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The best dog ever for me and my mom

After we lost our dog of 12 years I was devastated. Buddy was a great dog and I lost my best friend when he died. But Mom and I both knew that his time with us was slowly coming to an end. I cried my heart out when he died in September last year. Mom and I immediately began looking for another dog. I told her that I couldn't last another month without a dog in the house. We looked on Craigslist for a dog and Petfinder.com for almost a month before we finally came across Leah. It was a Thursday in October that I came across after falling flat with Craigslist and Petfinder.com before. We knew what we were looking for. We wanted a dog who was people friendly and good with cats since we had two cats. I kept looking at her picture until I finally decided that I didn't want anyone else to have her but Mom and me. So that Friday I downloaded the paperwork for adopting her and faxed the completed paperwork to the shelter in Oconto. The following Monday we went to get her. A friend of the family brought us to the Oconto Humane Society. When the worker brought her in it was as if Leah knew I needed to be cheered up by her. She zeroed in on me and licked my face from top to bottom. When I found out that the paper work was being finalized I was ecstatic. I have to say that Leah has brought back the joy to my life that I lost upon losing Buddy. However all the neighbors love her and really like petting her. She is a barrel of laughs when she is playful with us. I can't be happier with her as my dog.

Jennifer S
PESHTIGO, WI

Presidential Kitty

The winter of 2014 was a bad one here in Philadelphia. The snow mounds were at least 3 ft. high for months and it was very very cold. On President's Day Weekend my boyfriend and I were backing out of the driveway and looking left and right over the snow mounds.... buried in the snow, something caught my eye ... I looked more closely and discovered that it was a kitten.... huddled trying to get warm in some sunshine. I screamed so loud to stop the car that I scared my boyfriend half to death! Of course, not knowing if the cat was injured, I pleaded with Ralf to check ... I could not bare to see... he jumped out of the car like it was a police chase and scooped up the kitty... he was OK ! We were so frantic, that we left the car running in the middle of the street and rushed the kitty into our basement and dried him off, warmed him up, fed him, watered him and got him set up with a litter box. We then returned to the car to finish the errand we started. The entire way, I am thinking to myself - how are we going to find the kitty's family ... or a new family ...we had just adopted a second cat, and a third seemed crazy to me at the time. As we drove ... my boyfriend said ...Since it's President's Day, we should name him George... I thought OK I guess he is ours. We did all the due diligence to try to find his family ... but after a week ... George officially became our third baby... He is a sweet little boy... still a little timid .. but full of curiosity and love. He has quite the personality and we love him dearly. This is him on the day we found him. My friends call him the luckiest kitty in the world... but I think I am the lucky one. We love Baby Georgie!

Tione Cohen
Philadelphia, PA

The Karate Cat.

I had returned to studying the Martial Arts after a long hiatus. One day, while emailing a question to one of my Senseis (teachers) about material, he surprised me by asking if I knew of anyone that was looking to adopt a cat. He and his wife were expecting their third child and they felt that the cat wasn't getting the love and attention it needed and deserved. Not wanting to send it to a shelter, they were hoping they could find it a good home. I jumped at the opportunity.

I hadn't had a pet in years. My first pet Spot was a beautiful, all black Cat who lived to be 19. Losing her was like losing a Sister. Years later my sister bought a Dog, a hilarious Pug named Stockwell who filled our house with so much joy and laughter but my sister had moved away from home and taken him with her. He came back to visit occasionally but only for a few days at a time. So now we were pet less, once more. The idea of getting another Cat was exhilarating and once I explained the situation to my parents and promised that she would be my sole responsibility, they agreed and she came to live with us.

It took her only a few days to get acclimated to our house. Now she's the queen. Sleeping in my parents bed, roaming from room to room talking up a storm, snuggling with me when I get home from work. She is the most affectionate, curious, playful, amusing little Cat I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Bringing her into my life was the best decision I've ever made :). Me and the Tabby girl are going to be besties for a long time to come.

Carolyn
Boston, MA

A farewell to Mr. Scrappie Doo

My son found Scrappie Doo on the front door step Feb 2012. He looked to be about 6 weeks old barely old enough to be away from his fur mommy. He had a severe cold that had covered him in snot. We had to basically pull all the fur on his neck away so he could move his head.

He was a Jackson Galaxy Mojito Kitty. He always was there to welcome anyone to our home. He loved to play fetch and would chase a ball anytime someone was willing to throw it. He was a terror to anything green. He would follow me from room to room and had to taste test all my food. He loved to go for walks (or smellies as we did more sniffing than walking) on a leash.

I rewrote the”LlittleTeapot” for him: I am a little Doo cat, short and stout here is my tail and here is my snout. When I get all steamed up hear me hiss, flip me over and rub my belly!

Besides growing into the best playful cuddly kitty ever. He was my rock as he helped me through two of the most difficult years of my life.

Now way too soon, I have to say good bye as he stopped eating about a month ago Aug 2014. We found out he has cancer and had to make the journey over the rainbow bridge. Mr Doo you will be missed. I love you my big boy kitty.

Nickie Bell
Nampa, ID

Mandy

Mandy came to me on a cold winter night right before Thanksgiving 7 years ago. She was about 4 or so months old and some heartless person just threw her out. The first time that I saw her, I knew she needed me, but she didn't know that I needed her too. I already had two cats at home, (one for each of my daughters), but this little one would be all mine. I don't know if it is animal instinct or what, but she knows me. Its like she can read me when I need a hug or I am sick, she sleeps next to me, never leaves my side. She has almost died twice on me from infections but the vet put her on some antibiotic's and pain medicine and the first few days, I was scared of losing her. She hardly lift her head. I stayed by her side like she stayed by mine. The vet said that after three days of no sign of recovery, I should probably put her down so she won't suffer. Well she made it! I was the happiness cat owner and I cried tears of joy! She has allergies so every year she gets her shot so no more scares. Mandy and I have been together 7 years now. She loves both my daughters (whom since moved out and left there babies with me) so I am the cat mommy now and don't mind it at all. Three beautiful, loving animals who all get along. Mandy is still the only one that sleeps with me, right by my side. She doesn't mind that I hold her when I say my prayers at night. Maybe she is saying hers!

