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Dashing into our life

When I moved out of my parents’ house, my sister and I moved in together. I jumped at the opportunity to get a dog, that’s when I got Nala my Min Pin Mix rescue from the shelter. I can bring Nala to work with me, and I noticed that she was a lot happier when there was another dog around to keep her company for when I wasn’t there. I knew my sister wasn’t ok with having a second dog in the home, so I waited till I moved into another apartment. I had a much bigger place and a roommate who was ok with getting a second dog. I knew it was time to find a brother or sister for Nala.

We looked and looked for the right rescue to add to the family. After a few meet and greets we decided that we wanted to take our time. One afternoon we went to a shelter to see a dog that had been recently posted. She had just arrived from Taiwan and from her bio she seemed like the perfect dog. When we got there she was still to scared to come out of her cage area but another dog who had just arrived with her decided he would come and see us. It’s then I felt a connection with him. We had already applied for the other dog but another family was already approved for her. It was just meant to be. We filled out an application, visited him a few more times and then got the call that they wanted to have a interview and a home visit so he and Nala could meet. He clearly made himself comfortable within the first few minutes of the visit, drinking, eating and sleeping. We were approved by the rescue and Dash.

I brought Dash home a couple months back and he’s been great. He’s my shadow, my protector, my goof. Nala and Dash have bonded, they are constantly playing or stealing my sock or sleeping. We still have things to work on, but he’s my good boy.

Emma
Toronto, ON, Canada

My Trucker Dog

I had known a few people that had this handsome boy. They weren't wealthy and he wasn't taken care of. His name is Vino. I was a truck driver, and I wanted him on the truck with me, so I had gotten him from my friends. When I had gotten him in the truck with me, he was so skinny. He was infested with fleas. My poor boy wasn't happy and was always scratching. But yet he seemed so happy about being on the truck with my husband and me. We had gotten him a ramp to get in and out of the truck without us lifting him up.

As the days went by my sweet boy wasn't doing well. I was beginning to worry. I was beginning to notice a horrible smell coming off of him. I went to pet him and noticed this ooze coming from his shoulder. So I rushed to the Vet. I spent over $622 to make sure he was okay. I found out someone shot him with a pellet gun. It was stuck in his shoulder! Found out he had a skin bacteria and got pills for him, and had to stop often during the week to bathe him.

A month went by, my sweet happy perky baby was back to himself! But the skin bacteria wasn't clearing up that fast, so 6 months of meds for him. He has all of his hair back on his tail! And plays like no tomorrow! He is now 7 years old, and still acts like a puppy! I couldn't ask for a better partner in the truck than him! We are still on the road and he still enjoys it! I thank him everyday for being with me.

Anonymous
Union City, PA

Cat in a bag

It was almost 2 years ago today, but I was playing basketball at the local neighborhood court. I finished up and was headed towards my car to leave. As I was walking I noticed a gym bag laying in the grass in the middle of the park, as I got closer to the bag, I noticed it was open with a cat just laying inside it with a food and water left with her. She didn't exactly look scared, just more or less confused. She looked at me and meowed. I looked around to see if anyone in the area may have done this purposefully and was coming back to get her, but no one was in sight.

I'm not proud of what I did next, but I left her there assuming someone else would help out. I drove away but my conscious ate at me, I couldn't just leave her. So I called my best friend and told her about the situation. I asked her if I should go back. She gave me the obvious answer and probably wouldn't have stayed friends with me if I ignored her advice. It was probably some of the best advice she gave me to this day and I can't thank her enough for it. I drove back and sure enough the cat in the bag was still right where I last saw her and still no one else in sight. I took her out of the bag and brought her into my car. She appeared malnourished and had some scabs and just all around didn't look very healthy or good, I hope she had seen better days, but she was coming with me anyways.

I had her checked out and she didn't have anything wrong with her, she was even fixed already. Over the next couple of months she grew back into her beautiful self and quickly grew on me. Clementine is my cat from a bag and she has been my friend ever since.

