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Orange Oliver

I received an email, from National Abyssinian Rescue(NAR) indicating that their was an Abyssinian at risk at the animal shelter near Cleveland. They thought the kitty was a blind female. I called the shelter and they said that they had a male abby, but that he was old, blind and going to be put down the next day.

I told the lady on the phone that I would take him. She said "But he's old" and I said I didn't care, whatever life he had left should be a happy one. She said "but he is blind" and I asked if he needed to wear a little helmet to protect himself from running into things and if he could find the litter box and food dish. She said he could find those things and was not in danger of hurting himself by running into furniture or walls. So I made arrangements to pick him up that night after work.

I named him after my favorite story as a child, Orange Oliver. The story about a little orange kitty that needed glasses. I took my Orange Oliver to the vet the next day and he confirmed what I had guessed already just by watching my new family member. Oliver is not blind, but only has cloudy vision and he is not old. He is probably between 2 and 4 years old. He's a joy to our family and such a little love bug. It amazes me that someone could have given him up or that noone else would rescue him from the shelter, but I'm glad they did.

He will always have a place in my home and in my heart.

Lansing, MI

"Of a broken spirit"

I found Luke on, and fell in love with his little sad face, touched by his story.

He had been kicked and abused as a puppy, and at his gentle age of 2 was a troubled little boy, dropped at a shelter with a broken hip and a broken spirit.

My husband and I drove out to see him, and despite his shyness and timidness, we knew, he had just found the loving home he deserved !

Our house transformed into Luke's haven and sanctuary overnight, and TLC meant " Tender, Luke and Care" from that moment on.

Luke was frightened of plastic bags, the sound and sight of garbage cans and trucks, knives in the kitchen and children running near him.

It took a lot of patience and endurance, and Luke has since blossomed into a fun loving, outgoing little dog.

He is kind and gentle, loves playing fetch, loves to snuggle and laying out in the sun.

He has brought so much joy and laughter into our life, and is the best thing, that ever happened to us !

His loving wet kisses, his wagging tail in the morning, his proud stride down the sidewalk and his gentle play shows us, that his spririt is no longer broken, and we are so thankful he came into our Life !

Mrs. Sabine Mohrmann-Sabec
Chicago, IL

Blind cat fosters 2 orphan kittens

NOTES FROM A VOLUNTEER: Today I (Lisa) was at the Petsmart cat room doing Adoptions so I had to bring my foster kittens. Every time the kittens started crying, Cougar, one of the adoptable cats tried to get to them. So I let her. She went right in the carrier with them and started washing them and mothering them. I left the carrier door open and when a kitten started to get out, she pulled it back in with her. They all seemed so happy and comfy. If any of you don't know, bottle-feeding orphans is the easy part. The hard part is keeping them clean. If she'll do that for me, it'll be a big help. So I got permission to bring her home. A week after Cougar started caring for the kittens her milk returned and she is now nursing them.

Now for the really heart-warming part. Cougar is blind. Due to a birth defect she only had one eye with very limited vision. When we took her in to the kitty eye specialist it was determined that her "good eye" needed to be removed -- so Cougar is a sweet cat with no eyes. But this doesn't stop her from exploring by feel, cuddling on your lap, and playing with toys that make sounds.

It is truly surprising how well she gets around and what a pleasant personality she has after everything she has been through (she was rescued from a dog pound and was pregnant when her eyes were removed and spayed).

She has an independent persona but loves to hang out in the same room as people.

Cougar and both kittens have news homes, but will stay together until the kittens are 8 wks. old.

