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Given a bad rap

Every time Ms. Jayla, a 3 and a 1/2 year old Bull Terrier, hears humans speak ill of bully breeds she wishes she could have a voice of her own. Although she, her humans and her two bully sibs do well as being bully breed ambassadors, people's naiveness and close-mindedness really irks her. She wants people to remember the phrase, "BAN THE DEED, NOT THE BREED." After all, does this picture mirror a vicious dog??!

Geniece B. Medsker
Waynesville, MO

How can you resist me?

Hamilton, a very handsome American Pit Bull Terrier/Chocolate Labrador Retriever male, was born along with 10 siblings in the cold October Missouri weather in 2008. His mother was not being properly fed by her owner so she had turned the puppies away. A dedicated bully breed rescue group in the Kansas City area came along and was able to talk the owner into taking 3 of the pups. Hamilton was one of the lucky ones. 'Hamster' was fed, medically treated, socialized and shown how a dog should be treated. After 12 weeks in foster care Hammy was adopted into a loving home. Hammy has gained over 10 pounds in almost two months and is almost as tall as his 3 and a 1/2 year old Bull Terrier sister. Although he adores his big sister and big brother, a 3 year old American Bulldog, he can't wait until he matches them in weight. For all the times they picked on him because he was 'Hamster.' Along with his sister and brother, Hammy shares his home with his mother and father. His mother showers each of them with love daily and even though his father would never admit it out loud, he enjoys having the three canine children around too.

Although Hammy loves the rural countryside, he cannot wait until his father receives orders for them to PCS (move) so he can experience the big world out there. So many smells and so little time....

Geniece B. Medsker
Waynesville, MO

Christmas 1980

While working for the Animal Protection Institute with BLM cowboys in the China Lake area rounding up wild donkeys (burros) in December 1980, we came across a two week old foal that was abandoned by his mother and was starving. The cowboys immediately started the little guy on Karo syrup and powdered milk, thru a perforated rubber glove. He was taken to the holding area in Inyokern where he was vetted and put on calf manna and replacement milk. We were allowed to adopt him on the spot because of his condition and my wife trailered him to his new home in Boulder Creek the day before Christmas. Chris quickly amazed us with his great personality and intelligence. He always enjoyed camping with us and our horses, trail riding was always one of his favorites. Christmas was an accomplished showman, winning many times in both saddle and halter classes at mule and donkey shows. Sadly Chris passed away last summer from severe arthritis, complicated by Cushing's disease. He was the greatest companion a family could ever ask for, giving us 28 years of enjoyment and loyalty. We now have a mustang who is sometimes difficult but is showing potential and is now a permanent member of our family. Hap + Su

R. Hap Bullard
Boulder Creek, CA

Dropped by a red tailed hawk

No one seems to knows where this little kitty originally came from, but she has definitely used 1 of her 9 lives! She was dropped by a hawk in a neighbor's yard when she was just 5 weeks old. The hawk's loss was my gain. There are just never enough kisses in a day for "Betty Boo"

Faith
Duxbury, MA

Ricky Rescues Us

After our beloved companion Dozer passed away from lymphoma our family was devestated. Dozer's sister Xena was so depressed that she wouldn't look at anyone. We took Xena to the local German Shepherd rescue to find a new companion. She picked Ricky. Now she's smiling. Ricky ate our massage chair, but we still love him. How could you not love that face!

Linda
Claremont, CA

my two eyed misfit Izabel

I went to the city shelter after i put my cat sumo of 8 years down and my kitten that i rescued from the streets got tradegically killed...there wasnt much selection most all were black cats..i didnt want another dark cat and there was a pretty one in the corner but she was mean...and my family wanted this BIG boy frankie a maine coon mix or something with 6 toes in the other corner..i said that was way to much cat for me..but my eyes never strayed from this quite little girl in the middle named snowball..she was so tiny and unique..but she has certainly been an experience..i throughly enjoy her...though she sheds like there aint no tommorow

Jennifer
bradford, TN

Michael: A Survivor, A Friend

A small sound came from a storm drain. A cat had been moving her litter when a tiny male dropped from her grasp and through the grates of the drain. He was cold and wet, but still living, when someone managed to pull him out and take him to the animal shelter, where I had developed a reputation for being a sucker for kittens.

