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Kissed By An Old Goat

The day I received the most tender kiss ever from the most unlikely of...uh...sources, my life was changed completely. His name is Joey and he is one of the cutest...well...creatures of God I've ever beheld! Short and harry with an underbite and goatee, he is not exactly the GQ type, but he is loving and playful, and his kisses are sweeter than goat's milk...I mean...honey!

You are probably wondering how I met such an amazing...er...little fellow. I believe we were most likely "led" to one another, but it was while researching volunteer jobs on the Net that I discovered the sanctuary in Orange, VA where Joey resides. There it was in black and white (just like Joey): Rikki's Refuge. Even better: Single's Day! This would be the perfect opportunity to help animals and maybe meet the love of my life as well.

After reaching out to the sanctuary, I was warmly invited for a visit. As I approached the entrance to the sanctuary, my heart pounded with anticipation. What would I find beyond that gate? Who would I meet? Then Joey came up to greet me. I knelt down to his level and that was when he kissed me, and my heart melted.

He may not have been the prince charming I had dreamed of, but I needed a friend, and an old goat named Joey needed another person to share an overabundance of love and joy with! Thank you Joey! My four legged valentine.

Kate Morgan
Fairfax, VA

A Kitten Abandoned on Halloween !

I was walking around the neighborhood on Halloween looking at all of the decorations, when I heard a kitten crying. I followed the meowing and there was this terrified, beautiful yellow-white kitten hiding on the wheel well of a car! I chased it to the back yard of a neighbor but couldn't catch it. The neighbor was nice enough to trap the kitten and called me when he had her in a cage. She had been adandoned so we took her home & named her Bianca. After a couple of months I noticed that "she" may be a "he". After a visit to the vet, we confirmed that "she" was a boy! We re-named her Benito. He is such a blessing. He has taken over the house and gives all of my other 3 rescue cats a run for their money. Life wouldn't be the same without Beni!

Huntington Beach, CA

Cali's car engine rescue

This sweet baby - a calico and stripe mix- was found under the hood of an employee's car at work. As I pulled into the parking lot- people were standing around the vehicle in this huge parking lot - listening to the kitten crying- calling for her but she wouldn't come out. The vehicle happened to belong to a nurse at my office so I borrowed her keys- popped the hood- and opened it to find this tiny (5-6 weeks old) baby. She climbed my arm as I reached in - and burrowed into my neck- (I took that as my sign. ) She did not sustain any injuries traveling in the car- no one has any idea where she came from or how she got inside this car. She now lives with our family- is a sweetheart - and talks to us constantly is the quietest little tiny squeaky voice! Loves watching the squirrels and birds outside our deck.

Lake Winnebago, MO

Good Buddies

Ed is a Great Dane/Pitt mix and Ellie Mae is a Rat Terrier. In spite of their size difference, they are great friends who play and tussle with each other all over the yard and house. Ed we rescued off the street. Ellie Mae came from a high kill shelter where we've rescued and helped place over 15 dogs in the last 4 years. We usually fall in love with them while we're fostering and as of today, we have 7 of our own (plus 4 cats.) We also sponsor shelter dogs and support as many organizations as we can. It's the most fulfilling thing we've ever done and we love each and every "baby" who comes to or through us.

Vikki Riggle
Jackson, LA

I saved his life, and he changed mine

It was another routine night where I worked as a kennel technician. While taking our boarders out for their evening potty break, a truck in the parking lot was flashing its high beams at me. I walked to the fence and realized it was a co-worker. "There's a puppy in the parking lot!" she yelled. I opened the lobby door and my heart melted. There he was, a way-too-skinny brindle mutt, tied to the bench and wagging his tail. He looked like he could be sick, so I decided I was going to take him home that night and go to the vet in the morning.

The next morning, on the way to the vet, my boyfriend decided to call him "Lucky." A full-time college student and full-time employee, I had no intentions of keeping an 8-week old puppy, until the doctor came in with the results, parvo. They estimated he had about a 20% chance of living. Our options: pay for the expensive treatment and cross our fingers, or have him euthanized. We had to give it a shot.

It was in the car on the way to his second round of treatment, when although he was dehydrated and miserable, Lucky gave me the very first puppy-breathed kiss on my chin. It was like he was thanking me for rescuing him. I realized then that busy or not, he needed to be mine forever.

Lucky pulled through and beat parvo. After two months of vet visits, Lucky was finally able to enjoy the life we saved. It's been tough, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. Now a 75 pound one-year old, his goofy antics and sweet nature brighten up my life. Sometimes it makes me wonder who the "lucky" one really is.

