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NIKKI

Years ago we drove from NJ - Florida to go to Disney..At a stop we saw a black lab puppy running on I95. we bought some food and water and waited for someone to pick her up. All through our vacation I kept telling my husband I really think that is supposed to be our dog.We stopped at the same McDonald's on the way back,I called the shelter they told me she was set to be put to sleep. I began to cry until my husband agreed to get her. I lied and said it was close, it was not We spent 50 of our last 100 $ to get her. She was filthy but very loving, we started our journey up north with a 3and 6 year old. We named her Nikki after visiting Nickaloden studios. Nikki was not used to home life,it took months for her to make eye contact. One night my husband and I were going out,Grandma used to take the kids and Meeko overnight but would not take Nikki because she was too bad. The kids went with Grandma, the dogs stayed home. We altered our plans to let them out, when we arrived at home our house was on fire! Thankfully it had just started after being set by a neighbor with a serious psychiatric disorder and we were able to put it out without much damage. It was then that I realized that without Nikki we would not have come home and our house could've burnt to the ground. So I said to my husband I told you we were supposed to have her. She lived over 15 years, gave us much joy, never once did I regret that she found us. It was meant to be.<3

The Last Resort

West Milford, NJ

jeannine sedlacik
west milford, NJ

You never know!

I was the type of person that didn't have a lot of time especially for a pet or at least I thought.About ten years ago I started surfing the net. I came upon Petfinder.com. I had never had a pet and wasn't looking for one. As I browsed the website I came upon Dandy. I couldn't believe what happened from that point on. Instantly I fell in love with that little guy and there was no turning back. Dandy was at the Wilkes County Pet Shelter in North Carolina. I called the shelter and told them I was on my way to pick up Dandy. Of course, since I had never had a pet they were a little reluctant to let me take him so they went over things required for pet ownership. I insisted he would be well taken care of. I've never been happier. Dandy has been my best friend since. Dandy immediately started having health problems, had to be put on a special diet and had to be on medication for an extended period of time. Everyone was telling me to give him away and he would only continue to cost money. No one understood how much he meant to me. Dandy and I were stuck like glue for life. Dandy was appx. four years old when I got him, according to the vet. Now he is around 15 years old and still with me. Dandy has always got at least four walks a day, sleeps on my bed with me, gets his teeth cleaned and shots every year, has his own fenced in yard to play in when the weather is good along with the best of everything else. Most importantly Dandy has all the love I have to give for as long as he lives.

Kathy
Zionville, NC

Three Children

Meet my girls. Sausha is a black lab/Heinz 57 mix we rescued from the local pound. She is 14 now, and we've had her since she was 6 months old. She has the sweetest disposition and gladly greets anyone coming to our door! She is the alpha female of our little pack.

Gypsy is a standard long hair dapple grey dauschund, who we got later the same year we adopted Sausha. She was abandoned in Colorado as a puppy, and was living on a ranch with blue heelers. The people didn't want her, and my mother let us know that there was a sad girl in need of a home. We call her the biscuit queen, because she adores dog biscuits. She is fierce in her protection of her adopted mom!

The latest addition to our family is Princess Hunydog. She is a purebred chihuahua who we rescued from a breeder/puppy mill situation where the people decided to discontinue their business, and sold all the pups. They were going to put Princess, the mother dog, to sleep, as no one wanted her. She has a very peppery disposition and a friend of mine knew that I would be able to gentle the little girl. I renamed her Hunydog because she is a beautiful honey color. She is now 5 and loves me unequivocably. But she still doesn't like other people or dogs. We had a bit of a time adjusting her to the other two, because she is absolutely sure of her position as ruler of our family. There isn't a day goes by that I don't give thanks for my beautiful family. I never had children, but my girls are as dear to me as anyone's human kids. They are my life.

Melanie Callahan
Salt Lake City, UT

Not the Same

My husband and I were moving into a home and our first plan was to get some furry friends. I found a little chihuaha and my husband went to the pound. He brought home Chelsee and I thought I was going to cry. We had a shephard mix and a few years ago had to put her to sleep due to cancer. My husband found a dog that looked just like our Kira. We love Chelsee just as much and she is obsessed with tennis balls. Never a dull moment with her around.

Amber Sherrell
Moline, IL

My Scooby Doo

Well I used to go to the SPCA looking for a dog that would be perfect for me. Id go maybe once a month and look at all the dogs. It was hard not to just want to take several of them home. But I didnt feel like any of them were REALLY right for me. So one day I decided to go see if there was a Pitt Bull. The lady at the SPCA said they didnt have any right then. So I told her Id like to look at the dogs anyway. Well the minute I walked in I looked in the "small dog" area and there was this funny little guy barking his head off at me! The way he looked, he was so adorable that I told the lady I wanted him. She kept asking me if I wanted to take him to the room where they'd see if the dog and the buyer got along or not. And I kept telling her, "No itll be ok". So I found out (during the time I was filling out papers) that he'd been adopted and returned before. That he didnt get along with the woman's husband. I put him on a little leash and he walked right beside me all the way to my car. Put him in the car and we went home! I named him ScoobyDoo. Hes been the sweetest, most loving, funny little dog Ive ever had. And he and I are completely in love. Yeah, he barks at everybody lol. But I dont care. This little guy sleeps next to me like a person would. And theres no way anybody could convence me dogs dont have a soul. Cause I see his every day of our lives. In his eyes.

