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Rescued bears touch soil for the first time

What a monumental and wonderful day it was for PrideRock Wildlife Refuge’s staff and the three bears. Rowdy, Coco and Toro were saved from euthanasia in January from a closing sanctuary where they had lived on concrete. Never having touched soil, PrideRock build an outdoor play pen for the bears and then anxiously awaited the day the bears would take their first steps on ground. The bears were a little hesitant at first but by the end of the day, where running, swimming, and touching nose-to-nose for the first time.

PrideRock staff was thrilled, proud and overwhelmed with emotions.

Toro, our shy bear, took a dive in the pool first. Coco decided to follow Toro, and Rowdy is still apprehensive about the new liquid. Although the three bears were raised together, they have never been able to touch nose-to-nose. Coco and Toro touched noses through the fence first and then Coco and Rowdy followed.

All three bears have thoroughly sniffed their hammocks, logs, and platforms, but so far, can't figure out what they are for or how to get on them.

The next morning, Rowdy, Coco, and Toro romped again in their new digs and Coco ran in and out of her tube, going around in circles as if she had found the best toy in the world.

The PrideRock bears are special and fortunate. Not only did they escape an untimely death, but they ended up at PrideRock Wildlife Refuge, which makes the animals a top priority and spares no expense to make the animals as happy as the can be. Rowdy, Coco and Toro are now enjoying the fresh air, soft soil on their feet, climbing tree logs and swimming the back stroke. PrideRock Wildlife Refuge is blessed to have these three bears and know it is a rare privilege to share their lives with them.

Robyn Wheeler
Terrell, TX

Baby Blue

While taking a neighborhood walk, I found 5 kittens in a yard and the people who lived there gladly gave them to me. They even gave me a cardboard box to put them in! I had no car, and it was too far to walk home with 5 kittens in a box, so I called a taxi to take them to my vet. After several days at the vets, I was allowed to take them home, but I had to quarantine them from my other 2 cats so I set up a huge dog crate for them. I found homes for all of them except Blue and his brother, who had one eye. The top picture is Blue as a baby, and the bottom picture as a adult cat. He had many health problems in his life but always pulled through, except for the last health emergency, to which he succumbed at age 14. I'll see you on the rainbow bridge, my baby Blue!

Anonymous
rahway, NJ

My precious rescue kitten Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty was found in my back gardens, hiding in the shade of some hosta. It didn't take long to see that she was truly special! Miss Kitty has only the use of her front paws. Our vet believes her spine was injured during birth. She has never known the sensation of using all four paws, so to her, and my family she's perfect! Her "specialness" does not slow her down.

Any guidance from others who've had the joy of raising a kitty with special needs like hers would be appreciated..... diapering, wheelchair, health concerns, etc.

Michelle
Weyers Cave, VA

Tomfoolery and Halo

Tomfoolery (Tom) came into our lives a few months after our cat Poppy disappeared. My mom decided she was ready to move on, so she went to several animal shelters and Adopt-a-Pets. A few cats struck her interest, but none really clicked with her, so she kept looking. At a local animal control center, she found Tom. He was in a cage in the corner, and all she could see of him were big yellow eyes and a black and white nose peering out. When she asked the volunteer if she could pet him, the woman was ecstatic. Apparently, Tom had been living feral under a porch with two other cats, ripping open trash to find food. All three cats had been rescued, but Tom was the only one that could be tamed; the other two had to be put down. Tom had been at the shelter for a long time, and was due to be euthanized soon, which was very upsetting for the volunteers. They'd put in so much time with Tom and knew how sweet he was. My mom knew then that she wanted him. She took him home that day, but after a brief period of shyness, Tom became a bit of a bully. He would swipe at people and nip at fingers. But his attitude completely changed when we brought home Halo. I found Halo outside my church one Sunday afternoon. She was very friendly and very skinny. Her paws and nose were scraped, like she'd been tossed out of a car onto the pavement. I called my mom who decided we should keep her, and the rest is history. Tom was grooming her and playing with her the minute she came home. Now they're inseparable, and I can't imagine my life without them.

