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Ancient Jojoba, Our Sweetheart

8 years ago, I went to a pet fair to see some greyhounds from a rescue organisation I supported. Different shelters had brought animals to offer for adoption. Most were kittens, but one cage held a beautiful sand-coloured adult, with gorgeous peridot-green eyes.His age was ascertained to be about 10 years old. I began to pet him, and he let out these strange laryngitic meows. 'Who will want to adopt an old,almost toothless cat?' the shelter worker bemoaned. Me!

All these years later, Jojoba(so-named by my daughter because he is such a soft, smooth character)is the Elder Statesman of our multi-cat household. Adopting him was one of the best decisions of my life; and I encourage people to seriously consider fully-grown, rescued animals when they are planning to welcome a new pet into their families. These creatures are so appreciative; and generous in their expression of gratitude.

Susan Delia Carpenter
St-Pie, QC, Canada

SAM

Sam was at least 10 pounds underweight, heartworm positive, and terribly nervous around people when he came to me through a volunteer affiliated with a local animal rescue organization. In addition, he had several broken teeth and a painful hernia. Despite being terribly neglected and likely abused in his former "home," he still had these warm, trusting, sweet eyes that caught my attention immediately. It's three years later and he's made a lot of progress. He's at his ideal weight of 50 lbs, heartworm free, pain free, and happy to run and play with his canine buddies whenever possible. He's still understandably timid around new people, but the ones who have earned his trust are rewarded with endless affection by this loving mutt.

Allison
Greensboro, NC

Maizie Mae

Maizie Mae is a "foster failure" kitty.. A fellow school mate from Vet Tech school worked at a local animal shelter. Knowing I had previously worked with kittens with CH (Cerebellar Hypoplasia-a neurological disorder, similar to cerebral palsy, affects motor functions in varying degrees), she called me to come get a small gray fluff ball that fell over every time she tried to walk. . My goal was to get her walking so she could be adopted out. Turns out she was moderately to sevely affected and would never walk, therefore never being able to be adopted. She would probably have been euthanized. I couldn't have that. I decided to do a "special adoption" with the shelter and took her home for the final time. I have done considerable research over the years to do right by her. I have learned so much and although I am a bit overprotective of her, she has a great life. Today, at four years old, she is a healthy, extremely happy little girl. She does most things "normal" cats do. Weighing in at 5 1/2 lbs. she is my princess. She does not walk, but crawls, is hand fed every night and takes naps with me whenever possible. She is the ultimate cuddle bug and the most affectionate kitty I have ever had. God blessed me with her and I thank Him every day..

Suzanne L.
Pittsburgh, PA

JOB (pronounced like the character in the Bible, not your work)

I named this full breed pit-bull Job because his life has followed a similar path as the character in the Bible. I found Job running scared on the side of an expressway after Hurricane Katrina. He was starved and heartworm positive. His previous owners had taken care of him only to a certain extent as his heartworm had been present for over a year. I brought this sweet, sweet dog back home with me and fixed him up. He knows he could have died and he thanks me everyday in every way for saving him and giving him an even better home now than before; thus the name JOB seemed appropriate. Job is the ultimate lap dog as are all pit-bulls if left to be themselves and not forced to be vicious.

As all rescued animals know (somehow they just know), you have save their very life and that is one reason rescued animals are the best!

Elizabeth Rutledge
Mableton, GA

Blood Sisters

Jasmine and Lola were both rescued at the 11th hour from a local shelter. Jasmine(fawn girl) had developed a lethal blood condition that left her very near death. Her sister Lola stepped in and gave her a life saving transfusion which gave Jasmine time for the doctor to diagnose and treat her. It is now two years later and the girls are both healthy and best friends, as you can see.

Christine Pitcher
Paulden, AZ

my Tillie

Tillie was left at the front door of the Randolph County, IL, Humane Society on a hot June day. I volunteer there. Being a smaller town I found out where she came from and her history.

She was 13 years old and all she wanted was love and a home. I took Tillie home to let her live out the rest of her life and am pleased that she just turned 16 years old in March and hope she gives a few more years of joy.

Laurie Lesperance
Sparta, IL

The Lost Boys

I got Patches (the one on the left) & Boots (the one on the right) from my best friend and her boyfriend as she was learning how to drive out in the country. You can probably tell how they got their names. They found Boots first, who was not afraid of them, and then found Patches still hiding at the edge of the woods. We all think they were dumped off by their previous owners. When they brought them to me, i was thinking, oh god, litter training again?!? As I realized with in the same day, they are inside kitties and have had no problems with using the litter box. I'm glad to have The Boys everyday. Their playfulness and love never ceases to amaze me. And how they keep getting into my overhead cabinets! What can I say, they are the love and pains of & in my life.

(They don't have there food dish on top the stove anymore. It was there because i was dog sitting and he kept eating all of their food and his! They were not wild about the whole dog thing!)

Richard Eubank
Logansport, IN

The Skinny little girl with big ears

After losing our 15 yr old Jack Russell, we were of course all sad. That would be my husband, self and our 7 yr old rescue who thought of her as his surrogate mom. We decided we needed to find a little girl to bring some sunshine back in our lives and give a welcome home to another rescue. We were so lucky to find "Brandie". She is all heart with big ears! A sweet little spirit that wants to give and receive unconditional love. She weighed 1/2 of what she's supposed to - but in time that figure will certainly fill out. She found us and we are so lucky to have her in our forever home!

Carolyn Favre
Raleigh, NC

my precious smeppy

My beloved Pepper girl was only 3,4 months old when someone found her wandering a scary busy rural road nearby. Thankfully a good Samaritan took her to the local vet's office where my vet tech friend works. She knew I was desperately wanting a lab mix puppy, so the next time she saw me she told me about this sweet doe-eyed puppy needing a home. The very next morning I went to meet the shy little girl. She took to me immediately even though she was scared of all the hugs I was giving her! She came home with me right then and there...I don't have children so my Pepper has been my joy and heart for the 12 years she's been at my side, my "velcro girl" my husband calls her. She's is the sweetest (she loves the huggies now!) and funniest dog I've been blessed to know, which is saying quite a bit, since I'm a petsitter too!!! She is up there in years and her once black face is grey but she's still running to show me when she's slung ANOTHER towel or blanket over her head! She knows she'll get a laugh from me! I don't know what I'll do without her, but because of her, I have a very full heart.

Carrie
Soulsbyville, CA

Madison-Blossoms as Only Cat

I met my new companion, Madison Belle, a 1 year & 10 month kitty at a Petsmart adoption event from a local rescue group. My amazing feline of 15 years passed and I wanted a new love bug and chill pet. Madison wasn't really selected for me until the last second. She was shaking tremendously while purring at the same time when I first held her. Then I heard she was originally adopted w another kitty to a family w kids who mistreated her. They liked the other cat, neglected her and wanted to return her. Then at the event another cat peed on her carrier and she had been given an eye infection. In the rescue home the other cats were picking on her & dominating. When I went to see if we were meant to be, she let me hold her for a long time. She hid under everything when I took her home and was very timid. Now she is content, confident, purrs constantly and follows me everywhere. She loves being the one and only and has found her moxy!!

Heather Nelson
Fairfax, VA
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