Cathy Bill from West Coast Dog & CAt Rescue
Eugene, OR

Saving Suerte

In 2007, I once again travelled to the Amazon in Iquitos Peru to bring medical care to the indigenous people. As with any day in Iquitos, I see many stray animals on the streets doing what they can to survive. While walking back to my hotel, I noticed a dog lying on the sidewalk. I approached the animal, fearing it was dead and starting talking to him. He instantly got up, wagged his tail and responded to my gentle voice. I noticed this small dog was missing most of his hair, had warts covering his body, was severely malnourished and had a brutal eye and nose infection. I proceeded to walk away, assured he was alive and he started to follow. He followed me for a few blocks and I instantly felt responsible. I went to the store and got him some food and water. I tried bringing him back to Seattle, but his condition was too bad. I ended up leaving him with an organization called Amazon CARES and they took care of him for the next year for me (I would send money every month). In October of 2008 my friend trvelled back to Iquitos and he was healthy enough to come back with her. So now after 1 year 4 months and a 23 hour plane ride, he was finally home. He has been so awesome and I am so glad he is safe, happy, has a full tummy, toys and love. We are both so fortunate to have met each other, that I named him "Suerte", which means luck. I still can't believe that I have him up here with me as there was an instant connection with this dog and can't imagine him still down there fighting for his life every day.

Seattle, WA

Tink's Tale

Tinkabout it. I was born missing my two front legs. What's a girl to do?

A bad breeder lady dropped me off at a rescue lady's house and wanted me to go to "sleep" forever. Can you hardly believe that!

The nice rescue lady asked two people, who eventually became my moms, if they would take me for a few days until she could figure out "what to do with me." Well, within five hours of arriving at my moms' house, they decided I had found a new home. They said there was nothing wrong with me, I would need to navigate the world in a way that was different than others, but I would still be the same as others.

So my journey began. My Aunts, Sue and Sandy made my first set of wheels out of a toy baby stroller. Next, my grandpa and my mom made me a set of wheels. Finally, I met Uncle Adrian, who by the way is my hero! He works for Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics in San Diego. Uncle Adrian has created many ways for me to get around. First, he created a device that fit around my body so that I could hop, and hop I did! Then he decided that I needed wheels. He has created about 5 different versions, all of which are better than the last. With my wheels, there is nowhere that I cannot go. If I want it, I get it, all on my own!

So TinkAbout it, if I can do it, so can you. You may need a little help, but help is ok, I got help and look at me! As you can imagine, I am very Tinkful for the people and things I have in my life.

Belinda Hein
San Diego, CA

Cheyenne From the Fence, or How I Learned to Talk at Six Months

I never wanted to be a poster-dog for Don't-Ever-Give-a-Puppy-as-a-Gift-Awareness. The people that gave me to the human for her birthday didn't know that I'd end up tied to a six-foot fence with a six-foot rope, but that didn't make me feel any better when I was out there alone, battling coyotes for my food and trying not to step on my own poop. I was lonely and bored and wished I could go in the house. It's a good thing our neighbor spotted me and told her friend about me, because when I was six months old I got to go home with some new humans that actually wanted me and were prepared to take good care of me. The first day I was in my new home, I peed all over the backyard, jumped up on my new humans, and rolled around on the carpet...inside the house! I was so excited to be able to move around more than a few inches that I opened my mouth and said "I love you!" to these great new friends. They smiled and laughed and scratched under my collar, and so I've been saying it to them ever since. Funny, though. Whenever thay say they love me, it sounds like they're saying "Roo-roo-roooooooo!" Humans, huh? Go figure!

Elizabeth Montour
Colorado Springs, CO

The Blues Brothers

With my husbands allergies and the devastation we felt when we lost our Junior in December 2004 we decided no more pets. A little over 3 years went by and I started feeling lonley for a fuzzy companion. I secretly started looking on Petfinder and, about 3 months later, I found the boys. I had been hinting that I wanted to adopt again, but when I mentioned that I had found 2 my husband looked at me like I was crazy. My selling points - they can keep each other company when we are away, they have all of the attributes we would want in a cat, they match the carpet, and can we PLEASE just go see them. We made the 2+ hour drive and for me, it was love at first sight. It took John all of about 5 minutes and we knew they were ours. Their wonderful foster mom took care of them while we were on vacation and, about a month later we brought them home.