Andrea
Litchfield, IL

Finding Punkin

After managing to have a Jack Russell out of the same female line since 1972 it was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to our Dessie (Destiny - named as a wee pup by our then 11 year old daughter) last Sept 25th. She was almost 18. It took awhile, but I started looking at rescue dogs on a ton of on line sights until one day I saw this face looking at me and it said, "I'm the one, pick me." So I emailed the SPCA in Medicine Hat, a 3 hour drive from our house, made all the arrangements and on a cold, windy and rainy day I headed that way. They said she was 'about' 7 and her name was Terry. Looking at her beautiful gray face I'd say somewhere between 7 and 14, but it doesn't matter, and her name is now Punkin, because while she has a very large vocabulary that she responds to, Terry wasn't a word that elicited any reaction at all. She will probably bark all the way home, they said..... well she curled up in the seat beside me and never made a peep the whole way home, in fact she has yet to make a sound. A Jack that doesn't bark! How wonderfully bizarre! She is the best dog in the whole world and we are blessed to have her, and we tell her so every day!

Kathie Roller-Stell
Okotoks, AB, Canada

A good life

This is Montana. He'll be gone a year this coming November, and was just over 21yrs old when he had to join his brother, Charlie and sister, Cally. Montana and Charlie were born in 1994. Charlie died from kidney failure at 8.5 yrs old, and Montana outlived him by 12.5-13 yrs. After Charlie passed, Montana and his Torti sister, Cally, grew closer, as did Montana and I. He became my baby boy. Both he and his brother were adopted as kittens from a local shelter, and Cally was rescued off the street. Since I had raised Montana from the time he was an itty bitty kitty, he stole my heart in so many ways. He loved riding on my back and shoulders; he loved going for walks on his harness and leash, and he loved carrying around his stuffed animal, Mr. Whale. Montana had a lot of separation anxiety, and whenever I'd leave the house he would carry Mr. Whale around and put him in all kinds of places, while making a guttural noise to let me know he wasn't happy I left. I still have three more kitties, but Montana will always hold a very special place in my heart. I still miss him and I know I always will. He was my "old man", my "baby boy". My fur baby, and my best friend.

Anonymous
Glenwood Springs, CO

Bonnie Louise

My husband and I already had a full house. We had trouble finding a new apartment that would allow 2 huskies and a cat but we finally found one and moved into it a couple days before Christmas in 2014. We immediately noticed a sweet Calico hanging around the back door area. She seemed pretty healthy and well cared for so we weren't really sure why she was hanging around. After speaking to the neighbors, we found out she was previously owned by the tenants in our apartment. The other family was forced to leave following some criminal activity and had more or less kicked their two cats out the back door and just left them. They also gave their two dogs to other residents that lived close by. Either way, we found ourselves leaving food out for her just like several other neighbors had done. Probably why she's a little rotund. After a few weeks, due to cold she decided she was ready to come inside and join our family. She's got bad teeth, drools like a puppy and never can decide if she wants in or out but she's ours and eventually named her Bonnie Louise. She occasionally brings other kitties home. They never stick around but we still see them hanging around the edge of the property occasionally. I think Bonnie brings them home because she knows we'll care for them if they need it.

Andrea
Columbiana, OH

It Takes a Village

It takes a village to save a child or an animal and this was demonstrated during the late night hours on the night of September 14th, 2016. A puppy named Sassy had been the subject of long term abuse by her neglectful owner on 70th Terrace in Gainesville, Florida. The poor puppy was left tethered outside 24/7 with little shelter, soggy, moldy food and dirty drinking water. The dog was in bad condition appearing emaciated and lethargic.

Two good Samaritans who lived next door to the pup and her owner called the Alachua County Animal Control Office multiple times with little result. It was not until a plea went out on Facebook for everyone to contact the Alachua County Sheriff's Office on Sassy's behalf that things finally started moving.