Katy, TX


Hi! This is Mark. He is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. We adopted him Christmas Eve 2005 from a lady who traveled back and forth to the South several times to help the lost animals of the storm. Although we had never heard of Flat-Coat Retrievers, we loved our Golden and thought Mark would make a good companion for her, and he did. It didn't take long for the two of them to bond, and for Mark to accept his new life in the north. He is a WONDERFUL addition to our family; we all adore him; he adores us, and I'm grateful everyday that we found each other.

Apollo, PA

A Name Well-Earned

In August 1997 my Jack Russell Terrier/Yelow Lab/Pug mix showed up in my driveway as if to say, "I'm home." I already had a dog and cat and really couldn't afford another pet but my friend talked me into keeping him and I'm so glad I did.

Because he was already acting like a guard dog defending the neighborhood I named him Ripley after the Sigourney Weaver character in "Alien" and he has lived up to every bit of it.

He's seen me through divorce, adoption, chronic illnesses, financial losses, pregnancy, deaths, severe depression, and numerous other obstacles in my life and is always there to get me off the couch and get me moving even when every bone in my body and my entire spirit screams "No!"

He's almost died twice and is on a special diet and medication for a liver condition but in August he will be 14 and I will have had him 13 years. Those years I wouldn't trade for the world and I always joke that if he was a guy I'd date him. He has all the right qualities except for being human. His loyalty, patience, curiosity, affection, tenderness, understanding, intelligence is unmatched by any other pet I've ever had and I hate to think of the day when he will no longer be with me.

Terri Rimmer
Fort Worth, TX

Trixie's Story

In 2000 I received an email from IMPS, Internet Miniature Pinscher Service, which is the breed specific rescue that I volunteered with asking that I pick up Trixie from Lumberton, TX. Trixie was 1-1/2 years old, weighed approximatedly 3 lbs when we received her from another volunteer who transported her to us half-way from where they lived. God bless them for being there for Trixie.

The volunteers vet had called to request that she pick up Trixie from his office, as the breeder who owned her brought her in to be euthanized because she had lost her puppy both times she had given birth and she was not going to make the breeder any money therefore...

I was grateful that the breeder had decided to have her euthanized as the alternative was not an ideal situation, considering what other backyard breeders do and we rescued her.

We took her to our vet for a physical and found that she had heartworms, worms, bad infection, needed to have many teeth extracted, had ulcers and a bad heart. We knew immediately that we had to adopt her since she was not adoptable. Trixie was treated for heartworms first, twice. For the first two years she wouldn't stray from her little crate and we would have to feed her there, etc. Ten years later the little girl is still with us, weigs 5 lbs, actually dances for us and bosses all our other 4-legged babies of which she is the smallest.

The picture you see is Trixie laying on our bed, excuse me her bed.

When you think about adopting please think about rescue dogs, cats, horses and more. It will make you happy and certainly make the little one happy to have their own family.

Baytown, TX

They Always Know

I had to fly out to the coast on a Thursday to visit a client in LA. I had round- the-clock dog walkers for our two great dogs-- Sammy Radar, a cocker poodle with hair dangling in his face. Radar, we figured, was how he got round.And Dougie, a bijan we rescued from a fancy Westchester lady clearly not fit for dogs.We talked her into letting him go to us. I planned to fly back to Manhattan Monday. But Sunday I got the feeling I better get on the red eye. Early Monday morning when I was in the air, my upstairs neighbor on West 79th Street, heard Sammy barking. Thinking the late dog walker hadn't shown up, she ran down to my apartment and took Sammy and Dougie down the elevator out the front door. But they didn't have to go, she said. No, they kept looking up the street and down the street. "My god," she said. "They're looking for Steph!"

They must have known I was in the air, coming back. And there they were as I arrived back, waiting at the door.

New York, NY

The Budster

After 11 years with Bud (pictured on the right), his owner brought him to the shelter, saying he was moving and Bud would not be moving with him. My friend at the shelter contacted me, asking if I could foster him. He was concerned about how an 11 year old dog who had always had a home would deal in a shelter environment, and his chances of being adopted as an elderly dog with possibly some pitty in him. He was under weight and had some renal issues. Bud came to my home and got on with my dog Honey Dew just fine, we fattened him right up and got him on the best food out there. At first Bud would pace around alot, not knowing what to do with himself, but now he has settled right in. He is a very sweet boy, very gentle, with beautiful tiger stripes. When Im working he will put his front paws on my lap and will push his head under my chin, so sweet! He deals well with Honey's pushy personality and doesn't even react when she pushes him out of the way, which she does a lot! After months with little adoption interest, it became clear that Bud would be staying with us and we couldn't be happier. It breaks my heart that someone would give up this sweet boy just when he would need them the most. I am now the proud mom of 2 beautiful, gray faced, brindled babes!

Springfield, VT
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