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This is Simba. She died on January 6, 2009, age 13. Simba is a true hero, and she is so much more than a dog to me. She is my sister and my best friend, and she's been with me through all the ups and downs of growing up. We had a deeper connection than anyone could understand; she waited for me to get home from university so that we could have a last Christmas together, and she waited until the night I left for the airport to go back to school. But best of all, she left us someone behind: she never had any puppies, but last fall she found a starving kitty fighting for survival, and walked it to our house. She came out of the bushes with a kitten walking between her legs... Her nurturing mother instincts took over. She saved that kitten's life, and I consider her a hero for that. Flora, the kitten, is brightening up the days at home for those who are there, along with the other cats and dog Kiara that we have. But there will never be anyone like Simba: she was a hero in my every day just for being there for me all the time, for being the one that understood everything. I will never forget the gift of the last Christmas she gave me, how she showed us she wanted to live, but how she also showed them after I left for school that she knew it was time. I have never had that kind of a connection with any human or animal; I always missed her so much when I was gone, and now I take her memory with me everywhere I go. My hero, sister and best friend.
A friend of mine found Max in the mall parking lot, desperately going up to people hoping someone would take him home. She deposited him in my neighborhood and a week later confessed to what she had done. Max found a house with food on the porch and that's where I found him. I took him to the vet and once he was neutered and had his shots he came home with me. He is my kooky little Max.
I adopted Tripper from a rescue organization. He had been adopted previously but returned because the people who adopted him didn't understand Aussie behavior and he was troublesome. At first he wouldn't let anyone come near the house or me, and had to be introduced to a new person very slowly, usually with treats or tennis ball throwing. Once he accepts you, he never forgets. He is a very active pooch, so he keeps me in shape, too. He excels at frisbee, agility and fetch, and loves to chase after the snow shovel and catch snowballs. I can't imagine my life without my "wiggle butt", so named because Aussie's don't have tails, but still try to wag one, and their whole back end wiggles.
I brought my adorable puppy Sheila home from the Seattle Animal Shelter when she was three months old. I wasn't really planning to get a dog, but when I went into her kennel and knelt down, she hopped into my lap like she'd been expecting me. The employee who processed the adoption told me that Sheila was the smartest dog in the place, and she was right. Over the years Sheila has kept an eye on things and let me know whenever anything was amiss - like the time her sister Ursie went out through our dormer window and was gaily trotting around on the roof. Sheila knew that just couldn't be right and barked fiercely until I let her lead me to the window.
Sheila's been a wonderful companion and family member for twelve years now, telling on other dogs, herding children back to their parents, and always being there for me. I believe that once she even saved me from bodily harm. One night, when Sheila was about two, we were out for a walk when she stopped in her tracks. I couldn't get her to move and I had no idea why. After about thirty seconds, a very agitated man came bursting out of an apartment building up ahead and began violently punching and kicking the air around him. If Sheila hadn't stopped and disobeyed my command to move on, we would have been right in his path. When we got home, I heaped lots of praise and love on her, as I always do when she saves the day. Her response was to run into the kitchen and bark at the treat jar. Sheila's a girl with priorities.
A year ago, this tiny kitten chased after me and our two very large dogs as we took our walk. He would not stay out of the street so I picked him up. He was so skinny and light and matted with twigs, leaves and stickers. The vet said he was 2 months old but only weighed 14 ounces. He was starving to death and took a chance on us. He is now a little over a year, 36 inches long and weighs 16 pounds. He is a great cat, very smart and plays fetch. We love him.
