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Dice - Our Sweetheart

In July 2015, our 14 year old black lab, Cisco, crossed the bridge due to cancer...he was my heart dog and I still miss him. We had 3 other dogs at the time and my husband said "no more". I was good with that, but a couple of weeks later he decided we should get another dog since our 15 year old lab mix, Lady, was living on borrowed time. Hence, we ended up with Dice. A young couple needed to rehome her and my husband decided we NEEDED her. She's been part of our family for almost 2 years now. Our precious Lady passed 6 months after Dice came to live with us. Though she wasn't a replacement for Cisco or Lady, she has helped mend the hole in our hearts. Not a day goes by that she doesn't make us laugh and she is the biggest snuggler and talker I've ever seen. She sleeps between us in bed under the covers with her head on a pillow and is usually the last one in the house to get up. She is such a blessing and so well behaved. She fit right in with the other two dogs and I think we would all be lost without her in our lives.


Forney, TX

Forney, TX

A voice from above

Our family was looking for a puppy after our dog, Christy had passed away. We went to the shelter, but most of the puppies were already spoken for. I was looking for a smaller, fluffy dog. Our sons saw a shepherd mix puppy in a kennel and wanted to visit with her. I said okay, and the volunteer took her to the meeting area for us. She told us the dog would probably get to about 55 lbs which was too large for me. Our sons liked her, but I was about to tell the volunteer we didn't have an interest in the dog when over the loudspeaker I heard, "Christy, please call the office. Christy, please call the office." I turned to the volunteer and said, "We will take her". My family looked at me in surprise. I felt our Christy was talking to us from heaven. Later I realized she was laughing in heaven as the puppy was wild, hard to housebreak, chewed and ate everything in sight. But 13 years later, our Penny is a sweet, calm dog we all love and who just wants to be with us. I guess Christy was right after all.

Debbie Cassettari
Chino Hills, CA

Honey my shadow

Honey, as named by the rescue group, was rescued from the streets of Tennessee in 2012. She was brought in by animal control to a kill shelter. A wonderful rescue group pulled her off of death row right before she was set to be put down. I had lost my beloved best friend several months before and was looking for a companion for my other cocker spaniel. I read her tale of rescue and she sounded real sweet according to her foster Mom. She called her a "velcro dog" because she never leaves your side. Honey looked so much like my dog that had passed too. It seemed like fate. We made arrangements to pick her up in May 2012. She made the trip up to the Northeast from Tennessee in the middle of the night. She curled up in my lap for the long car ride home and looked at me with such love in her eyes, as if to say, "Thank You". Now, five years later, she has never left my side-whether I'm in bed, in the shower, on the phone or playing with my 15 month old daughter, she has to be touching me. She hasn't left my side since that car ride home. Honey is truly my best friend and my "shadow". Rescued dogs are grateful to be alive, thrive on attention and just want to be loved.

Jennifer Harnett

The "Grande Dame"

Several years ago we were making one of our frequent stops at the pet supply store to pick up a few items for our four spoiled rescue cats. We always look at the cats available for adoption so I checked out the offerings and noticed a shorthaired beauty that was watching me intently. I was struck by her unique coloring and that she looked like she was smiling. The info tag stated she was a five-year-old female ocicat rescued from a 'kitty mill'. We didn't need another cat but this one was special and I was smitten. Despite what the info tag stated, she is not an ocicat, or at least not a pure breed. Her coat is bi-color with black tipped hairs and a white undercoat; hence her name “Ashes”. My wife agreed the cat was beautiful but reminded me of the four at home. Despite obvious reasons for not doing so, I asked if we could see and hold her. When we sat down in the adoption area she immediately jumped up into my lap, looked up at me, closed her eyes and began a rumbling purr. After 24 hours of discussing the pros and cons of adopting a fifth cat the pros (or maybe it was the cons) won out and we adopted her the following evening. From her first moments in our home she was her own cat. It took a while for her to integrate into the family, but with time and patience she’s become the 'grand dame'; mostly tolerated by the rest of the cat clan, and mostly tolerating them. She's independent and stubborn, has kept her rumbling purr and has a raucous voice that she uses freely, and she’s daddy’s girl.

Wayne & Sandra
Brevard, NC

My Little Bug

This beautiful cat was hanging around my house for over a month. One day, looking out my window, I saw him playing with the leaves, and realized that he was a kitten (albeit a large kitten) and needed a chance in life even though my resident cats wouldn't see it that way. Long story short, I decided to give him that chance and, since he had learned how to use my cat doors to come inside and eat, it was a pretty easy transition...for me. Since he was feral, I trapped him and took him to the vet to get him neutered and have his shots. He tested negative for all diseases and he is now the newest resident of my now 5 cat household. Since he learned to use the cat doors early on, he moved inside right away to escape the cold and rain. Since then, he has come around nicely. After only a few weeks inside he rubs on my legs when I am preparing the cat food in the morning and he knows where all the dry food and water stations around the house are. I have been able to pet him for about two days now and today he let my husband pet him too! He obviously has his fears and stressors, but he's loving it inside the house. He has never hissed or swatted us and my vet even declared him to be a "nice cat for being feral." Since he's only about 9 months old, I'm hoping my other cats will warm up to him. However, even though he is young, he is very big and definitely an alpha male and my resident 20 lb alpha male cat doesn't appreciate this "trespasser." Nor do my other cats. I have no doubt that they will work it out over time. As you can see, he likes to sleep surrounded by his toys.

