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You Gotta Live Forever... 'Kay?

Dear Jessie,

When I first adopted you, I whispered to you "You gotta live forever, 'kay?" Over the years when I would imagine life without you, I would say again to you "You gotta live forever, 'kay?"

My body still wants to take you for a walk. Your leash still hangs by the door waiting for the words "wanna go outside?" It's been raining a lot this week and I instinctively look at the clock to see if it's near time to take you out.

Whenever I eat some crackers or chips, I look to see where you are so I can throw you some.

You were the perfect dog for me. So quiet...so calm. You never peed or chewed on anything. You barked so infrequently that you would scare yourself when you did.

You were with me through all the good times and the bad. You never judged me, even when I weighed 200 lbs and was sweating to the oldies. You always had a wag of the tail for me.

I loved how I could always trust you with any child. When you got older and a little more grey in the face, some of the neighbor kids started calling you Granny.

Even when you could no longer chew the hard kibble and you weren't so interested in your toys, and had to be walked more often, I loved you so much.

You trusted me right up to the end. You believed me when I told you that you didn't have to live forever and it's OK to go.

I felt the life leave your body and you took a piece of me with you.

I love you sweet Jessie girl, and I'll see you at the bridge. 1998 - 2016

Kris
Prestonsburg, KY

The Sweetest Boy

In 2008, we had just moved into our new house and already had a year old rescue, Peyton. Our family was good.....so I thought. We received a call one afternoon from my husband's cousin, who said "We're going to take Spot to the pound. Do you want him?" Spot (as he was called then) was the puppy they found on the side of the road about 3 months back. He was a black/white spotted pup with a mask that made him look cross eyed and a joker's smile. He had lived in their backyard while their 2 Yorkies lived inside. My husband's cousin had decided that Spot had pit bull in him (which he doesn't) and needed to go. I asked my husband "Do you want him? If you do, that's your dog. I already have mine." My husband jumped at taking Spot. Spot was renamed Bailey and made instant friends with Peyton. What I didn't know is that Bailey was going to steal my heart like Peyton did. Bailey made it his mission to get Mommy to love him. He was Mommy's saving grace while my husband was in Afghanistan. Bailey is now 8 years old, his mask has faded and he is my 85 pound lap dog!! He is the sweetest, goofiest dog but very protective of both Mommy and Daddy. He is the leader of our pack -- Peyton (9) and Bella (4) -- but you wouldn't think that to see his sweet face.

Melissa G Eplee
Simpsonville, SC

Emergency Rescue

My mother and I live in an apartment complex. One summer a few years ago, our obnoxious, noisy neighbors suddenly moved out. A few days after they left, we were enjoying the blessed silence, but kept hearing a strange noise. We couldn't pinpoint what it was, so we went looking. Around the back of the building, my mother saw a small grey kitty sitting in the window. She was the noise - meowing her tiny heart out. They had abandoned her to die.

We started trying to break into the apartment, trying to remove the screen from the window so we could get in and get the cat. We attracted a small group of people who tried to help. After an hour or so, we called the maintenance manager, who informed us there was no law to rescue cats in our state, only dogs. We pleaded with him, and eventually he let us into the apartment after calling the police to inform them of the situation.

I went in to get the kitty. Their apartment was dank and dirty, and there were empty yogurt cups and trash on the floor without a food or water dish in sight. I grabbed the kitty and took her to my apartment. I named her Elsa. She immediately hid and was generally quite mean for the next few days. Already having two cats, my mother insisted we find her a home. Then, Elsa chose my mom as her person (wise move!). Elsa is now a very sweet, spoiled princess, and is just as mouthy and talkative as she was the day we saved her life.

Kat
Towanda, PA

Colony Cat No More

When I first moved into our first house, there was a 40+ cat colony nearby.

When the man feeding the colony moved away, some cats left and others looked like they were starving. As we had 2 indoor cats of our own (Merlin and Morgana), I couldn't take any in, but we had to help.There were a few sweet ones I found homes for and some sickly ones that we took to the pound. About 4-5 remained in the neighborhood, all fixed and seem to be doing just fine.

There were 2 siblings, one grey and one orange striped that I fed everyday. Sr.Georgie and Gweneviere. Sr.Georgie was the farm cat and he ranged far and wide, but Gwen needed more loving. She would come to eat, have her belly and head rubbed and then leave. She was at our house almost daily for a year. One day, she didn't come back. She didn't come in to eat day after day. We searched and searched but she was gone.

A whole year went by and one night my husband saw her down the street. He called her name and she came running the whole length of the street into his arms. I woke up the next morning with her in bed next to me talking and purring and kneading the bed. She was skin and bones. Since that day, she doesn't leave the house to roam anymore.

Gwen is now my cat. She loves to meow at me and follow me from room to room. Or just sleep on a random bed in the house. She loves kids and dogs. Gwen also loves to chase tennis balls, but only when no one is looking.

