I just rescued my girl Rayna about 5 weeks ago. I can't tell if I rescued her, or if she's saved me. Every moment she's been home with us has been richer and more amazing.
I'd been taking Japanese lessons in the city for years. After two weeks absence, I pulled into the parking lot, noticed plastic dishes by the cultural society's front door. "You will see," said a teacher when I asked. Sure enough, a lean young tiger cat dashed up the sidewalk, as if on cue. For two weeks, he'd stationed himself by the front door patiently waiting for visitors, begging food and entry. I knew he might not survive another week, given the heavy traffic just yards away. So, he rode home to our orchard fly-in neighborhood 30 miles away, that evening. In short, for eight years he has faithfully guarded our home's 3,600 foot aircraft hangar as if it were his own. He's fought off raccoons, attacked intruding dogs regardless of size, and delivered to our doorstep a great assortment of rodents (intact but always missing ears and scalp). At the same time, he loves children. Recently, when we brought him an understudy and got our first dog in 20 years, he slowly grew to accept both as playmates. He is a glutton for both human and animal companionship, it turns out. And, a fine part of our family!
Cameo came to me in the fall of 1994. She was discarded by her owners because we diagnosed her with heartworm disease. She was spayed, but had never had any other care than that. I brought her home from the pound (where they dumped her) and she moved right into my heart, soul and home. She knew she was born to be with me, it took me a few months to realize it. She would look into my eyes and I have never felt a connection like that. She guided me through some terrible times (divorce, etc.) and was always there when I needed a hug and a kiss. She smiled at everyone, loved everyone, kissed everyone. She was an odd mix of dogs so we never have figured out her lineage. She was a therapy dog (one of the first in my county) and would love to go to the school my kids attended and have the kids read to her when they couldn't interact with others. She raised Annie Mouse for me, who is still with me, another rescue dog. She is now 11 but in perfect health. I lost Cameo after 10 and half years. She was almost 16 when she died in my arms so she outlived her horrid start by at least the five years she lost before I got her. She is smiling in my heart each and every day. I will miss her until the day I see her again.
Our two much loved Siberians ('Laika' & 'Raki') crossed over the rainbow bridge late last year, so we decided to search for two rescue Siberians to repopulate our family pack. We found two wonderful candidates in 'Stitch' (a 2 year old red & white male) and 'Lilo' (a 4 year old B&W female) at NorCal Sled Dog Rescue (Northern California). If you'll recall the recent Walt Disney animated movie 'Stitch and Lilo', you'll remember that 'Stitch' was a dog-like alien creature created to destroy things and 'Lilo' was a sweet little Hawaiian girl who ultimately teaches 'Stitch' about family, love, and sharing. Our two new Siberians couldn't have been better named, believe me, as Stitch came to us with severe behavioral problems that included destructive chewing, insecurity, and generally excessive hyperactivity (in other words, a perfect canine 'Stitch'!). Lilo, on the other hand is a sweet little girl whose only problem is that she wants to be the alpha dog in the family (a role Stitch mightily contests). We've had them for several months now and it has been a challenge dealing with their behavioral glitches, but they are both wonderful, loving, and beautiful Siberians whom we have grown to love dearly. Although it has taken hunks out of us 'retraining' them and correcting the previous behavioral problems their former negligent owners allowed to develop, I am happy to say that they have indeed found their new 'forever home' with us. We are old hands with Siberians, having had the breed around us for more than 20 years, so we are better able to deal with behavioral problems than most. Frankly, I cannot conceive of a life without two beautiful Siberian Huskies in our home to lavish us with kisses and to keep our feet warm in frosty winters.
An internet acquaintance who fosters animals in Houston posted a photo of her latest foster, Earl, on a community website we both frequent. Upon first look at that photo, I unmistakably ran smack dab into love at first sight. Although at first it was just a sweet fantasy, eventually, through some string pulling, Earl climbed aboard a jet and headed to California to be MINE! He arrived minus one leg due to a prior Vaccine Associated Feline Sarcoma, but he's truly whole, a bundle of sweetness that brings brighter-than-white love into our lives every second of every day. I'm so grateful for those who selflessly dedicate themselves to helping animals in whatever capacity they are able. They provide so many opportunities for animals and are truly among humanity's most precious heroes.