I remember when I bumped into the carrier under my desk, apparently stuffed only with towels. Looking more closely, however, there was the tiniest bundle of white fur I had ever seen. Maybe 10-days-old, he would not survive without a surrogate mother, and we had no nursing cats that day. Could anyone care for him until he was ready for adoption? Everyone looked at me.

Still not daring to name him, I remember him lying in my palm as he grasped a bottle with his tiny paws...crawling under the covers, nuzzling up to me, searching in vain for something I could not offer...how excited I was when he finally drank water from a bowl...his first tentative steps...and when he discovered running.

It wasn't all fun and games. He lost part of his tail because of a blood clot. I also had to teach him to eliminate. Being a long-haired white kitten, that meant a lot of baths.

That was almost 17 years ago, and Michael has grown to be one of the best friends I've ever had. He always seems to know if I'm troubled and need some love.

Michael and I have been through a lot together. I don't claim to understand the special bond between us, but I'm so glad I brought him home that day.

Steve Jones
Lafayette, IN

Foxy Lady

I work with a local animal shelter as a dog foster. One of my fosters was a beautiful Ibizan Hound mix. Her name is Foxy Lady. She's about one year old. From the moment I brought her home, my dogs loved her, and so did my son. ( I have a 104 lbs lab mix, and a corgi mix)(my son is 3) Foxy has been really atached to my son. She follows him everywhere, and is very careful never to push him, or jump on him. She kisses him when he cries and finds him when I can't. She even climbs into his tree house with him! I fostered her for 3 weeks, and no one adopted her while I was fostering her. She has grown on us, and now we have adopted her. We believe she is my son's guardian angel. He got stuck between the privacy fence and a tree, before he even started crying, Foxy came and got me and sat by the tree, and then I heard him cry. It was then I knew she belonged in my home forever. Welcome to the Family Foxy!

Tonya
Jacksonville, AR

Two for the price of one

I went to the Wyoming County, New York Animal Shelter just to drop off sheets and blankets and had it in the back of my mind that I might adopt a tabby (my favorite) to add to our family of three cats while I was there.

When we arrived I was overwhelmed by the overcrowded conditions and the desperation of the dedicated people working at the shelter. I was with my son and he liked a white and black tabby and I like the gray tabby kitten. Just as we were deciding which one to take home with us, someone from the shelter came up to us with a somewhat desperate look on her face and said, "we having a buy one get one free sale today"! What could I do? I said in a hurried voice, "just put them both in the carrier and we'll take them both"! Literally, there were cats crawling EVERYWHERE! The rest is history and Ivy and Iris blended into our family perfectly. I have never had litter mates before, but I highly recommend getting two because, they are so funny together and it really helped them transition into a household with three adult cats, because they had the comfort of each other. I walked out of that shelter with my two kittens and burst into tears. It's a desperate situation in rural shelters with very little money supporting their efforts. People think nothing of barn cats having litter after litter of kittens. My wish is to have a neuter van which travels around to barns and neuters all the male cats to stop the overpopulation. Otherwise, it's like putting your finger in the crack in the dam. Overpopulation has to be addressed at the source.

Becky
Tonawanda, NY

Their loss, our gain

One evening, sitting on a neighbor's porch, a streak of white came running down the street. Jumping onto the porch then onto my lap, covering me in kisses I discovered a beautiful baby girl that needed a lot of attention. I KNEW her owners must be looking for her, but after 3 months of trying every avenue I could (newspaper, flyers, vets, shelters, petfinder.com, huskiestolove.com) no luck. The night we made the decision to keep her, I fell asleep next to her on the floor. I awoke a few minutes later with her paw around my shoulder as if to say thank you. She has been such a joy to our family and I'm so happy she chose me as her forever home.

Marcia
Parkton, MD
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