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The Dog I Never Wanted - Buddy

My husband and I have always had dogs and cats. Usually 2 dogs and 4 to 6 cats in the household. In early February 2015 we lost our female dog, Gwennie, she had a tumor in her abdomen. Then in late March, we lost Artie our male to another tumor in his abdomen. We decided we would not get another dog. "They just tie you down". June comes along and I have to have another dog to fill the aching.

Off to the internet and shelters to find my dog. 3 criteria: must be black or white, long hair, no pit bull. As I walk through the barking dogs of the shelter I hear a whimper. I finally get to the cage and here is a light brown, short haired, pit bull mix. I kneel down and talk to him and he comes right up to my face. I pet him under the chin and a volunteer comes by to see if I would like to give him a treat. "Yeah, sure". I stick it through the fencing and he sticks his tongue out and takes the treat! Shocking! We end up going outside and he jumps all over me giving me kisses every time he gets back from running around. OK, now he has me.

I talk to the volunteer and am told I have to wait 10 days since he was just brought in the night before. I call every single day to see if he has been claimed. Finally on day 10, I am waiting for him with leash in hand. My husband does not know what I have chosen and is shocked to see "the dog I never wanted" come in the door.

He is one the the most well behaved babies I have had. He sleeps under the covers with us. Only barks when he hears something unusual. Still full of kisses free to all who will pet him. He is spoiled rotten. Gets anything he wants. And he is exactly how we trained him to be!!

Alice Collins
Dearborn Heights, MI

My BFF Sammy

Wander (14) on the left and Sammy (7 1/2) are both kitten rescues. Wander from a Walmart parking lot (she was left in the bed of my husband's truck) and six years later after our other cat Kitty passed, Sammy from a local pet store helping the local shelter. Wander is very laid back, has learned to tolerate her younger brother and just loves my husband (well, I do too!). Wander is either in constant motion or a complete stop, is very protective of his big sister (whether she wants it or not) and just loves me (as does my husband). We live in the country and have a cat door so we constantly receive presents, which luckily are deposited in our bathroom or tub. In 2014, I experienced some medical problems due to stress/menopause and Sammy became very good at helping me de-stress as he loves to be petted/brushed/played with/cuddled with CONSTANTLY.

On March 8, 2017, it seemed to be a normal evening as our cats follow us around the yard while we're doing our chores. When I returned from being inside, Sammy was crouched near the house and growling. Thought it was a neighbor's cat bothering him but when he tried to walk, his back legs were paralyzed. After discovering his feet were cold, it was off to the emergency vet. A blood clot blocked the flow to his quarters and unfortunately, nothing could be done. I lost my best buddy that night and miss him so very much.

We are so very grateful that we were home that night and that Sammy was close the house so he could be sent over the rainbow bridge quickly and painlessly.

As my bumper sticker reads, RESCUES ARE MY FAVORITE BREED.

Sammy's Mom
Farmington, AR

Frozen Miracle

I was found wandering in a mountain area at the end of February, and bought in from freezing winter conditions. The angel lady who found me visited the cottages around the lake; identified as a stray by a few witnesses, I was claimed by no one. From some reports, I would have been abandoned in early December. The rescuer could not keep me for family reasons; I was brought back to civilization and within a week she had found me my furever home. I was adopted in a family of three older rescues: Java (14 yo), Siobhan (10 yo) and Whiskey (9 yo), and named Praline. I was brought to a veterinary for a full check-up: the lady doctor said I was in surprisingly good health, considering my ordeal. I am purebred Tonkinese, chocolate point; I lost one ear tip to frost bite and the other one should fall off anytime soon. My tiny paws are still sensible. I am no older than a year, and had one litter in the past. Yesterday, I was neutered, and I am now officially a full house cat. I have found my place in the pack here. Although not very demonstrative in affection, I do love to curl up on my new mom’s lap, and sleep by my new uncle’s pillow at night.

Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada


Mama dog was a stray in our neighborhood for 1 1/2 years. Several of us fed her and put out a doghouse for her but she would not let us touch her. The dog catcher tried really hard to catch her but she was too smart. She got pregnant and had puppies under a shed in one of the neighbor's back yards. Another neighbor moved the puppies to their backyard and mama dog followed. When the puppies were old enough furever homes were found for them. No one wanted to take mama dog. Since we still could not touch her, had to have animal control dart her so she could be taken to the local SPCA. My husband went to visit her and found out that the SPCA didn't have the resources to try to socialize her. I went back with him the next day which was Saturday. She was so sad and cowered in the back of her cage. It broke our hearts so we adopted her. I called our vet and he said if the SPCA would keep her until Tuesday, we could bring her to his clinic and he would spay her and get her shots up to date. When we brought her home, we kept her segregated from our four dogs for a week before letting her into the main yard. We named her Lilly. Slowly she found the pet door into the house. There were a few dominance scuffles with our other female dog in the beginning but now they are buds. Two years later she is a happy loving dog who even gives dog kisses. She jumps on our bed in the mornings to be loved on. Can't imagine life without her.

D. Ford
Waxahachie, TX

Our Summer

When I retired and came with my two cats to live with my husband and his two cats, the house bristled with fur and hissy-fits. Then a small, white-pawed tortie turned up on our lawn. Stray cats are almost unknown here, but she was clearly a stray, and desperately in search of a person—she threw herself in the way of every person who passed by. After three days, her message got to us, and we scooped her up. As we entered the living room, her eye fell on one of the cats, and her tiny body emitted a colossal shriek, turning all the others into shrieking banshees. But magically, as the days wore on, peace settled over the brood. The unanticipated fifth cat, the little one-year-old tortie, turned the others into a community. She was the peacemaker. We named her Summer because she arrived on the first day of summer. And from that day, it was Summer every day in our home. Like the other four cats, we two humans adored her. She was our white-pawed, butterscotch-marbled sunshine. Age slowly culled the other cats, but Summer was still young. Youth was no protection, though. Last autumn, she was diagnosed with large-cell lymphoma. As the weeks progressed, bitter winter slowly claimed our Summer. She left us, and our one remaining cat, last week. There will be new cats. But our love of Summer is keen and sharp and brings tears to our eyes every time we think of her. She was a gift of purest love.

Newark, DE


This is my teenager, Copper. He's a terror and a lover. I rescued him last summer -- in June 2016. He was only about 6-months old. He came to my front steps one evening where I feed stray and feral kitties. He was ravenous for food. Poor baby. I started talking to him and found out that he was super friendly, slightly matted, and not neutered. That first night, I got Front Line flea treatment on him. He wanted a home so badly. He stayed right near the front of my house for a very long time, just crying. It about killed me, because my bedroom is right above where he was. Thank goodness, he came back the next night, and I took him in. My first thought was to get him to the shelter for adoption. I knew he would get adopted right away, after neutering, because he is so handsome and so friendly. However, I have a love for the orange kitties, as a few years ago I lost my one-and-only orange tiger kitty, Nike, to lymphoma at only 8-years old. So, instead of the shelter, I kept Copper, and he became a member of my family. He and my dog, Piper, play constantly. They are so much fun to watch. I still have a hard time believing that some cruel person turned my Copper out on the streets to try to survive.

Albany, NY

Muffy & Jake

Here's Muffy (on the left) and Jake. I took them to my home when their owner, Tony, my friend and neighbor who is 99-years young, had to go into a nursing home. Tony rescued both kitties right off the street. They started out as feral kitties. They were trap, neutered, and returned by a rescuer to the street, because each of their left ears were tipped. They are total "love bugs" now. I'm SO glad that I was able to rescue them again and add them to my family of several street-rescued kitties and my one rescued dog.