Esther
Davie, FL

Rescued Munchkins

In 2015, I made the decision to move to New Zealand, leaving the US behind. I moved to join my fiance, Jack, and his feline companion, Rommel. As the months passed and I fell more in love with the area, I kept seeing people giving kittens up for adoption on Facebook. In the town I live in, many college kids let their cats run around, unfixed. This in turn produces multitudes of unhomed kittens that become ferals from living on the streets. We could never get to a kitten in time to give them a proper home, and I always felt horrible knowing these cats might go abandoned when the owners left to go home over the Christmas and Summer breaks. Then it happened. I managed to get a hold of a couple of kids giving away two kittens from an unwanted litter. They were about 4 months of age and were starting to get to be too much for the owners to handle. Jack and I convinced them to give us both kittens and by April 1st, we brought Montgomery and Irene into the family. Both were underweight, unfixed and covered in fleas and ticks. We've had them over a month now and they've been fixed, given their initial shots, de-flea-ed and their body weight is way up. We're blessed with a family of 3 Kid-ens, rambunctious balls of fluff who we wouldn't change for the world.

(Monte is the one with the spot on his nose, Irene has the full white on her face)

Colleen
Dunedin, New Zealand

Partially Paralyzed Kitten Runs for First Time

Meet Mac....the newest addition to the Pet Vet family. He was brought to us by a Good Samaritan who found him on the streets, abandoned by mom, unable to walk. He does have feeling in his hind end which is a good sign and we hope to rehabilitate, treat and eventually find him a good home. Some of our very dedicated technicians went digging through old toys they had and made him a make-shift wheelchair that allows him to finally run. We love this little guy and can't wait to see what the future holds for him.

Massapequa Pet Vet
Massapequa, NY

Our rescue story

Five years ago our beloved cat Jasper died and we were devastated. That same day this beautiful girl showed up on our doorstep. It was like she was a gift from God. Needless to say we took her in that day and she has been a part of our family ever since. Her name is Jasmine and she brings much joy and happiness to our family everyday. The first thing she did after we let her in was jump up on my shoulder and give me a kiss on the cheek. It was like she was telling me thank you for giving me a forever home. When I think back on that day we not only saved her but she saved us as well.

Jewel
Ottumwa, IA

Hank (Hide)

After years of having 5 dogs, we lost three in a short period of time, one from extreme old age, one from seizures that could not be controlled, and one was attacked by another dog. Before much time had passed, my daughter moved out with her dogs. We needed a dog! My husband went to the Humane Society to "look". An animal hoarding case had brought them 143 dogs, Beagles, Boston Terriers, and Pugs. My husband looked them over and chose a poor little guy that they had named Hide, because that's what he did. They told him that they were glad to see him get a home BUT he had some pretty severe social issues. He is making progress, but it will take years to undo what he went through. When we got him, you could literally see every bone he had. He is now healthy and happy and learning that people can be nice. We will continue to work with him to help him learn that he is loved and it's okay to be cuddled and loved.

llb
St. Charles, MO

Marley, the little man no one wanted

In October 2004, my mom died. As you would expect, I was struggling and then one night my neighbor called and told me of a little dog she had seen posted on a rescue. She knew about the little guy because I had heard some friends had taken him to the rescue because he wasn't good with a small child in their family and was too "quirky" The little lhasa apso was named Marley. We both knew this rescue wasn't a good idea and once I saw the posting I was determined to save him. The little dog had had his hair chopped off and was wearing a muzzle. The look on his face was pure terror. I immediately put in to adopt him. Marley joined our family on Christmas Eve, complete with his own box of antacids! His eyes were blood red and our vet determined the "rescue" had been using a snare to drag Marley from his kennel.

Marley was a quirky little guy doing things his way, chasing his tail, growling and watching shadows and could lay for hours, staring at the wall. We just let him be himself and eventually, he started jumping on our laps and giving hugs. Over the years we treated Marley for his stomach issues, sight problems and dementia like behavior. In October of last year, at the age of 16, the problems were obviously getting worse and Marley's vision was totally gone. He knew and so did I that maybe it was time to end the fight. Marley crossed over the rainbow bridge that day, safely tucked in my arms. He was finally at rest. I always believed mom had played a part in our getting him to ease us through the pain of losing her and he had done that. I miss my Marley..... I still hear him growling as he ran up the hallway to our room where he slept on our bed. Special Marley had finally found a home where someone loved him because of his quirky differences. We wouldn't have wanted him any other way.

Cherry McKimmey
Torrington, WY

Bobby with a Mohawk

About 6 weeks ago (today is 5/2/16), I heard loud crying at my back door. Opening the door, a young, muted tabby boy, though I didn't know his sex at the time, tried to waltz on in.

Unfortunately, my 4 resident felines would have caused quite a riot. Not to mention the 2 big dogs.

So, I grabbed a carrier, went outside and managed to stuff him in, all the while he kept trying to slip past the door. Talk about determination.

Once in my car, I called my vet to give them a heads up that I was on my way with (another) stray. He's the 3rd kitty to show up in my back yard.

I left him at my wonderful vet's to be checked over, tested for disease, and spayed or neutered whichever was appropriate.

When he came home the next day, my husband rolled his eyes at yet *another* mouth to feed. But didn't say a word. Smart man.

Bobby aka Bobowitz, is quite the boy, impish and into everything, so he got a real boy name. He has appointed himself my assistant chef, housekeeper, laundress, dog washer, and chief inspector of everything I bring home.

Bobby is the first cat I've had, and to date I've had 14, with a mohawk. The fur on the top of his head grows toward the middle, and sticks straight up, making the mohawk.

Carol K
Tulsa, OK
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