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Lenny the not so scary black cat

Two years ago I lost my best friend and companion, a 10 year old coon cat named Murphy's Law. He had seen me through cancer, divorce, and many other losses, so I was devastated that I could do nothing to save him when his kidneys failed. I vowed I would never again surrender my heart so totally.

Two days later, on my birthday, I learned of a little black kitty who was going to be put down. He was the runt of the litter, undernourished, and unwanted for the unbelievable reason of him being black. I quickly brought him home, although unsure of my ability to love completely.

He has grown from 1lb to over 6, with the most gentle spirit a person could ever want. And of course he ended up rescuing me. My heart is now firmly in his paws. Please don't let their color and superstition cloud your judgement. My black Lenny is an angel made of cuddles and love.

Jill
Riverview, NB, Canada

Brody-A Second Chance

I entered the room of surrendered cats at the shelter where I volunteered and heard a very low, menacing growl coming from behind a towel tucked in front of a cage. I picked up the towel and saw a small, scared 8 month old cat making quite the ruckus. He was extremely aggressive, scratching and biting anyone who came near him and was slated to be put down later that day since he couldn't be adopted out. Although I had been looking for a sweet, well mannered female cat, I knew I needed to give this little guy another chance. It has been the best decision of my life as he has become my best friend. He sleeps next to me every night and wakes me up in the morning. He follows me around outside and always comes when I whistle. He loves to play with his toys and will often pick them up in his mouth and carry them around, sometimes even throwing them in the air and catching them. Brody (formerly named Gizmo) has been with me for four years now and is the best companion I could ever ask for.

Jennifer Rataj
Hartford, VT

A furry blessing

When we went to look at the dogs at the Gwinnett Animal Shelter, the staff was very helpful in providing information before and after we strolled through the halls. Of course, we wanted to take all the dogs, but we asked to see Bailee, a Jack Russell mix.

When we met Bailee in the outside pen, he seemed perfect as far as size but was not very playful. We knew that his true personality would take a few days to show through so we decided to take a chance on him. What a blessing that turned out to be!!!

Bailee is playful, but not overly-excitable. It is fun to watch him bound across the back yard or invite dog-park friends to play chase. Bailee arrived house-trained and well-mannered. He has the sweetest disposition I've ever encountered in a pet, but stood ready to defend us when he first heard ominous night sounds coming from the bread maker. He loves to cuddle, and when cuddling's not an option, he is usually content just to be near (although he will try and type if you're working on the laptop). He charms everyone who meets him and I can't tell you how many people have said "I wish my dog would behave like Bailee."

We are absolutely thrilled with our new family member and only wish we could tell his former owners how much of a gift they have given our family. At least we can thank Gwinnett Shelter for providing opportunities to receive such gifts.

P.S. – Don’t be fooled by the mournful eyes. He uses that look to melt us!

Lisa
Atlanta, GA

Snow Cat

On December 18th Gov. Timothy M. Kaine declared a state of emergency. We had a severe snow storm resulting in over 2 feet of snow.

We saw some tracks on our back porch at our apartment complex. We had placed some food outside for this animal but we were not sure what it was. We felt sorry for it. Then the next day we heard a cat crying outside. We brought him in wet and shivering and gave him some tuna fish and a dry blanket. We noticed it had an injured hind paw. It was a deep cut, but it look like he had it for a while and it was healing on it's own very well. This amazing cat somehow lived thru this storm with this injured hind paw. We are gonna let him out to play when the snow melts and his paw is healed.

Claudia
Waynesboro, VA

Iraq dogs saved by my son

Daisy and Roxie are now in the process of coming home to us from Basrah Iraq Our son is serving in Iraq and the SPCA will bring these two furr balls home for him. We are expecting them to be here some time this march and are very excited to get them into our family. Our Son says that we will really love them because they want to lick the face off of you. since they will be here before he is we will have to help these two adjust to three square meals a day and a roof over their head but that should not take very long. A real Big Hurray to the SPCA for doing this for our service men and women. They are rescuing at least 6 dogs from this group alone and this is only one group.

Bill Dixon
Central Square, NY

Whisper and Zoey

It all started out when my husband wanted a small dog. I searched the internet for shelters as I did not want to go to a breeder or a pet store. There are way to many animals out there that need a good home to do that. Well I found one through pet finder while I was in MO. So rather than come home the normal way, I detoured through the south part to get this little Yorkie Poo. When I arrived there were two of them. One (now Whisper) was only 3 lbs. and the other (Zoey) was only 1 1/2 lbs. I loved them both from the start and they were sisters. I couldn't bare to separate them and take a chance that one would die. So I took them both. My husband wasn't too happy at first, but I fell in love with Zoey and knew that he would just love Whisper.

After getting them home and buy them beds, toys, food and anything else they needed, Whisper got Parvo. Two days later Zoey got Parvo. I took Whisper to the vet and it was confirmed so I left her there. I would pick her up every night and take her to the emergency vet and then my vet would pick her up in the morning and take her back to the vet. The same went for Zoey. Whisper was touch and go, but Zoey responded well. They are now both healthy happy little girls and Whisper weighs 7 lbs. and Zoey is 5 lbs.