It took us some time to tell them apart, but we now get it right about 9 out of 10 times. Jake is a Mama's boy and loves to climb up on my shoulder and purr in my ear. Elwood is all John's and demands belly rubs and is happiest when he is sitting on John's lap. They love it when we have company and are the most personable cats I have ever been around.

Gilbert, AZ

My Bert Boy

We adopted Bert, a golden retriever mix, in Dec. 2006. My two previous dogs had been purebred goldens so I was used to that personality. Bert had been rescued off of a farm in Missouri where he lived with 40 other dogs and no human contact. They estimated his age to be about a year when they rescued him. He was in a foster home for two months before we adopted him. The foster mom said he was very shy and scared because he had not had any human contact prior to being rescued. I thought, how bad could it be. Hmmmm, little did I know! He was very scared. Luckily, we had an older golden who was able to show him the ropes and help him over some of his fears. She was truly a wonderful big sister to him. But even with Abby's help, he was very slow to come out of his shell. He took to me right away because I walked with him, fed him and generally spent most of the time with him.We've had him over two years now and he's come a long way. He is still very scared when we go places that he's not familiar with and I don't think he will ever have that really friendly golden personality, you have to bascially earn his trust, instead of him just giving it to you freely, but he is truly one of the most gentle, lovable dogs I have ever had the pleasure of being with. We lost our Abby girl at the end of January and both Bert and I miss her very much, but he was lucky to have such a great big sister to show him that humans are not all that bad.

Beth Resemius
lake elmo, MN

Katie's One Year Miracle

Katie was a mutt, part German Shepherd, a little Husky, perhaps some lab, and a whole lot of love to share. She was one of the dogs under my care at the humane society I had worked at. Katie had been at the shelter for a couple of weeks, and space was limited. Ultimately my boss decided her time was up, so that another dog could have a chance. But I had this feeling that Katie could get someone interested in her if she just had one more chance. So after a discussion with my boss, she allowed Katie to have the weekend.

Sure enough, someone wanted her! I was thrilled, Katie was saved!

The adoption fell through. Katie was once again slated for euthanasia.

Explaining all of her good points, I fought for her. She just need the time to wait for the right family to come along. After hesitation, my boss agreed to give her until the end of the week, and that was it.

Katie got another interested family, and this time she went home!

A year later I had changed jobs and was working at a veterinary clinic. One day this oddly familiar dog came in, very ill. It took me awhile to realize that it was that very same Katie (still with the same name). Even very ill, her uncontrollable tail wagged furiously when she saw anyone. While she was in hospital, I cared for her like she was my own.

It ended up that Katie needed emergency surgery to fine the cause of illness. During surgery, a large, irremovable mass was found. Her owners elected euthanasia before she woke up.

Though in the end, Katie was gone, she died peacefully asleep. She got a whole year of love, play, and family fun times.

DeFuniak Springs, FL

From Tethered and Forgotten to Loved and Spoiled

Camille was tied to a truck next to my parent's house. Her tether was so short, that she couldn't even hide from the elements. She rarely got fed, never had fresh water or human interaction. She was no longer a cute puppy, so the owners tied her up and forgot about her. With the help of some fantastic fellow rescuers, we managed to convince the owner to give her up. I fixed her up, and found the most wonderful home for her. This retired gentleman had recently lost a similar looking boxer and was very sad and lonely. He lives by a lake and takes "Cami" with him everywhere he goes. His daughter says Cami sleeps in the bed with him. I can hear her snoring as we speak. She's spoiled rotten and is the love of his life. I do miss that silly girl, but it brings joy to my heart to see that after being discarded and neglected, she is now bringing endless joy and unconditional love to a great and kind-hearted soul. And in return, she is getting all the love and attention she deserves.

Houston, TX
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