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Amazing Story of Survival in Alaska Wilderness

This is Kodiak, aka, Kody. He is 12 years old and partially blind and has arthritis. On July 13, 2016, while enjoying a beautiful day at an Alaskan river with his family, the riverbank gave way and Kody was swept into a very rapid and high-rising river. His owner watched in horror as the river swept him away. She tried to save him but the river was too fast. She even searched for him the next day from an airplane but could not find him. She went home and posted her story on Facebook. Two weeks later, as my husband and I were leaving for work, we saw a dog in the middle of a busy road. We are both huge animal lovers so we stopped and got him into our van and took him back to our home. He was near death. He was so skinny, had injuries to his hind legs, and very weak. My husband, Dave, fed him and gave him water while I posted his picture on a Facebook page dedicated to lost and found pets in our area. Turns out this was the same page his owner had reported him lost. Within 30 minutes, Facebook users had connected us and I was on the phone with his happy and very surprised owner, Alex. They were reunited yesterday at the vet's office. Kody has lost almost 20 pounds but is expected to make a full recovery. It is a true miracle that he survived for 2 weeks in the woods of Alaska, especially given his age and medical issues. Rescuing Kody and reuniting him with Alex is an experience we will never forget!

Annette Blair
Palmer, AK

Xena Warrior kitten

I watched in horror as the little feral kitten ran out from under the bushes and into the 4 lane highway where she was bounced around under the wheels of a car and semi truck. Rushing her to the nearest Animal Hospital, through the door in one swift move as I told them what happened and if the kitten could be saved do what they could as the lady behind the desk whisked her from me and rushed the kitten in the back so the Doctor could size up the situation as I signed papers up front to have it euthanized, if necessary. Upon her return the lady said there were no broken bones though they would do an x-ray to make sure and that they would keep me informed to the kittens progress or if they had to put it down, so I left knowing the kitten was in good hands.

Later in the day I got a text message from the Doctor that said she put her on oxygen, meds to relieve the swelling on the brain, and Clavamox for the upper respiratory infection. By the end of the day she was awake and biting the Doctor as she was being examined. Though she was awake and alert, she was not yet able to sit or stand on her own. Thinking that a name would make her stronger I allowed the girls in the office to name her. They chose Xena Warrior Kitten. They aged her at around 6 weeks of age and she weighed about 1 lb. The tech took her home for over night observation and was re-examined by the Doctor the next day. She was doing very well and there was hope for a full recovery so I took her home. The 3rd day she had 5 seizures which were treated with steroids and I am happy to say that she has not had a seizure since. She is now eating on her own, using the litter box and playing like nothing had even happened. Next task is to find her a forever home.

Donna Burke
Kankakee, IL

I found my family

It was a really hot day.... I was only 6 weeks old when I don't know why, but I found myself in a strange yard, there was this man who uses these things to walk around, I think humans call them crutches. I kept trying to get his attention but he kept shooing me away, It was a really long day but at the end of the day this nice lady turns up in a car and when she got out I was able to get her attention straight away, she crouched down and put her arms out and I ran straight to her. She picked me up and I felt safe... she carried me into the house and said to that man that I was sitting on the stairs, he told her he knew I was there because I was following him around the yard earlier. She asked him why didn't he bring me in, he said because they already had 4 cats and what they do with another cat. She put me down and I met my older brother Whinger and my oldest sister Meeca. I felt really safe, my new big brother was curious but she didn't let him hurt me. They decided they were going to name me Lyla but I didn't like that, the man accidentally said Layla and I answered straight away to that, so they named me Layla. That man became my grandpa and that nice lady I call her mamma. For the first few weeks I would sleep with grandpa and my big brother and oldest sister but grandpa said I play too much during the night so now I sleep in mamma's bed with 2 of my other sisters, Stalker and Maaza. I also have another brother Rocky who is a dog and another sister Princeza who is a dog as well. I love my family very much, but if I could say something to the people who left me there I would say thank you because I have a family that loves me unconditionally, even when I cause trouble LOL.

Sal Dz
Fairfield, Australia

Baby Domino's Story and Canine Diabetes Awareness

Domino has been with me since I was ten. We adopted her from an animal shelter and I honestly think she picked me, considering I was the only one she didn't cower from. It was said she had been there for close to a month, which is a miracle for any dog. I'm guessing if we hadn't adopted her she would have been put to sleep soon after.

