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New Lease on Life for Seniors

As a rescue transport volunteer, I receive lots of email blasts about dogs in need. However, last October one message caught my attention and touched me as no others had done before.

A dedicated shelter volunteer in New Jersey was desperately trying to place a pair of elderly orphans - dogs who had been together all their lives, but whose owners had passed away. Prince and Trinka, in their old age and arthritic condition, were in separate cages, lying on damp cement floors...and were literally pining away.

With four rescues already a part of our family, I tried finding them a home here in Virginia, but no one seemed willing to take in seniors - especially two. When I eventually learned that Prince and Trinka were to be euthanized, I did the only thing my conscience would permit: I rose at dawn, drove five hours up to the shelter in NJ, and brought Trinka and Prince home with me to join our furry clan.

With the right food and supplements, and regular vet visits, Trinka and Prince have blossomed. Their coats are thick and shiny, they've gained much-needed weight, and best of all: they are back together again and inseparable. Prince grooms Trinka before bedtime (it's so touching!) and she paws his side. They nap in the sunshine and take their walks together. Especially amusing is to watch these oldsters play together like a pair of puppies, and to discover all the tricks and commands they were taught by their past owners - who obviously loved them very much.

We have no misgivings over our decision to Just Do It - and to give these seniors a new lease on life. They, in turn, have added a new dimension to ours - and I cannot imagine our home without them!

Deb
Leesburg, VA

How we named Bruno

We brought home the cutest little guy from our local no kill shelter two weeks ago and really struggled with two things: 1. How to get our current dogs to love him as much as we did and 2. A name. He's a tough little guy with razor sharp puppy teeth that terrified our other two dogs.

A friend of mine who is an animal communicator helped us with both! She "dialed" into my 4 year old aussie; She calmed his fears of being replaced and explained why we brought another puppy home. My Aussie "told" her, "well now I feel better, can you tell them that I've always liked the name Bruno? It was my father's name" We couldn't believe how well Bruno suited the new pup! The dogs slowly started playing and within a few hours were best friends.

We started a betting pool with our friends on how big Bruno will get- since he's a 'shelter special' and no one knows! The winner will be drawn when the vet says he's full grown and half the pot goes to the shelter where we got him from! Go Bruno!!

Juli
Atlanta, GA

They Stole Our Hearts

Dusty and Shadow are brother and sister kitties my husband and I rescued from a local pet store. The pet store had lots of kittens for adoption, but my husband and I really wanted siblings. They seemed to be steering us away from two little kittens that were in a cage all by themselves away from the rest. When I asked about them the lady responded, "Oh, I don't think they'll be very good pets. They were taken from their mother too soon." Well, that didn't bother us because the first two kitties we rescued from a wild desert cat were only 3 weeks old and they grew to be great companions.

Dusty was a small longhaired all black kitten with great big golden eyes. She was dirty, matted and scared to death. Shadow was an awkward-looking shorthaired all black kitten with huge ears. They were cuddled together in the cage, looking very pathetic. When we approached the cage, they came running to us and immediately stole our hearts.

Eleven years later, Shadow has grown to be a very handsome "boy". He's long and lean, full of curiosity and is always making us laugh with his little antics. Dusty grew to be the sweetest, most loving kitty I've ever known. She melted our hearts just by looking at us with her big beautiful eyes.

Around the end of May we found out Dusty was suffering from liver failure. It simply crushed us. The doctor said if we could get her to eat, the liver might come back some. So I spent the next five weeks feeding her baby food with a syringe twice a day. She tried really hard to get better, but sadly lost the battle on July 3rd.

You will forever be in our hearts, my "little loverbug"!

Marilyn & Joe
Tucson, AZ

Street Kitty

Our family was visiting my father in TN, when we heard a kitten meowing across the street from my father's store in town. This was the main street going through town, so we knew something had to be done. Expecting a kitten about 4 months or so old, I was shocked when I saw a tail about the size of my pinkie finger in the bushes. Lizzie had a set of lungs on her, but she was tiny, starved and only about 5 weeks old according to the vet. We caught her and took her inside for water and food and then to her forever home. She's now 12 years old and my "little girl." After her traumatic time on the street, she is still VERY afraid of anyone but family and close friends. She loves to sleep with my husband and I at night and get her lovin'!