Whisper is a little stubborn on the potty training as far as going poop, but Zoey is doing well. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world and the cost was well worth it to me.

Maureen Golia
Allen Park, MI

Ollie rescued me as much as I rescued her

Ollie saved me as much as I saved her. She had been wondering around an apartment complex for about 3 weeks. The management had tried to locate her owner without success. One day one of the maintenance workers saw her just sitting in the middle of the road. He picked her up and took her home, telling his wife she had to find a home for her. His wife was my coworker, and I said I would take her. When I got her, the first thing I did was take her to the vet where she was diagnosed with a kidney infection, worms, ear mites, fleas, and pneumonia, and was determined about 9 weeks old. She was extremely affectionate, and would jump on my lap when I sat down. I got her healthy and we became fast friends. She would curl up around my head at night, and loved to sit on my shoulder while I walked around the apartment. When Ollie was about 5 years old she was diagnosed with kidney failure. I learned to administer subcutaneous fluids to keep her kidneys functioning. She refused to eat a renal diet, so I knew she would continue to have difficulty. On December 23, 2009 I brought her to the vet because she had stopped eating and drinking. Her blood levels were very elevated, and she had multiple ulcers in their mouth from the kidney disease. It was decided she was very sick and probably would not recover this time. At 3:30 on December 23, I held her and loved her for the last time while the vet administered the medication putting her to "sleep". She was one of the sweetest, friendliest, and most playful cats that ever owned me. She will be missed, but always remembered.

Elaine
Henrico, VA

Rita

My daughter Maria's friend Matt, found 2 abandoned puppies in the woods of S. Carolina.

When Matt brought them home, Maria fell in love and insisted on keeping

the little girl she would name Rita.

They were trying to find a home for the other pup they named Shyra. Shyra was the bigger of the two, both malnourished, Shyra was probably winning the battle in the woods for food.

One night, without thinking about the struggles Rita and her sister must have gone through for food, Maria brought home a bone for Rita and gave it to her. Shyra attacked Rita, trying to get the bone and broke Rita's fragile bottom jaw in half. Matt wrapped Rita's jaw in a towel to hold it together and they rushed her to the vet.

Maria was in South Carolina attending college, the rest of our family lives in Maryland. My sister made sure Maria knew that she would take care of whatever cost it took to save Rita. Maria drove for 3 hours in the pouring rain early that morning to Charleston with little Rita by her side, whimpering in pain with her jaw wrapped tightly to hold it together.

The surgery was successful but Rita had months of recovery with her jaw wired shut. Maria sat by Rita's side while she was drugged on morphine, whimpering in pain as the morphine would wear off. Maria would call me just to have someone on the other end of the phone while she sat with Rita, who I could hear clearly in so much pain. Maria could do nothing but be next to her. Maria spent months rehabilitating Rita, feeding her soft food, cleaning her wired mouth after every feeding.

Rita fully recovered and the bond between Maria and Rita is quite special.

christina
hampstead, MD

lily finds a home

It was a cold and rainy January morning and I was at the park with my dog Jazmyn when I spotted this beautiful dog walking next to everyone looking as is she was asking"are you my mommy or have you seen her". I started asking people if she was their dog everyone said no. I started to follow her around park but she was running from tree to tree waiting for her best friend Mr.Squirrel to come down and play. I lost her in the woods and thought that maybe she went home. I had to go to work so I left but returned a few hours later just to check and see if she was still there. I armed myself with treats and wet dog food. I spotted her got her attention and started throwing the treats. Then I opened up the can of wet food and fed it to her from a stick.She was soaked to the bone from the rain. I saw my chance and I grabbed her and took her home. I laid down a blanket in my living room and she curled into a ball and slept for 8 hours straight. I thought to myself she must have to go to the bathroom, so I tried to take her out but she wouldn't walk out of my apartment so I carried her down the stairs. I asked some friends at the park and they said they had spotted her for weeks, but no one was able to catch her. Lucky for me. It has been 6 years and her passion for squirrels is just as strong. On occasion I have been trapped at the park for hours until she is ready to go home usually while still in my pj's.

tanya
nyc, NY

Zoey

I had been without a dog in the house for several years, previously I had enjoyed three of them in my life. One day talking with a friend and fellow pet lover I explained that I just wasn't looking forward to the training and house breaking of a puppy. She suggested a rescue and I spent my Presidents Day holiday on Petfinders. Through a local rescue we found our Zoey! She is a sweet girl and the easiest dog I have ever owned. Although it could be seen as a fault, my husband finds it a positive feature, that Zoey does not like other dogs. Which keeps our household a One Dog family. Zoey came to use housebroken, crate trained and leash trained to heel. I believe in our "destiny pets" in life. The animals that some how find us and become a part of our lives. Zoey's destiny was to be our family's dog.

Gayle

Gayle Bennett
Ontario, CA
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