Anonymous
Chandler, AZ

Felicia, "The Lucky One"

A friend called to tell me about a dog she and her daughter had found, running around in busy traffic, with a hurt leg. They took her to the local shelter, but they wanted to try to find a home for her. The shelter was going to put her down because of her leg injury (they suspected a torn ACL) and also because she was at least part pit bull. This friend knew that I had a soft spot for pit bulls, which I do, but I told her that I just didn't have room for another dog. Still, the story nagged at me over the weekend, and Monday morning my husband said, "we have to go get that dog." So I called the shelter, but they told me the decision had been made to put her down. I told them NOT TO DO THAT because I was coming to get her. When we got there, she was so stressed out she growled at my husband, but when we got her out of the cage, she was overjoyed. She licked her new dad all the way home to show him she didn't really mean the growling. Her leg healed beautifully without surgery, and she has turned out to be the sweetest dog imaginable. We are so glad that we overlooked the two strikes against her that almost ended her life! We named her Felicia, "the lucky one." But we were really the lucky ones.

Anonymous
Lexington, IN

Kitten thief

Late summer two years ago a black cat showed up at our house. I started putting out food and water hoping to keep it fed so it would kill the wild birds that came to the feeder. As cold weather approached I made a feral cat house out of a cooler for it. It went unused. I continued to put food and water out and the food would be gone the next day. I would not see the cat everyday and not sure where it went to keep warm in the below freezing temps. In the spring while I was away caring for a sick brother my husband called and said that the cat that I thought was a male had kittens in our shed. When I came home a month later the now "Momma Kitty" growled and hissed when I went to put food out. We decided to trap her to have her spayed as I did not see the babies nursing. After leaving her at the vet I trapped the three kittens and brought them inside to socialize with the hopes of finding them forever homes. After the doctor spayed "momma" she called to inform us that "this cat has never had kittens", When we asked where the babies came from she said "momma" probably stole them. After returning "momma" to our yard we soon started to hear coyotes nearby. We enclosed the porch with hardware cloth and made an insulated house with a light for the winter. She soon became tame enough to pet and pick up for a few seconds. Well, you can probably guess, "momma" and all three kittens found their forever homes - inside with our other cat and two dogs. All get along fine and keep us entertained.

Faye Kratzer
Robbinsville, NC

Abandoned after 14 years

He already had a name. In fact, he had a home for fourteen years, with the same family since he was a kitten. When his owners moved into a new apartment, they decided to make Sonny an outdoor cat, even though he had always spent most of his time indoors. He lived on the steps and porch of the apartment building, and his owners threw out scraps of food if they remembered. I noticed him out there as I walked by with my dog and learned his story, so I started bringing a can of food every morning and night. He was missing part of one ear from an unfortunate encounter with a dog some years ago. He had to fight with feral cats and run from loose dogs in the neighborhood, so he was always nervous when we approached him.

In May, I found out that the owners had moved away and left him. He was still sitting there, hoping they would come back, but they never did. Even though I had been feeding him for a couple of months, I never dreamed of taking him. I'd never even owned a cat and didn't even know how to care for one. I also wasn't sure about my ten-year-old rescue dog accepting him. Still, I went to the pet store and bought every cat supply that I thought I would need, and I scooped him into the cat carrier and brought him home. It has been over four months, and he is a happy and healthy old man. He spends his days hunting and napping in the back yard, and his evenings are spent lounging in the den, sharing snacks with us and enjoying his new life. The dog has accepted him, as long as he stays away from her treats! I'm so glad that he came to live with us, and I will never understand how someone could abandon him. He is a welcome addition to our family!

Michelle Hyde
Florence, AL

One Last Chance

They dumped her at the adoption center in the middle of a rainy night, taped up in a box and shoved under the bumper of a van… the last detail to be taken care of by people with no desire to take on a spoiled cat after the death of her elderly human. She spent the next two weeks in a cage suffering the indignities of physicals, unwelcome handling, and the frightening sounds and smells of a building being remodeled around her. She wasn’t at her best, and didn’t understand she needed to be if she was going to find a new home.

As the days passed, her temperament grew worse. It became apparent she wasn’t doing well – and would continue to decline. The sad reality of animal rescue is that there isn’t room for one who isn’t at all trying to cooperate. She was moved from the cage to a carrier and put back in the same van she had been shoved under several weeks before… on the way to being put down.

Enter my husband and me, in the very nick of time. We had just buried our Gypsy – another rescue – and had room for another furchild. We lean toward hard cases… older, abandoned, special needs… unwanted rejects without hope.

It wasn’t a match made in heaven. Nana wasn’t any happier with us than she had been at the rescue. It took nine months to convince her she was home to stay. She now sleeps with us – and anywhere else she pleases. She comes to me at least once a day for combing and loving.

Home, again, at last.

So be patient. Be open to the ones who aren’t perfect. You never know when the perfect one might be hiding inside – like Nana.