Dana A
Summerville, SC

A Very Hoppy Ending

We had the most wonderful floppy earred rabbit named Peanut Bunny. Peanut was very special. She bonded with my son. Every night Peanut would sit beside Aaron and groom him. After 3-1/2 years she became sick and was sick on and off for about 9mos. During that time, I did a lot of internet searches to see what I could do to help her. In those searches I came across an animal rescue site. I vowed to make sure the next bunny I bring into my home would be a bunny that did not have a "forever" home. In February we lost our Peanut at the age of 4yrs old. In March we adopted Daisy, a black and white bunny with helicopter ears. Daisy was scheduled to be euthanized due to aggressive behavior before she was taken in. Her foster moms from the Gainesville Rabbit Rescue took very good and loving care of her, showing her not to be afraid, and thus stopping the aggression. I have to say they did a wonderful job. Daisy is the sweetest bunny ever, wanting to be loved on all the time, and becoming a central part of our family. Every morning she rushes to me to be pet and fed greens- okay to be fed greens and then be pet. Every evening she comes over and lays down beside us as if to say,"it is time to pet me!" She wants you to pet her for hours on end, yawning and stretching every so often and then settling down to be pet again. What a great addition to our family! After some consideration we decided to open our home to help other rabbits. Currently we have 3 forever bunnies and 4 foster bunnies. Our home is filled to the brim with bunny love.

Stephanie Molly
Lake Wales, FL

Malak, our gentle giant.

We named him Malak, Hebrew for angel. He was 118 lbs, 7 - 8 years old, husky mix, with one blue eye and one brown. He'd been abused, and was afraid of everyone. I didn't go to the shelter for him, but he's the one who stole my heart. He didn't want to go home with me or anyone else, he didn't bark, jump or so much as look at us. It took him a year to realize that my husband wouldn't hurt him. He wasn't housebroken, which is not easy with an older dog, but he finally got it, repairing his spirit was harder.

The first time I saw joy on his face was the first day he got to run off-leash. He smiled, as only husky's can and I saw something besides fear or that "don't hurt me" look he had perfected, I saw joy. That look was everything. We never raised our voices to Malak, he pretty much did what he wanted. We were just glad that getting food off the counter and eating a few socks was the extent of his troublemaking. We never wanted to be the ones who put that look of fear on his face. It angered us then, it still does, that anyone could hurt such a gentle dog. I'm glad we don't know who had him first, who beat the spirit out & the fear in. I don't think either my husband or I would be able to control our emotions if we met those people. We lost Malak to old age two years ago, but he didn't go alone or in fear. He had a family who adored him, he was on his bed next to my side of the bed and he had a smile on his face.

trentroy
Munising, MI

Just a Foster Dog...

We started fostering Cassie when I was in the first grade. Our family vet had found her in the middle of the road, trying to find something to eat inside of a littered fast food bag. My parents reminded me over and over that we weren't keeping her, but I guess Cassie and I didn't get the message. We were fast friends. My father often tells the story of how he looked out the kitchen window and saw Cassie and I lying in the backyard. She had her head on my chest and I was talking to her, and that was the moment that he knew I would never let her leave us. Now, nearly ten years later, she's plopped right in the middle of my bed, chasing squirrels in her dreams. Without her, I wouldn't be here now: She saved my life by reminding me that there would always be one "person" who would love me unconditionally.

Cassie is my very best friend, and I thank G-d every day for sending me my own little furry angel.

Lauren
Auburn, AL

A "Few" Good Years

Loba, an Alaskan Malamute, was 8 years old when she found herself in need of a new home. Hard to place because of her advanced age, her rescue group had become somewhat desperate and broadcast an appeal. It wasn't easy, they said, to re-home a dog who might have just "a few good years" left. One look at her picture and she had my heart. It was love at first sight and she was a perfect fit for our family.

Today, at the grand age of 15, Loba is my gal pal and side-kick. She's perhaps a touch pampered in her golden years, but always a treasured member of the family. She has been a gift and blessing to our family for the past 7 years, and brought so much joy to my heart in these "few good years."

Annette Nunez
Martinez, CA

Sweet Claude

I found him at a pet store with a rescue organization where he had been rescued from a cat hoarder in a home with 43 cats. He was the only adult in the bunch and I was drawn to him instantly. I approached his cage and he hissed at me. I asked to hold him and he was butter in my arms, he purred louder than I had ever heard a cat purr and I knew I had to adopt him. Poor Claude must have been through quite a bit because he spent the first 3 months with me, hiding under the bed. He's now been my little lemon colored baby for 9 years. He loves to be brushed, sleep in the sun, and roll in the fresh cat nip from the garden.

Jennifer
Salt Lake City, UT

Gizmo

About a year and a half ago, my sister Iris was very ill. She knew she wasn't going to make and wanted me to take care of her dog Gizmo. He is a shitz-poodle mix. He has adjusted very well to what was a house of cats. I can't go anywhere without him. He makes sure of that.

Omer Knoll
Palco, KS
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