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I adopted Cinder in upstate New York in July 1999. She quickly earned her Canine Good Citizenship award & became a Certified Therapy Dog with Therapy Dogs International. In addition to visiting nursing homes, she went to work with me each day at a school where I was a speech therapist for kids with special needs. Cinder worked along side me for three years, encouraging the kids to speak, listening to all of their woes, giving them unconditional love, and even giving some of the kids a reason to speak. She is my personal angel and has been there for me as I have dealt with depression over the past few years. I am so grateful for her.

Carol Matthews
Blue Hill, NE

Angie - The Love of Our Lives

I got Angie, a pure bred Spike pitbull girl when she was just 5 weeks old, she was very sick and dehydrated, we've prayed her back to life. When she was 3 months old I had to leave where I was staying and they said I can't take her along, so I stole her!! The best crime I've ever committed all the other dogs from that farm died. She is 7 years old today and we only had joy from her. She is the most lovable dog on earth and one can't help to fall in love with her!! We love her to bits!!!

Karen Maritz
Brits, South Africa

Genesis Ming Mai...The Beginning of Something Beautiful

Jenny and I found each other August 8, 2002.

That very afternoon, I'd had to have my little Schnauzer, Violet, put to sleep due to liver cancer. I was beyond heartbroken, since I'd lost my husband not long before and Violet had been my constant companion and had gotten me through many long, lonely days and nights; she was always by my side and knew me inside out.

Jenny was wandering around outside my brother-in-laws office building that night. She was very fearful and would run away if I made even the slightest movement. There was some catfood, so I placed it on the sidewalk several yards away. She would cautiously come toward it, then run away. It took a couple of hours, but eventually, I was able to scoop her up and we came home together that night and have been almost inseparable ever since.

She is the angel that Violet sent to watch over me. I have no doubt about it. I named her Genesis Ming Mai because Genesis is the beginning, and Ming Mai means "something beautiful" in Chinese, fitting since her ancestry is Chinese/Tibetan.

Jenny was a starving, matted, sick little girl when we found each other, but she's now healthy, happy, and very spoiled...and a little bit chubby. She's so funny and sweet. Without Violet, we'd have never met, so Violet is also my angel as she had to leave, but she didn't leave me alone.

Two broken hearts began to mend that night...and that is our love story.

Parsons, KS

Ruby and Her Babies

My family has always rescued dogs and we'd usually have three or four dogs at a time...for the past ~20 years they've been Siberian Huskies. A few years ago our oldest Husky, Kazan, had died so we had two 8-to-10 year old male Huskies, Arrow and Wolf.

Then someone told my daughter that he'd seen a young red Husky female tied to a tree and starving in someone's yard. The people there said they couldn't feed her anymore and wanted to give her away. So I sent my son that same day to fetch her back here and to thank these folks for letting her go.

When she got here she "rooo'd" at me and came straight to me with unconditional trust, and let me feed & bathe her. I named her Ruby and told her she'd just found her forever home. The next day after our vet had checked and treated her, she settled right in with Arrow and Wolf.

Ruby was very sweet and she seemed to "thank" us alot. She was literally skin & bones but she began to thrive right away with good food, care and love. When she had her puppies she gave us such a wonderful gift...five sweet little Husky-mix babies! We decided to keep all of Ruby's babies...Molly, Maggie, Sasha, Hoss and Little live here in their pack family with their "Mama Ruby" and "Uncle Arrow" and alpha dog, "Papa Wolf."

Ruby's babies are now almost 3 years old...beautiful, smart, playful, happy, incredibly loving dogs. Ruby is healthy and happy. We now have seven Huskies but before "Uncle Arrow" died last year he taught the pups to howl in a chorus! My husband David and I absolutely love the time we get to spend every day with these amazing dogs.

Gina Boger-Haney
Douglasville, GA

Butch, our Dachshund

We heard about Butch from the nice lady who works at our vets office. She was fostering Butch, a four year old dachshund, who had been abandoned by his former owner. Butch was feeling more than a little lost and needed a forever home and family. Our two year old dachshund, Duncan, was feeling a little lonely being home by himself while we were at work. Could we turn this situation into a win-win proposition for everyone? All it took was one look at Butch and we knew he belonged with us! He is an affectionate little soul who DEMANDS your attention and your love. And he is the perfect outgoing and adventurous big brother to our Duncan. Whether we adopted Butch or Butch adopted us, we can not even imagine our lives without Butch being here! He is a permanent member of our "pack" and we love him with all our hearts!

