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Onyx - from starving puppy to lovable teddy bear

Some guys installing A/C to an elementary school I work at told me they saw starving puppies living at a house behind the school. They were approximately 3 months old Lab/Chow mixed, but were as skinny as Greyhounds. There was no food or water available for them or their mother. We called our police chief who took pictures of them and called the county animal shelter. A boy showed up, as they were loading the pups to take them away. He said they couldn't afford to take care of them. As they were placing the pups into the shelter truck, they saw I really had my eyes on the biggest/fuzziest one of the bunch. They told me that if I wanted him...I might as well take him then. So I picked him up, loaded him over my shoulder and took him home with me.That was exactly 6 yrs. ago. I named him Onyx. He is the one of the best dogs I have ever had! My 10 yr. old Sheltie, Cody, helped raise him...and still tries to "mother" him. They are inseparable. They live in my house with me, 2 cats, guinea pig, hamster and gerbil. Onyx forgets how big he is. ( 100 lbs. of teddy bear). He loves hugs and kisses. When it's cold out, Onyx jumps up on my bed and spreads out to warm it up. Then when I'm ready to get in, he moves to the foot of the bed until I'm covered up, then stretches out beside me....snoring away! It will surely break my heart when Onyx isn't in my life, anymore, so I plan on enjoying my buddy, along with my other "babes", every day that they are with me.

Topeka, IN

Who Adopted Who?

It had been 8 months since my beloved, 15-year-old cocker spaniel had died. I was waiting for God to drop just the right dog from the sky. One Wednesday evening, during the "Tail Waggers" segment on our local television channel, the anchor woman was cuddling the cutest little terrier-cross. I instantly knew that was my next best friend. I arrived at the local animal shelter early the next morning because I knew there would be a line to adopt this cute dog. Surprisingly, it was just me! I found out that the little "terrier hybrid" had been left in a box across the street from the animal shelter on a hot August day (grrrr). I named my new best friend, Chompers, because of his endearing underbite. Needless to say, he had a bit of separation anxiety - who wouldn't if they'd been left for dead in a box?? He's become my constant companion. If he's not with me, my friends are disappointed. He's unconditional love wrapped in fur and his whole purpose for being is to bring joy. I'm so glad he adopted me:-)

Pocatello, ID

Brasilian kitties

While living in a small town in Brasil, one day my husband and I found small cat lying in the bushes in our yard. Injured, stray and nervous, but apparently feeling safe enough to stay put. We offered her water and let her be, checking on her regularly. One check found a tiny kitten frantically trying to get to her belly to nurse. We made a nest in a box, gently scooped her and the kitten into the box and brought them inside. She had broken bones in one side of her head, she couldn't clean her kitten or herself and was very weak. Over the next few hours we helped to deliver three more kittens! Luckily, she would roll over to let them nurse, however she was drying up fast. We tried to give her water and food but she just choked and tried to get away. We had her x-rayed. The vet said there was nothing they could do for her, it was just a matter of time. The second day of their lives, mom gave up, she didn't have the energy, so we stepped in and took care of the four kittens. Our resources were limited, so we worked with what we could find and eventually found a milk replacer. We set an alarm every two hours, day and night. Then every three, every four..... Sadly, the mom died, but she left us with four beautiful kittens. We know all the the vets in town, and all were amazed that the kittens lived. They had never seen kittens without a mother survive more than 4 days! When it came time to go home, we brought them with us - of course! They are almost 9 months old now, healthy,happy and quite a handful! And we love them!

Maria Watkins
Aptos, CA

Our new addition

This is Max (yes she is a girl but that's another story) she was found in a bush at a friend's home that I work with, the year prior to this another kitten was left in the same bush and my friend kept that one, we believe to be her sister. Her children begged my husband and I to take her so she wouldn't go to a shelter, we had just become empty nesters so I brought her home just to see if it would work out and well we fell in love with her and she has been with us ever since September 11th 2008 (My husband's birthday). I took her straight to the vet and they figured she might have been 3 weeks old at the most. We fed her by bottle until she was old enough to eat on her own. My friend believes the mother cat was killed several blocks away by a car (they looked similar). We never owned a cat and were worried because we knew nothing about them, but she is just so wonderful and we can't even imagine our lives without her.

New Lenox, IL

Annie the Opossum

Annie was rescued at the age of two weeks when a dog killed her mother. She was fed with an eyedropper until she was able to eat on her own. She is now one year old and lives the good life with her adopted "daddy". She eats about anything but especially loves banana cream pie. You will find her sitting at the refrigerator door waiting to be fed. She likes to be held and loves to sleep with her daddy on his waterbed. She is very clean; gives herself a tongue bath after eating and uses a litter box. She also lives with her two siblings (dogs) and they get along famously.