Over months, I suffered several strokes and mini-strokes, and when placed into our local hospital, they did not find them at the time and sent me home. Unable to sleep one morning, I was in our basement, so as not to wake anyone else by my restlessness. There, I suffered another stroke that put me down to the floor, and I couldn't move nor call out. Calico is my son's cat who he rescued from a tree behind his office. She up to that point, would have nothing to do with me, always shying away when I tried to pet her. This morning, quite the contrary, I believe she sensed something was wrong, and got right up into my face and would not leave me alone! She truly saved my life; she kept me going and cussing her out. I regained the ability to vocalize, because she would not leave me alone. I was on the floor in the basement for perhaps 45 minutes, it was about 3 am in the morning. No one knew I was in trouble, they were all upstairs sound asleep. All I had was Calico to keep me roused and conscious during this entire incident. After some time, I was finally able to stand again, I struggled and crawled on my hands and knees up the stairs to the main level, where my wife and son found me when they finally got up. My wife noticed that something was not right and called 911. I was taken back to the hospital which released me the day before and which this time, finally located and determined that I had indeed had a stroke, in fact several strokes. I am doing well now, and Calico and I are the best of friends.
Our cat Joe was the apartment stray taken in by a neighbor who had several rescues of her own. She told us about him and we decided to adopt him. When we got him home, he started purring the moment he entered our house and hasn't stopped! A year later we adopted a retired racing greyhound named Macy, who is the sweetest girl. The 2 of them get along great and they both make us laugh and smile EVERY day!
A scared,hungry and totally exhausted white cat was screaming frantically at my door a week before Easter 2007. When I opened the door, she came running inside and jumped up on the couch and made herself comfy curling up with my 2 chihuahuas. We later learned she is deaf and had already been declawed and spayed. After placing ads and putting up posters in the neighborhood no one claimed her. We tried to "give" her away, but no one wanted her. With her being declawed, we did not just want to let her roam around, so -- since then, she has become a major part of our family and we named her Luci. It's been 2 years now, and her antics never cease to amaze us and she keeps us laughing all the time. Although she is deaf, she understands our body language and some hand gestures and she loves the dogs and they love her. She is truly amazing living in a silent world with people who love her and learning hand gestures.
After losing both my 16 yr. old Lab-Mix, "Hanna" and my 12 yr. old Samoyed-Mix, "Spook," in '06 to two different forms of cancer I was devastated. I felt such emptiness after "Hanna" died in July, followed by "Spook" in September. I felt the best way to honor their memory was to give two more dogs a loving home. I found "Hanna-Autumn," and "Sophie-Cotton" on Petfinder.com. "Autumn" was in a rescue in Central Florida, and "Sophie" was in a shelter in northern Florida. I wanted two dogs that reminded me (in looks) of the two I'd lost, although I knew they'd have their own special personalities. "Autumn" & "Sophie" soon joined their big sister "Bella," (also a shelter dog) as well as six felines who were all either rescue/shelter or stray. These dogs are such wonderful girls; their unconditional love is endless. They helped to fill the emptiness I was feeling. Autumn and Sophie also quickly carved out their own special places in my heart, right next to my beloved "Hanna" & "Spook," who I'll never forget.
A fluffy puppy, all kisses and wags, darted over to meet me. Crusty flecks of white paint dotted her fur because she discovered paint.
We bonded in seconds, and, after testing her temperament, I knew she would make a wonderful guide dog. But at that shelter, you have to fill out an application and give references. I wanted her to become a great guide dog and go everywhere with me. The shelter volunteers thought that would be a great life, but the decision-maker did not agree.
Unbelievably, the Adoptions Coordinator at the shelter thought she would live a restricted life, and I almost didn't get to adopt her. But after days of agony for me and intervention from an animal communicator, the shelter let me take Molly Flagtail home.
Molly immediately found out what it was to be adored instead of abused, and she started going everywhere with me as I trained her to be my eyes.
She came to work with me as a guide dog in training. We've shared lots of adventures together. We've traveled on buses, trains, and airplanes. She loves to get a piece of bacon at a restaurant and stretch out on the bed at a hotel.
This "restricted" adventure dog is surrounded by people who love her. We cuddle, walk, and play often during the day, because I work from home. When I go to a conference, she travels with me everywhere. We've met awesome people like John Di Lemme, Mark Victor Hansen, and maybe even YOU!
At home, she's just a dog who loves to play with the cats, chase leaves, and cuddle. Molly has a growing fan base on Twitter (http://Twitter.com/MollyFlagtail) and even her own website http://MollyFlagtail.com. Stop by and see what we're doing today!