Four years ago she developed diabetes and ended up going blind, but we never gave up on her and you wouldn't believe how well she got around. Last year she had some complications from diabetes and I had to rush her lifeless body to the vet during the rainy night. The vet warned me of all the possibilities and I understood that she could pass that night. As she always has, Domino pulled through, someway somehow. As long as she keeps fighting, we'll fight with her. Domino has been with me during many stages of my life and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Unfortunately, on July 22, 2016 we had to put Domino to sleep. She was slowly getting worse and I didn't want her to suffer, there was nothing we could do to help her. I held onto her as she peacefully passed on. She lived a long life of 13 years and celebrated many birthdays with me. If we hadn't adopted her when I was a kid, she may have never made it past 10 months old. She wasn't the friendliest dog at the shelter, but somehow I knew she was meant for me and we ended up being like sisters. She changed my life in so many ways and has taught me so much, I never would have made it without her. We did our best to make her comfortable until she let us know that it was her time. I find peace knowing that she is no longer fighting her diabetes and she is set free.

Please do research on diabetes in dogs and share the information in memory of Domino.



Saralyn Lockheart
Somerset, KY


I walk my dog at a school near my house every evening, and I started seeing a couple of kittens there. I began feeding them and noticed they were living in a dirt hole under one of the school buildings. They were obviously feral and I contacted every shelter and cat rescue I could find in my area. No one was willing to help me, so I went online and learned everything I could about ferals and how to trap them. I borrowed a humane trap and was able to catch a little tabby within a few days. She was probably about 4 months old and was very wild, and boy did I have my hands full! She very slowly learned to trust me and now 5 years later we are inseparable. She is my soul cat and I truly can't imagine life without her! And I have been doing TNR in my neighborhood and now also have a small colony of ferals I care for every day, they bring so much joy to my life.

El Dorado Hills, CA

Baby and Fetus, the Do-Nothing Kittens

"I hope those kittens haven't escaped," I said to my mother as we drove home.

"They don't have it in them," Mom said. "They are the do-nothing kittens."

It was true. Tiny Jordan---aka "Baby"--and his even tinier sister, Jamie---aka, "Fetus"--were not bursting with energy. While most kittens ran around chasing each other and wrestling, these two basically sat in one spot and did absolutely nothing.

The day before, my neighbor had first given me Jamie, who she'd found in a stray colony down the street. Her mother had not done a good job taking care of her, although she managed to keep her alive. I didn't think Jamie would make it. Before I took her home, I went directly to the vet, expecting that she'd have to be put down. She was a mess--bony, crusty-eyed, lacking in vigor. At least I could end her suffering humanely, if nothing else.

An hour later, after she was diagnosed with a feline head cold, my neighbor presented me with her brother, who was a little bigger but looked even worse. His nose was crusted over as well. "You can give him the same medicine," she pleaded. I couldn't refuse. I surrounded them with a six-inch hamster fence, and they showed no desire to escape or do much of anything. The "Do-Nothing Kittens" had earned their nickname.

The next day we had to go to a party, and had to leave them home alone. We surrounded them with the miniature fence again, confident that they were too sickly to make a run for it.

But when we got home, they were gone!

They hadn't gone far--only under the bed--but it was the first sign that they had some fight in them. I knew then the Do-Nothing kittens would be OK. By the next month, they were fighting, wrestling, and disconnecting cable television wires, like every other cat.

Today, "Baby" is bigger than a dog, and "Fetus" has grown into her ears.

Bayonne, NJ

Terrified kitten saved from drowning

We live in the northeast of Brazil, and the raining season this year brought terrible inondations. By the end of may the water stood a foot high and more in all of the streets. So one morning I tried to reach the supermarket with the car and I saw this little kitten paddling in the stream that our avenida had become. She was swimming for her life, her blue eyes full of fear. I stopped and fished her out of the water as fast as I could. She was so terrified that she bit my hand hard, drawing blood from the palm.

I took her home, dried and fed her, and we instantly decided to keep her. We named her Rain and it took only a week for her to adjust to the family. We have two chocolate labs and a two year old tomcat named Witte. Now Rain is about four months old, a happy kitten and just a delight. We love this little bundle of joyful energy. The cats bonded well and the older one teaches her to hunt and play. The dog's wagging tails have become an irresistible toy. She sleeps on our laps and purres loudly every time we touch her. Although she gets all the food the wants, when we eat she absolutely must put her little face into our plates and see what's there. If I'm having only a salad, well, then she eats a slice of tomato or melon. Yes, I know, we have to start some education!