Laurie Munoz
Cheektowaga, NY

Sadie's Song

Sadie's Song

She was a scrappy little street dog, in a foster home.

There were other dogs there with her,

she was not alone.

I wish I had more to give,

for I would take another.

But this one, I thought, was special,

with kisses my face she covered.

Her fur was so scruffy

and her body was so thin.

T'was like the Lottery that day

and she was gonna win.

The family she lost,

how lonely she has been.

Now she's with me,

never lonely again.

She arrived at her new home,

she seemed so unsure

She met with my other dogs,

they gave her the grand tour.

It didn't take too long,

to fit into our life.

We gave her lots of lovin',

Me, my dogs, my wife.

Our girl, she has blossomed,

from the care that we gave.

So very grateful,

for her life that we have saved.

Now it's been a few years,

since she came to town.

Can't remember what it's like,

to not have her around.

I'll give her all I have,

until the very end.

She will do the same for me,

Because she's my best friend.

Anonymous
Conowingo, MD

Fluffy the not-at-all fluffy Snake

I grew up with reptiles, as a child I was always bringing home lizards and snakes that I had caught, begging my parents to let me keep them. I had a few snakes growing up in San Diego. Mostly garter and ribbon snakes. Then we moved across country, and I had to give my beloved pets up. I was always bugging my parents to let me get another.

I was just starting high school when I got deathly ill. Weighing in at 66 lbs, sodium and potassium levels in my blood not even registering on the charts, I spent 3 weeks in a children's hospital an hour away from home. The diagnosis was Crohn's Disease. I was a terrible patient, and fought with the doctors and nurses on test, a dreaded upper gi series that required me to drink Barium. Finally my mom had said that if I did the test she would let me get another snake and we would name it Fluffy!

The upper gi series never did get done, but I was still allowed to get my snake. 2 weeks after being home from the hospital, my dad took me out to the only pet store in town. I was looking at the ribbon snakes and ball pythons when a lady came in. In her arms, inside a box was a snake. She demanded the pet store to take it otherwise she would stick it in her freezer and kill it. Before anyone could say anything I jumped up and said I would take the snake, without even looking. Inside the box, was Fluffy, 5 feet, a little skinny and very active. Fluffy soon became my best friend, and constant companion. He saw me through many bouts of sickness and loss of friends, and he did so for 10 long years. I had no idea how old he was when I rescued him, but I know he lived a good life, and was happy as could be. I lost my best friend 4 days ago, of unknown causes, but I believe it was old age.

Sam
Findlay, OH

Cold Kitty Warms Everyone's Hearts!

Late November, 2013, while enjoying a warm dinner on a cold day, we saw a cat in the greenspace behind our house. I took some of the turkey from our dinner and prepared him a bowl and took it out for him. In the morning, while making breakfast, he reappeared. Again, I gave him a portion of the scrambled eggs I was making for breakfast. We went on this way for about a week - with him showing up for meals, and me always feeding him. A few times he let me pet his head while he was eating, but he was definitely skittish.

As it got colder and colder, I brought his food closer to my back porch, and eventually moved it inside the back door, and eventually we got to the day, where we shut the door behind him, trapping him inside. We scooped him up, and took him to the vet. They gave him a clean bill of health, but sadly, he was not tagged or chipped. And he smelled - as only a boy cat smells, so the next vet appointment was for neutering. His beautiful long black and white fur caused allergies in our household, and we started working on finding the perfect home for him. Our wonderful friend Joanne had been going through some loss in her life, and we asked her to take Kitty on loan, to see if he fit within her family (we knew she was the right match!). Within a week, she was in love and begging to keep him. I now see him lounging in front of her fireplace, and I wonder if he remembers his cold days....

Christine Reio
Mississsauga, ON, Canada

Foster Failure

I have always loved animals. I used to be drawn to dogs, since my family was allergic to cats. But once I moved out and was on my own, I wanted to try my hand at some kitties. So I became a foster mom!

Fostering was hard work but rewarding. I was fostering feral kittens, so they needed endless patience and a lot of socialization. After about a year of fostering (with over a dozen successful forever homes found!) I got a call about three two-week old kittens that were dumped on the side of the road.

The vet told me there were two boys and a girl. The girl, Joan, was extremely small but also the bravest. She was the first to come ask for food and attention. One brother, Philip, was so scared he shook even while eating. And then there was Arthur. Arthur was the biggest, although all three were obviously runts. Arthur would sit in the corner and hiss at me. He wanted nothing to do with me.

Only a few weeks after getting the kittens, Joan passed away. The vet said it was failure to thrive. I walked into the house, and knew immediately something was wrong. Arthur came right up to me and led me to the closet, where I found Joan. It was a very sad for all of us. Arthur was grieving just as much as me. But Arthur suddenly became my partner in crime. He followed me from room to room, demanding pets.

When I took the two boys in to get fixed, the vet let me know that Arthur was actually a girl! I kept the name because it was perfect.

When it came time to find Arthur and Philip forever homes, I just couldn't let Arthur go. We've been through too much. I always said that I wouldn't be a foster failure, but here I am now, with a gorgeous three year old cat who looks like she came out of a calender! And I couldn't be happier!

Emma
Madison, WI

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
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