Cheri Doolittle
Albany, NY

Senior Pom to the Rescue

My friend works for a shelter and we got to discussing pets. I was telling her that the recent loss of my cat of 17 years had left a huge hole in my heart and that I may never be ready for another cat. He was my "one". I'm a cat person but have always had a soft spot for Pomeranians. We discussed how poms so rarely come to the shelter, and eventually said our goodbyes. The very next day I got a text with a picture of a n 8 year old Pom who's elderly human had just passed away. He had been released by the family and now sat in my friend's shelter, terrified. I agonized over whether I needed another dog (I already had one rescue), over whether they'd get along and of how scared and confused he must be. I told myself that he was so precious, there was no way that he wouldn't be snatched up quickly. I told my friend that if he wasn't adopted by my birthday just a week and a half away, that he was coming home with me.

Maybe it was because the shelter had 2 litters of puppies available. Maybe it was the fact that he was classified as a "senior" and no one wanted to take the risk. But whatever it was, I call it fate because on my birthday, I packed up my family, including Lolo my rescue min-pin chihuahua and drove 2 hours to the shelter to meet him.

It's now been a month and Robicheaux has settled in nicely. He sleeps next to my head, follows me like a shadow and loves to chase and catch cat toys. We go for walks, watch t.v. and spend hours just hanging out. He's no longer lonely or afraid and knows that he's found his forever home. He and Lolo rule the roost and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Joyce Bonvillain
Billings, MT

Sam or Sammy?

He started life in the crawlspace of our office building. That building just seemed to attract strays, but there was an extra "something" about this little guy. He became special to us. A coworker named him Sam, took him home and began the process of finding Sam's forever home. After a month, the right place hadn't been found.

I was grieving after having to put my sweet Oliver to rest and had sworn no more cats. I still had my first rescue, Cotton, and was determined she would now be an "only child". I am convinced my coworker was just holding onto Sam and waiting me out until I was ready. And it worked; I took Sam home just two weeks after my loss. He was about a year old at the time.

Within just a couple of weeks he had taken over me and my home. He was constantly at my feet, followed me everything and refused to let Cotton anywhere near me. He wasn't content to sleep on my bed, he had to be wrapped around my shoulder with his head on my pillow. I learned the hard way that moving while Sam was asleep would bring out the fighter in him. His first year spent in the crawlspace battleground had provided excellent survival training. Everyone told me " get rid of that cat" when they saw my war wounds, but his otherwise sweet, loving disposition just wouldn't let me give up on him.

The fighter settled down eventually and the clinging vine emerged. There was no greater feeling than stretching back in my recliner for a nap and having Sammy immediately jump on for the ride, stretching out a paw to gently touch my face, then falling asleep on my chest.

After I'd had this beautiful boy for just over two years, the vet diagnosed him with both FIV and feline leukemia. I cried all the way on the 30 mile trip home. I'd had him and loved him for three years when the demons finally won.

And I'd do it all again for his love.

Debbie K
Malden, MO

My Puppy Cat

We rescued Allie Cat when she was about 6 months old and had been left behind when her owners moved. The new residents of the trailer did not want her and there was a very cold storm moving in. We already had six cats and the last thing we needed was another cat but there was something about her and I could not help but bring her home. My husband agreed and we brought her home to a 6 cat household and she took over without having to fire a shot. I guess since she had pretty much had to fend for herself, she had no fear of my pampered house cats.

I have had many fur babies in my 60 plus years, but Allie was the most unusual, endearing and charming feline I have ever been honored to have in my life. She retrieved better than any dog I ever owned, played volleyball, gave "cat scans" and never met a stranger, hence her nickname Puppy Cat. Sadly after 14 wonderful years we had to ease her over the rainbow bridge 3 weeks ago. She took a huge chunk of our hearts when she left and I am not sure if I will ever stop missing her. No more will I see her asking to be lifted up into the linen cabinet or watch her clamber in the laundry basket and snuggle into the warm clean clothes. No more will I see her perched upon the floor vents when the heat comes on. No more will I have her sit next to me when I eat lightly scratching my arm to get me to share, especially spaghetti. No more will she join me in bed and lean against my ankles or my back to take a bath and then sleep.

I hope our precious Allie knew how much we loved and cherished her. Luckily we have one last cat, Artie to help fill the void. A new kitten would help heal us but I don't think that is in the cards for us at this point.

Tucson, AZ
Paws Medallion Solar Light Bird Feeder
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