It was reported that hundreds of calls and messages went into the Sheriff's Office Communications Division that night not only from Florida residents but callers as far away as Texas and even Canada.

Alachua County Sheriff's Office Deputy Brown and Sergeant Ulrich responded to the home and knocked multiple times on the front door but the dog's owner refused to open it. They found Sassy tied up on the back porch. Her condition shocked and disturbed them both. She was like a walking skeleton and barely responded to offers of food and water.

Sassy was rushed to the emergency vet where she was deemed Parvo negative but infested with worms and fleas. Sweet Sassy is on the road to recovery and several deputies are interested in adopting her.

Sassy's story proves to us that all lives matter. Even one little dog who until September 14th was nameless. She was saved from a torturous existence because enough people banded together to fight for her.

Charges of abuse are pending against Sassy's owner.

Denise Costa
Orlando, FL

The cute history of a 'Gatito'

My girlfriend and I went for a walk to a pretty tourist park in a district of the capital (Lima - Perú). We were preparing to purchase passes for a ‘panoramic bus’ to go around the city and check some of the most beautiful attractions, because was her birthday. When we were paying for the tickets, we realized that at the side was a place where many people together. He gave us curious and went to see what it was.

The park where we were, is a park where there are many cats walking everywhere (Kennedy Park). It is a sort of attraction for visitors because you can walk with the cats and spend a nice time with them. The place where people were agglomerated was a point for adopt any of these animals (because most of these cats were abandoned by their owners in this place and always looking for new owners to adopt them).

My girlfriend and I adored cats, but never thought about having one because we live apart. At that time we were watching the smaller cats (kittens) in many cases around the point of adoption, a little angel looked out to see us. Immediately we saw two big ears sticking out among all small kittens and it was love at first sight. We fell in love immediately of the little cat and canceled the entire ride and everything to go to get care at the best veterinary.

Our son called "Gatito" is small cat in Spanish. This name was choosing because my girlfriend also told me "Gatito" from long ago, so it was a private joke between us. When the vet weighed "Gatito", he weighed 700 grams and fit in the palm of my hand. Currently our little cat "Gatito" has 3 years old and weighs 7 kilos and is full of love. He has lived with both (my girlfriend and I) at different times in our lives, but always lived and will live in our two hearts. We are fortunate to have a love that unite us forever and ever draw them to us.

Jonathan Aguilar Iparraguirre
Lima, Peru

Garfield the Great

As a mystery writer, I’ve got to say that I always love a mystery. One of the biggest mysteries my family ever experienced was where our cat Garfield disappeared to every so often.

Garfield usually spent his days in his favorite perch by the front window but every so often, however, Garfield would simply vanish, often for up to a week at a time. We tried to find out where he went but attempting to follow him was like attempting to follow a snowflake and see where it landed. We tried to keep him indoors but that was an impossible task. Garfield dashed between legs, snuck out window cracks and darted through the smallest of gaps in open doors. He loved the outdoors because Garfield loved people.

Garfield enjoyed nothing more than being surrounded by admirers and although our family definitely admired him, apparently we weren’t enough. He needed to be out and about getting pats on the head, strokes along his extra long orange and white tail and rubs on his neck from neighbors, the mailman and anyone else in his orbit. Garfield never met a stranger and he seemed to be blessed with an abundance of good luck.

Until his luck ran out.

The details are still sketchy but I’ll never forget when our neighbor came over to tell me that an orange cat had been hit by a car and she thought it might be Garfield. With a heavy heart, my husband went over to investigate. Sadly, it was Garfield and he was gone. Our adventurer, people-pleasing, Mr. Popular cat was gone forever.

We buried Garfield in the backyard and planted a tiger lily on top of his grave. Although that was three years ago, we still miss our people-pleasing cat and I suspect we always will. We never solved the mystery of where Garfield wandered when he wasn't home but it no longer matters. What mattered was that he always came back until the one last time when he couldn't.

Marlo Hollinger
NORTH MANKATO, MN
Pop of Color Glass Solar Lantern
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