Marylou Mrvos
Pittsburgh, PA

Buddy Z. of AZ brought my husband Jerry and I the sweet dog of our dreams. Buddy was deemed too shy for adoption three years ago after a policeman found him fully matted and on the streets of Mesa, AZ. A loving and caring foster mom, Pam of Finding Fido in Mesa took him in and after a month gained him the courage to be adoptable. Pam brought him to Petsmart one Sunday and we were formally introduced and within minutes the choice was obvious, Buddy would be ours.

It's been 3 amazing years with Buddy. He's mostly Bichon Frise and he is around 6 years old now. He is kind, loving, and the best dog a couple could ask for. What a good boy.

Chandler, AZ

Rescue of Winnie

We went to our local Animal Adoption Foundation to rescue a dog after our 13 year old Shepherd Mix passed away. I didn't know if I was ready for another dog just yet, but we went in and found a little 2 pound white puff-ball, only 10 weeks old who had just been taken away from her mother. She was making a loud whining noise which broke my heart. As soon as I picked her up and held her, she just clung to me. When my husband held her, she started licking his face and then cuddled up to him.

We knew we had to take her home with us to be our new "little girl". She just turned "One Year" and is up to 6 pounds now. Her mother was a White Chihuaua and they said her father was some kind of Terrier. She has developed more of a Terrier look since we got her. She is so smart, funny, sweet, and just a very happy dog to have around. We named her Winnie (Whining Winnie) and we are so lucky to have her in our life.

Robin Jinkens
Fairfield, OH

Who Doesn't Love A Pirate?

Peg Leg the Pirate Cat appeared at our door in January, 2000. This apparently feral stray was very lean and had suffered a severe cut down one side of his face. But he was ready for a hearty meal, and in no time at all, he became an honored member of the family. Peg Leg is retired now from his roving, piratical life of old. He likes nothing better than to sit by the fireside (or a convenient heat vent!) and tell tall tales to our other cats about his youthful days of adventure and romance. A jolly pirate indeed, and one who's glad that he finally found a safe harbor.

Lynn Roper Bell
Decatur, GA

Chucky the Squirrel Lover

In January I went to SPCA shelter to ask about adopting a dog. I went into the kennel and all but one of the dogs were jumping and barking. Chucky was laying in his kennel shaking like a leaf. When the volunteer went to bring him out he pulled away from her and wouldn't let me pet him. I knew this little fellow would need a quite home and lots of attention. They told me he was 4 years old and probably raised in a crate with little socializing with people. He didn't like having a leash on him and they didn't know if he had any training.

When we got home and I put his crate in the kitchen he went in there before I could get any padding in it. I had to drag him out to take him outside. He didn't bark for the first 2 weeks only an occassional whine. I would pick him up and sit on the couch holding him. After two days I turned around and he was sitting on the couch. That is now his place. I have hard wood floors but it only took him two tries before he knew he had to hit the area rug when he jumped down or he would slide right into the opposite wall. When he did bark he scared himself - looked around as if to say what was that? Now he is a happy playful dog. He loves to go for walks and watch the squirrels. I got him a squirrel toy from the Animal Rescue store and it is one of his favorites.

Chuck is now the mascot of my condo complex and the joy of my home.

Bertha Haywood
Hudson, FL

The noisy Beagle no one wanted.

I met Remington -my Beagle boy, while I was in Vet tech school. Our school adopted dogs from the local humane society, used them for learning purposes and then adopted them out to students each semester.

A couple weeks into school and most of the dogs were already spoken for, except for a skinny Beagle, that barked and squealed very loudly. He wouldn't eat and constantly tried to escape his kennel. He had allergies and always cut the tip of his nose open from trying to bury things. For several weeks he wore an e-collar (cone) on his head and needed medication for an ear infection. He also escaped the kennel, running out into city traffic and through local neighborhoods on more than 1 occasion.

No one wanted to adopt him and they thought he was "just a dumb, noisy Beagle". The school was planning on sending him back to the humane society if he wasn't spoken for. Normally he would just bark all day and start a fight with other dogs in his play group.

One day he looked into my eyes (so sad looking) and I could tell that he needed lots of work, but that he had a sweet heart. I fell in love right then. I think he chose me that day and decided he would give me a chance. Students could tell he was my dog right away, he would go nuts when he heard my voice and seemed to miss me during classes.

He came home for Christmas and he's been with me for 2 years. He is very devoted to me, has a sweet personality, eats dinner, does tricks, and is a well behaved dog. It was hard to housebreak him, but now he is an Angel. He makes me smile everyday.

Cristina Johnson
Champaign/ urbana, IL
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