Bettina Angela
Recife, Brazil

Buffy the Former Feral

I have always loved orange cats, especially fluffy ones. I had lost my two old fluffy orange boys in the span of one year. I still had an old tuxedo girl, but I knew I had to find me another orange kitty. I searched the rescue listings for several weeks, and finally saw Buffy, a beautiful fluffy orange girl, on the Oasis for Animals Petfinder listings. She had been trapped as a young feral on a farm, and most of the other cats were TNR, but this young girl was a matted mess and the rescuer didn’t have the heart to put her back out there. Buffy lived at the rescuers’ home for about a year, and had gotten to where they could pet her a little bit, especially at feeding time.

I arranged to meet her, but was concerned that she seemed so timid. But she was so beautiful, and I thought I could be patient and let her settle in at her own pace. Little did I know just how freaked out she would be to move to a new home. Buffy lived under an overstuffed chair in my living room for almost a month, only coming out at night to use a litter box next to the chair and eat. I spent many hours laying on my belly with my arm under the chair trying to let her smell me and let her get used to me touching her. I gave her wet food under the chair to try to gain her trust. Eventually she appeared under the end table at the end of the sofa where she could observe the goings on, but escape back under her chair when needed. Gradually, I saw more and more of her and now 9 months later, she is the sweetest lap kitty!

Jeri Pagh
Anacortes, WA

Bo, my Little General

One day 14 years ago I was on a busy road when I saw two youngish dogs in the median that looked like Border Collie mixes. I ran down to the store & got some food to try to lure them into the car & two nice ladies stopped to help me. We got one dog in my car & tried & tried to get the other, but it disappeared into the field across the road.

Our yard wasn't fenced at the time & we already had several kitties & since I passed by the animal shelter on the way home, I said I would take the dog there. He sat with his head pressed up against the back of the passenger seat & wouldn't even look at me. I took him inside & handed him over to the girl at the desk. I said, "He will be OK, won't he?" & she said, "I can't promise anything," so I started bawling & said, "Give him back!!!" She hesitated & told me he would have to be fixed, shots, etc., which I obviously knew (& did), & she THANKFULLY handed him back to me.

My sweet Bo came home with me that day & turned into my "Little General," rounding up his kitty friends & washing their heads, becoming best friends with Waylon, Snickers, Twinkie, Angel, Bear, Rosey, & Sherlock (our other dogs that have joined us since Bo came) & generally just keeping everyone in line. He aced obedience classes & for 14 years he worked at his "jobs," patrolled the yard (after we got a privacy fence), & made me smile daily with his cute pink nose & funny little "hop" that he greeted me with. He was always on the move until he was diagnosed with pancreatitis & cancer & felt too bad to walk, & I sadly helped him over the Rainbow Bridge. I will always be grateful that I was on that road that day. Bo was my good & faithful little friend & I miss him so, so much. I love you little BoBo!

Nashville, TN

Old Lady Tucker

I moved into my first apartment and immediately needed a cat, as I'd never been without a pet. Went to animal control wanting to adopt an older cat, but none of them were available. The only feline in the place that was adoptable was a gray and white kitten, who stretched her paw through the cage and snagged my shirt. That's all it took for her to become mine.

Over the next 18 years, Tucker sometimes proved to be a difficult cat, but we loved her in spite of (or because of) her cantankerous attitude. She saw other cats come into our lives and loved all but one of them, and never forgave us for adopting a dog. After 10 years she still hissed at Izzie each time she walked by. Tucker had recurring urinary tract infections, which progressed to renal failure as she aged. The last 2 years of her life, we gave her twice weekly IV injections, regular B-12 shots, and daily heart medication. Her failing kidneys caused her to urinate outside the litter box, so we were doing clean-ups 3-4 times a day.

By age 18, Tucker was losing weight and growing increasingly lethargic. Thought some of this was attributed to her age (she was essentially an 85-year-old woman!), when she couldn't get herself to the litter box or food bowl, we knew it was time to let her go. This past June, Tucker took her last breath as my husband and I told her what a good girl she was and how much we loved her. We will mix her cremains into a stepping stone, which we'll place in our garden, next to her long-time buddy Frankie.

St. Louis, MO
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