Sacramento, CA

Wild Cat Rescued

About 20years ago my daughter and her husband heard a little constant mewing and went outside their back fence into the bush but couldn't find puss. Each night they tried without luck. My son-in-law decided that over the fence was the way to catch puss so he went over the fence head first with wife holding his feet and scooped up the little run-away! Tabby was very young, very tiny, eyes just open and very wild. She was fed with an eye dropper by son-in-law and seems to think he is her mum. For many years he was the only person she would let pick her up or pat her. Gradually daughter was able to pat, only three strokes, then the hissing started! Feline dementia must be coming on as Tabby accepted pats from anyone and is as you can see still tiny but quite happy.

Sydney, Australia

Sally the Rescue Dog and Santa visit hospitals & nursing homes

Save Our Strays VT is a small volunteer pet rescue/adoption in rural Vermont with a tradition of Christmas Day visits to hospitals and nursing homes. Sally the Great Pyrenees was abandoned and sent to an over crowded kill-shelter when her owner went into a nursing home and the family did not want her. She was about to be euthanized when Save Our Strays saved her. A grateful Sally has become the "spokesdog and ambassador" for this dedicated group of volunteers.

Sally now can be found "spreading her love" to nursing home residents as a tribute to her past. Sally brightens the day for both the staff and patients and is an excellent representative for any dog given a second chance.

Roy Haynes
Huntington, VT

Kitty Bunch with celebrity Traci K at Christmas sighted.

While dealing with hardship and struggles after my competition days and transitioning from military life there were nights that were a bit much. Then one day I found a kitty hit by a car and saved off the road on a scorching day. I brought it back to life rushing it to the nearest animal emergency but they said that the cost would be high and it was serverly damaged from the hit. I knew then my heart went out to animals who need healthcare like we all did during the times. My heart broken the following week a beautiful grey striped female came knocking on my door and I was in love. She was pregnant and I helped her deliver them the week of the Emmys that I was nominated for and off to California. They were actually born on the last presidents birthday. And I have become a crazy cat lady since with T-shirt and all. I decided to be part of no testing on makeup and became an ambassador for my BWC project. And almost every chance I get I click on Greater Good site to contribute. I have helped get many cats and dogs adopted and I foster when I can. My Kitty Bunch is ESA also registered cause they have saved my life maybe once or twice. I would get these nite terrors and shakes that were bad. Now my Cats jump on me and check on me to make sure I am okay. They also provide a calming loving atmosphere and in return I spoil them when I can. It sometimes bothers me when on TV shows talk and joke about relationships being that no hope for single woman and lots of kitties in the future. Please NO. I think there are ton of men who are A list that love cats right? Cause they are my kids and adorable. Thank you for the paw necklace I wear it.

Traci K
Dayton, OH

No Fear Jack

Jack was saved by a wonderful vet when an owner wanted a convenience euthanasia. His eye was removed at 9 months; he was such a bundle of energy that the vet had to put him up for adoption for the sake of her older cats with cancer. I saw him on a rescue site and thought with only one eye, perhaps his chances at adoption were not great. So Jack joined our two older cats. We had 13 happy years with a tabby whose disability did not deter him from racing thru life. Jack was the only counter cat I have had--he could haul a package of frozen chicken breasts from the sink and onto the floor. He greeted anyone at the door when the doorbell rang. He politely tapped my leg or face when he wanted attention--those early morning wake ups were better than an alarm clock. We took him in for a check up when we noticed his appetite was lagging. Test results showed renal failure.

People say he had a happy life--he was loved and spoiled. Still, the emptiness is heartbreaking and I miss Jack's energy and happy, carefree attitude. Our two older cats passed within 6 months of each other about four years ago. Then our feral cat that we cared for passed last year. In time, I'll rescue another older cat--for Jack.

Springfield, VA


In late winter 2011, my fiance and I happened to do the grocery shopping at a completely different day and time than usual. When we were packing the groceries inside our apartment building, we could hear scared meowing. The security guard told us that another renter had stolen the AC unit out of the apartment but left behind his pets, including a cat, who had escaped outside and was hiding in the bushes. We already had one cat, the maximum allowed in our apartment building, but I scooped up the cat and took her inside. "Just for tonight, I'll take her to the shelter in the morning!" I told my fiance. We both knew it was a lie! We fell in love with her and she became a beloved member of our family. It was clear from her skittish behavior that she had been abused. It took lots of patient love and care to help her adapt to her new life, but she grew into a sweet, loving cat--who always retained a fierce strength and no-tolerance policy for nonsense, which we call "putting the paw down."

Our first cat is a bit of a daddy's girl, but Lily was all mine. Every morning, I would wake up and she would race me down the stairs for me to let her out onto our patio. We spent hours gardening, hanging out, watching the birds together. We were both cranky homebodies who liked to keep to ourselves. We ate green beans out of a can together and she helped me read books and grade papers.

Sadly, last year she developed a rare, aggressive disease and passed away at the age 5. I miss her every day. I keep "putting the paw down" in my own life, just like she taught me.

Lacey Sparks
Lexington, KY
Rainbow Paws to My Heart T-Shirt
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