I think she was actually begging us to help her. How could I possibly say no? I took her home and named her Gypsy.

On October 10th, we officially became foster failures. Gypsy now weighs a much healthier 56 pounds and has grown all her hair back. She has all the food she can eat and her own fleece covered chair in the bedroom to sleep on. Sometimes she destroys toys and chases Bear around the house and we call her Goofy. Other times, she is sweetness and elegance and we call her Gypsy Belle. We will never have the test done to determine whether or not she is Bear's biological sister because it doesn't matter. Whether or not she was born that way, she's Bear's sister now.

White Lake, MI

The Unexpected Kitten

After being pet-less for several years, I felt ready for cats again last year and quickly acquired two lovely girls. Six months later, I was out of town for school and received a call from my 13-year-old daughter. She was at a church function and a girl there had brought a tiny kitten and was trying to give it away. The girl said the kitten's mother had died and that if no one took the kitten she'd have to leave it at the church. Without a second thought I told my daughter "For heaven's sake, take him home with you!" Before she had left the church, she and her friends had named him Zouis (Zoo-ee). We had to bottlefeed him for the first ten days or so and he was so tiny he slept in a box every night so we wouldn't lose him. When we left for our summer trip from Oklahoma to California we felt he was too small to leave home with our other cats, so Zouis came with us! He was an excellent traveler, napping on the dashboard and in other places around the van all the way to California and back.

Zouis is now 7 months old and the cuddliest of our three cats. He spends half his time plaguing his older "sisters" and the other half cuddling with them. He does love a good bit of trouble and, during the holiday season, spent a lot of time hanging out in our Christmas tree. We later found out the girl who'd brought him to the church came from a very bad situation at home and that, had she taken Zouis back to her house, he likely would not have survived. We were truly his last chance and I am so glad my daughter called me that night!

Mary B.
Ada, OK

She "broke up" with him too...

I was dating a guy who had at least 20 semi-feral cats of varying ages. I was looking for a cat, and he handed me the one kitten who liked human contact. She was a little calico. I really didn't want a girl, but she was cuddly and obviously in need of some affection, so I took her in, and named her Patches.

This fellow and I didn't get along for long; he was certifiable, and it was coming through. When we would argue, he would take the kitty back. Then when things were better, he'd bring her back to me. This went on for a couple of weeks.

The last time I saw him, we were arguing. I was parked on the street, and arguing with him across the top of my car, when seemingly out of nowhere, Patches came zipping out and jumped into the car. She started meowing at me, as if to say, "Come on! I'm not staying with him either!" So I quit arguing, and with a few choice expletives and the 1 finger salute, I jumped in the car and left with my sweet kitty cat. He ran behind the car shouting, "Give me back my cat!" We lost him as we rounded the corner, never to look back.

That was 7 years ago, and my Patches has become my everything. She stays with me when I'm sick, comes and cuddles with me when I'm crying, and is my constant companion. She's spoiled rotten, and I wouldn't have her any other way.

Metropolis, IL
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