Penny Popp
Carmel, IN

Was Saved from being Put down at Pound

This Clumber Cocker Spaniel named Freckles is my baby. 2 yrs ago I wanted a dog and saw no reason why go buy one from a breeder when there are plenty of dogs to adopted. Well I looked for months at dog didnt want real big ones and all the small ones went fast. Well the pound knew me and asked if I would please look at this dog and see what I thought. I said sure I would. The brought him into the room and he jumped right on my lap and laid down and just wanted to be loved. I asked them why I hadnt seen him in the runs before. They told me he was food and toy aggressive and wasnt good with kids. Then they tell me if I dont want him he is going to be put down the next day. I decided right there and then I was going to take him home with me. He loves kids and he wasnt aggressive with his food or toys. He loves to have you throw his toys for him to chase but never bring them back lol or play tug a war .. He is a big baby and loves to just lay in my lap or just lay with me in bed. I do want a another dog and when ready I will go and adopted again. He is my child and I wouldnt have it any other way

Laura E
Cream Ridge, NJ

Miss Mora Gene thinks she's a dog

My Dear Little Mora, where to even begin? I volunteer at a inner city shelter, and one night we are closing up just as a women brings us this tiny little kitten. She found her in her back yard and she didn't know what else to do. She looked to me no more then a week old and was already wheezing, it was too late and I was the only volunteer vet tech, so I got to take her home. I already had 200 lbs. of dog at home, a Great Dane and a German Shepherd! Now I have this 3oz. kitten! I had to bottle feed her, treat her for an upper respiratory infection and then an eye infection. I couldn't even name her because we didn't think she was going to make it. About 2 weeks later, I wake up to check on her and there she is running around the Great Dane's legs like a little terror! Right there I named her "Mora" it's Gaelic for "high spirited one!" I couldn't nurse this little thing back to life and put her up for adoption, so 5 years later... and 15 lbs later... she thinks she's one of the dogs! She sits, she fetches, she follows me every where and runs around with the dogs, like she's one of them! I've been in animal rescue for 13 years, and I've treated and nursed many animals back to health, but by far my Mora was the hardest. Now, you'd never know she almost didn't make it to a month old.

Erin-lynn McAleer
Columbus, OH

Ramblin Bob

I help with greyhound adoption. 5 years ago I got a call about an old greyhound that was being put down because the owner said he could not hunt coyotes anymore. He thought he had cancer. When a rescue group called me, I immediately went to go see this old greyhound. When I got there, I began to cry. He had scars all over him from the years of being a coyote hunter. He was thin but just loved everyone. I immediately took him to the vet. The vet said there was no cancer. He was just old. The vet said around 13 years old. He had never been neutered. So, I had him neutered and had his teeth cleaned. I named him Ramblin Bob from the song.No one wanted to adopt him because of his age. Not that we didn't take him everywhere. As the year went by, we adopted him into our family. That was 5 years ago. Today, Bob is a young 18 years old. He loves to lay on the couch and watch tv. He still has his battle scars. But he smiles everday and has become a member of our family of hounds. He gives so much love for a dog that has never seen a couch. He never saw the inside of a home. The first night with us and since then, he has never had an accident. I believe Bob was sent to us from above to show people that old hounds are just as good as new and give just as much love. We have never meet a greyhound with such a big heart and will to live. That is our Ramblin Bob.

Carrizozo, NM

My Dad's Adopted Cat

My Mom passed away in Sept. 2003 after a long illness. One day this short haired tiger striped male tabby showed up on my Dad's deck looking for food, a scratch on the belly and possibly a new home. He won my Dad's heart and gave Dad something to live for after the passing of my Mom.

Sadly, Dad passed away in 2007 so the dilemma of "what to do with the cat" was upon us. Originally this playful, affectionate cat belonged to the neighbors who rescued him from a shelter and promptly put him in the barn with the other rescued cats. Apparently our guy did not get along well with the other males, so "he" adopted my Dad.

My brother and I were cleaning out the house of 50 years worth of my parent's lifetime together, but our GUY came every day to visit and demand attention and affection from us. He won MY heart and after a quick trip to the vet, I crated him and flew him to California to live with me.

Altho no longer an indoor/outdoor or "barn" cat, Kiyoshi has made a new home with me in sunny California (relocated from the country in the midwest) where he sleeps with me, cuddles with me, keeps watch from the balcony and shares my home and heart. This cat, who adopted my Dad, brings me warm feelings and a further remembrance of my Dad, from a kitty (now 8 yrs old) who brought some solace in my Dad's time of emotional need.

Kimiko S.
San Clemente, CA

Austin's story

It was the begining of January in 2007 and I went to visit our local animal shelter which I rarely do, but something told me to go. I went into the doggy room and in the corner cage was a little black puppy, he was so cute and excited to see someone. I asked the attendants about him and was told he was a four month old boxador (boxer/lab) and that he had been brought in with a broken front leg. Well, I watched him run around and play and he acted like nothing was wrong with him. My family and I ended up adopting him and named him Austin. We went to numerous vets about his leg and was told it couldn't be fixed because to much time went by with no treatment from the previous owners. Today, Austin is a wonderful 1 1/2 year old, full of energy and a joy to have around, he is now a big brother to a boxer puppy (6 months), Kasey. Those two are funny to watch and they love to ride, they go everywhere with us! I advise anyone and everyone to check your local shelters forst when looking for a new family pet!



Betsy Daniel
Farmington, ME
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