Jenny Dahl
Oklahoma City, OK

Mufasa, Leave Behind or Take With Me in my RV

I came to stay with friends in ID last yr while filing for my disability, which I was awarded recently. While here I befriended a semi-feral spayed Female cat that had been left behind yrs ago by a previous renter. I've managed to tame her considerably. She likes food. I can pet & hold her. She seeks out love & affection from me. She sleeps on my bed. My friend says I should take her when I move. Mufasa only knows living free in farm country. I would LOVE to adopt her. I bought an RV. Mufasa Loves being in it. She wasn't thrilled when I started it up, but she did really well with the new experience.

I'm leaving this area next month. I want Mufasa to come with me. I'm the Only emotional attachment Mufasa has besides Eddie, the dog. I'm her person. She is very content being inside. She is food motivated.

Can I use that trait to solve the following: Mufasa will only go to the bathroom outside in the dirt in her "special spots". She'll hold her pee/poo all night & wait to go outside in the AM. I tried dirt from the yard in a litter box in the RV, no dice. If cats could laugh Mufasa would have when I showed it to her & tried to place her in it. What can I do to get an approximately 6 yr old cat who's lived outside her entire life to live indoors & use a litter box??

I just want to do right by Mufasa. The thought of her getting left here one renter after another kills me. I'm concerned she will be stressed in the RV. Food can only fix so much. Although I think she could get used to being confined. Its the litter box training that's got me really worried.

PLEASE ADVISE

Cindy Montalbano
Rupert, ID

My Angel with Paws

Easter 2014, I was sick with severe bronchitis. I took a nap, suddenly woke at 9:30pm. I decided to take trash out and look at the stars. As I opened the front door, I noticed two pairs of eyes in the dark. Turning on porch light, I saw 2 cats. One striped and one all white. I went outside, striped cat ran off, and white cat looked up at me with crystal blue eyes. He was the cutest most beautiful Cat I’d ever seen! I walked to garbage can, when I came back, white cat was still there, sitting in same spot as if he was waiting for me. He sweetly looked up at me again, and I instinctively picked him up. He snuggled his head under my neck, put his paw around me and purred. I stood there, holding him and felt a wave of love. He held onto me tighter with his paw, as if he knew. I carried him inside the warm house and told him,“that’s it, you’re staying.” I put him down, he wandered around and sniffed everything for over an hour. I left him a dish of milk, chopped turkey and bowl of water, and went back to bed. 20 minutes later he found me - ran into my room, jumped on my bed, laying next to me with his head on my pillow, and paw on my chest where my lung hurt. He stayed that way all night, not leaving my side holding me with his paw. At Sunrise, he softly brushed my face with his pink nose and whiskers, as I petted him and he purred. I wondered where this magical Cat came from. It had to be a miracle. I rescued him and he rescued me. He is the light of my life, my Angel with Paws. And, 2.5 years later, he wakes me with purr-fect furry love every am, and he still sleeps with me every night.

Traci Elizabeth
Las Vegas, NV

Rufus

While getting ready for work one morning my roommate and I saw a man standing at our glass backdoor. We immediately called the Police and that afternoon I went to our Humane Society to get a “medium” size dog. Walking down the aisles of caged runs with all the dogs either barking or whining for my attention I noticed a very skinny, male Great Dane pushed against the back of his pen. I walked past because I was looking for medium, not huge. I went back and asked to see him. He perked up a bit when we were outside together but not much. Back inside I saw he was scheduled to be euthanized the next day. That was NOT going to happen! It was too late that day to adopt him. I felt horrible knowing he’d think he’d been left again. The next morning I was the first in line and when he saw me he was wagging his tail so much I thought he’d fall over. Slathered in kisses by both his tongue and eyes we headed to my tiny two door car. He didn’t wait for an invitation, climbed in back and sat in the middle blocking my mirror with his enormous head the whole way home. He assumed that position every time we went in the car and always sat on the couch with all four feet touching the floor.

I got married not long after that and when my son was walking he’d always close his eyes tight because Rufus’ wagging tail would get him in the face every time. Rufus crossed over the rainbow bridge from Lymph Cancer 4 years after I got him. That was the only time I ever saw my husband cry. I still think of him often, 32 years later. We love and miss you Rufus – Mom. (We lost a bunch of photos but this public domain photo looks very much like Rufus.)

Marjorie
Salem, OR
Paws to My Heart Lightweight Hooded Tunic
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