Elizabeth
Bradenton, FL

We love big MUTTS and we cannot lie

Toby and Rudy are our sweet and wonderful mixed breed dogs. Toby is a Coonhound mix and Rudy is a Bull Terrier mix. We adopted them both, two years apart, from our local humane society shelter. Toby had been relinquished to the shelter by his previous owner and Rudy was picked up as a stray. Now they rule our household, go on road trip adventures with us and bring us indescribable happiness every single day.

Their personalities are polar opposites and they got into some pretty bad scuffles during their first few months living together. But we learned how to use positive reinforcement training, various routines and exercise to ensure a happy inter-species family for all four of us. We encourage everyone to give a homeless animal (or two!) a forever home-- it is endless fun and enormously rewarding!

Gabrielle Bassin & Charles Linkem
Lawrence, KS

JAX has a Forever Home

My husband and I have been married for 34 years and have never had an inside dog. I did not push it because I knew how he felt. So…he finally said to get a dog. I searched on line and found many for adoption and for sale. My sister has a friend who has a pet rescue and she called and said a Maltese/Shitzu mix had been brought to the rescue. She was flying to NC the next day and I said to bring the dog. He was pitiful. His white fur was orange with the Georgia clay. He was underweight. He had a collar but no identification. He didn’t even bark. PITIFUL. The next morning we went to our neighborhood pet store and got him everything he needed. I named him Jax. So..I brought Jax home and carried him to the vet. He had a good bath, groomed, clipped his nails, cleaned his teeth after having two baby teeth pulled, shots, identification chip, full blood panel (all clear) no heart worms, and neutered. He still had not barked. I got him home and after all the stuff he had been threw he was scratching at the window and finally barked at the neighbor. He now weighs 8.5 lbs. and is so smart and happy. We are the proud humans of a sweet puppy named JAX. Jax will always have a forever home.

Susan Rogers

North Carolina

Susan Rogers
Elm City, NC

Alexa - The Agility Rescue

Alexa came to us through our local no-kill shelter where my mom and I frequently volunteer. A black and white dog arrived at the shelter that was trembling with terror. She had been rescued from a rural county shelter where she had spent her first year of life, and was nearing her last days before euthanization. She stole our hearts and it was a matter of days before we brought her home. After adopting her we began obedience training. She was the most well-behaved and easiest-trained dog in the class. After showing off her Border Collie smarts in obedience she began training in agility to keep her active. She enjoys demonstrating her athleticism and now competes in agility trials where she's winning blue ribbons! The League for Animal Welfare in Batavia, Ohio changed her life and in turn she changed ours. (photo courtesy of NatureWorks Photo)

Heather Ernst
Batavia, OH

Humane Society Reject Transforms with Three Days of TLC

I saw this 4-month-old calico kitten in the yard trying to make friends with the outdoor kitties. Every few steps her hind legs would give out and she would plop down on her butt. I trapped her and took her to the Humane Society but they said she was "hopelessly feral," and her vicious attacking, biting and scratching behavior was so bad she was "unadoptable," so they were going to euthanize her. I was listed as the "Last Resort" contact, so I had them spay her and examine her legs under anesthesia. The legs were okay so I took her home. "Little Guy" was dirty and bedraggled, hissed and lashed out. I put her carrier in the bathroom with food and water and hoped for the best. After three days she came out of the carrier, started rubbing my legs and purring like a motorboat. She wasn't feral at all, just scared.

She ate 7 meals a day, hence her eventual name "Petunia," after Petunia Pig! She was pretty wild for a long time, but eventually settled down, and after a lot of high-energy self-administered physical therapy, her legs got strong and now she can run and jump with the best of them. Petunia is extremely affectionate, friendly, loving, and interactive. She likes to groom my other cat and engage her in wrestling matches. She likes making new friends. She's the best cat I've ever had and I couldn't live without her!

Christine E Johnson
Pasadena, CA

Sweet Pepper

On 12/23/2000 Pepper came to live with me when he was 2-3 years old. It was 10 degrees outside and windy here in northern Vermont. He'd been abandoned by his family when they moved a month before and had been outside until he came to me. He weighed 8 lbs. when he arrived. String bean kitty. He now weighs a healthy 12 lbs. He was purring to comfort himself when he came through the front door in a carrier. After stepping out of it, he explored the house for 20 minutes, then curled up on the couch in front of the wood stove and slept for 12 hours straight. It took 5 years before he really started to relax into the idea that he was truly home. He showed me this by sleeping on his back, and letting me stroke his belly- and actually enjoying it. I rejoiced the first time he repositioned himself to give me greater access to his tummy. I sleep with the windows open every day of the year and it gets very cold in there in winter. I've always invited him to come under the covers, but until this winter, he refused my offers and instead, slept on top of the covers, curled up into a tight ball. At the beginning of the winter he allowed me to gently drag him under the covers. He stayed and slept there. Now all I have to do is lift the covers up and he happily comes under them on his own steam, and curls up next to me. Three years ago he had a massive kidney stone problem and I almost lost him. Since then, my love for and appreciation of him has deepened tremendously.

Ellen Powell
South Burlington, VT
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