I first saw Baby Girl one evening as I was feeding the stray cats around our house. She was extremely thin, her eyes were cloudy, and she was very lethargic. She was one of the neglected animals that belonged to one of our neighbors that we ended up rescuing. I brought her into my home, although my mom warned me that she didn't have much of a chance to live. Fortunately, she pulled through, and she is now a much loved member of my family.
A few years ago,our little TN was planning on a fair to raise funds for a park. My husband plays the bagpipes and was asked to come and play from time to time. He was playing "Scotland the Brave" at one point and felt this little furry body against his leg. He looked down, and here was a little three-legged dog snuggled up! He reached down and patted her and the shelter volunteer who had brought some dogs over to possibly find a home led her away. He played again later and the same little dog appeared, as if mesmerized by the bagpipe music! My husband told me the story and later that month as the weather got colder, we went over to see how the little dog was faring! The wonderful lady who runs Noah's Ark brought Lady (the dog's name) out to see us, and she jumped right into my lap in the car and into the back seat, as if she knew she'd found us! Our Lady Bug was a delight with a mind of her own, and gave us her trust and love at no charge! She crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year and we still miss her! My heart goes out to all those dear little animals who need to find homes!
Madeline and her puppies were rescued from a high-kill shelter in Ohio by a wonderful woman who runs a pitbull rescue. We're thankful that she did, because Maddie is the sweetest and most gentle beagle-mix dog ever. We're still often asked if she's a puppy, but she's just this cute full-grown! Maddie brightens the day of everyone she meets, and has really changed our lives!
When my senior Manx cat passed I knew I would want another Manx. I learned of a rescue that had just taken custody of 49 Manx and Bob tail cats. They were all living with their owner in a studio apartment. When most of the cats had been vetted and taken to a "staging" apartment so that they could be seen and adopted I made the 3 hour journey. Imagine! I had to choose one cat from the 38 who were there. When I arrived there were indeed cats everywhere. It was like a beautiful collage of fur and whiskers. 2 1/2 hours later I was still meeting cats and feeling more than a little overwhelmed. Finally, the very patient volunteer said, "let's move the love seat. They like to hide under there." Sure enough! There was a perfect rectangle of cats jigsaw-puzzled together under there. They scattered immediately. Finally I stood, dazed and not moving. Suddenly I heard a squeeky 'meow'. I turned to see a scrappy orange and white manx looking up at me. It took 10 minutes for me to coax him into letting me pet him. He purred very loudly. His collar indicated that he was the 47th cat of the original 49 to be caught by the rescuers. Once I had patted him no matter where I walked in the apratment the orange cat was two steps ahead, looking back into my eyes and meowing as if to say, "It's me you ninny! You have to take me!" And that's what I did. Had we known what a lover Noah would become we would have named him Romeo! He is truly as sweet as the day is long.
Gloria was born to a dog fighter in Manhattan. At only 4 months old she did something that made her monster of an owner mad. She probably wasn't interested in fighting and that angered him to the point where he beat the left side of her head nearly flat. She was rescued by an Angel who spent thousands on treating her, but Gloria was left with severe brain damage. When I saw Gloria's picture I knew she should live with us. She doesn't know she has a disability and she sure doesn't know pit bulls are supposed to be mean. She loves the other dogs and us, showering us with kisses at every opportunity. She races through the yard with the others, legs windmilling to keep her balance, eyes sparkling and a big grin on her face. She's very smart and funny. The brain damage causes impulse control (she will try to jump in your lap while you are eating) but she is on Prozac which has worked wonders and allows her to think a little more before acting. Pit bulls deserve a chance - not the bad rap they are getting.