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The Story of Sam the Basset

Sam’s backstory was vague—“a stray from Chicago”. With that, I envisioned him standing along Chicago’s Navy Pier, looking over Lake Michigan—long ears blowing in the breeze like wind socks. Or, stealthily hanging out near a hot dog cart on the corner, hoping for an unsuspecting tourist to drop a pickle.

When we met Sam, he pounced across the length of the room, nails clickety clacking, his hind end moving one direction, his front end moving the other, and ears swinging side to side.

During our first months with Sam, we discovered he wasn’t a fan of men with gray hair. He’d hide behind my legs emitting a low-grade grumble that made his loose lips to gently vibrate. Soon, he learned that men with gray hair weren’t so bad. Sam was also averse to brooms. He’d scuttle away & peer around the corner until it disappeared. And when left alone for longer than 30 seconds, Sam made his displeasure known with deep, desperate wails that could be heard for blocks. Over time, he learned we always come back & there was no need for melodrama. With training, Sam learned that he does NOT get to sleep on the couch. So, whenever we re-enter the house, he jumps off the couch, trots to his bed & pretends to be asleep—as if he were there the entire time.

It’s been 4 years now. Sam usually lays in his plush bed. He watches me—raising his left brow, his right, his left again. I speak to him in a sing-songy voice, “How did you & those pendulant ears end up homeless? Did a gray-haired man with a broom hurt you?” He sighs, climbs off his bed, elongates himself into his best cobra pose, wanders over, & nudges me for a pat.

Paula Libbey
Edina, MN

We weren't cat people

When our son brought home a black/white tuxedo kitty from college we were not thrilled...however we grew in love and were REALLY sad empty nesters when kitty MJ ( oh, and our son) moved out .

We were on a mission to find a black/white tux of our own. We found runt Minnie in a shelter with her 4 litter mates. We visited her until her goal weight of 2 pounds and during visits one litter mate kept hanging on the crossbar of the cage and reminded us of a lil gray mouse and had the cutest mustache that we could not resist so we took him too.😊 We named him Mickey, and Minnie was an appropriate name for the runt.

Later we discovered Mickey was a she...thus a spelling change...Mikki.

FOUR MONTHS later we noticed a picture of a male litter mate that was STILL on the shelter's poster advertisement, so our son so graciously adopted K.O.

K.O. and Minnie have since gained angel wings but Mikki and MJ are going strong. Who'd ever think that we TOTALLY ARE cat people. 😊

Thanks to all of you who rescue!

Avondale, AZ

My baby girl

One very hot summer day many years ago my husband walks in and tells me there is a puppy at the end of the street. You know i'm going to go pick it up! i said. So i went down the street and there she was. She was scared and tried to get up and run but she was to weak. I picked her up and took her home. Gave her a bath and fed her.She was in bad shape. i had no intention on keeping her. I always called her "Girl" or "Girly" i didn't want to name her and get attached. i got attached and fell in love with her. We ended up just naming her girly it stuck and felt right. She was the sweetest dog ever she was very scared of new people she would hide and wouldn't come out until she felt comfortable with you. Fast forward about 8 years later she started being very lethargic along with other symptoms. So we take her to the vet get tests done come to find out she had a massive tumor on her spleen and was bleeding internally, we were heartbroken but weren't going to give up. We immediately took her to the emergency vet to have the surgery. She came home was doing great for about 4 days then she got lethargic again and we knew she was bedding internally again. We took her back to the emergency vet and got her scanned and its what we knew it was. We had two options, another surgery or let her go. I couldn't put her through another surgery again so we chose to send her over the rainbow bridge. Its been almost 2 years and i'm still very heartbroken, she was my baby girl and best friend.

April Darnell
San Antonio, TX

My treasure

"Why was he there?" That is the question that always seems to come up. "One man's trash another's treasure" Seems always the stigma with shelter dogs. Something is wrong with them, either they were given up because of some overwhelming problem or it was owners problem but still physical and behavioral issues from neglect or abuse in that case. But that is not always true. Huck was at the shelter for over 6 months, ridiculously long time for our area. Why was he so hard to place? I have found the most perfect dog anyone could ask for.

Someone clearly once cared for him, no health issues, even the most perfect set of teeth and gums I have ever seen on a dog especially one 6 years old. He knows probably more commands then I do and follows immediately and without question. No fear of anything. Perfect social skills polite and friendly with people but also watchful and ready to defend if given reason. Perfect house manners, never once an accident or mess or any destruction of anything. Does not touch cat food or other dogs bowls, once I even forgot he was there and left cheeseburger on plate in front of him and left room only to return with sandwich untouched. Playful and fun loving but never hyper and easily and quickly calmed if over excited. Affectionate and cuddly but never overbearing or needy. Terrific with other animals no aggression ever even when they are aggressive towards him and an absolute doll with smaller animals gentle and caring.

I can not imagine giving him up for anything he is my heart. I do not know why he was there or why so many others passed him by but I do know I have found the most perfect gem one could ever find.

Brewster, OH

Marley our sweet misunderstood girl

Marley is 3 year old Pitbull. They were having a free adoption weekend at the Waco Humane Society, so we decided to go and have look because we wanted a companion for our puppy Max. So we walked around and looked at all the dog they had. It was so heartbreaking to see all these dogs that had been dropped off or abandoned etc. And you could tell they just all wanted somebody to love them. After looking around for awhile we found Marley. She looked so sad but so sweet. So we asked to look at her and did a meet and greet with Max and our children. She did so great! She was such a sweetheart with everyone. So we adopted her right away. And come to find out she was found as a stray and was also a new mother. She had been reunited with two of her puppies and they were quickly adopted. But she had been at the shelter for 3 months and was on the verge of being put to sleep because of the shelter running out of space. But she is now a great part of our family and the best dog we could have asked for. She is so sweet and loving. Thank god the Humane Society saved her . And i know some people are wary about pitbulls but Marley is one of the greatest dogs ive ever had. She just needed a second chance.

Waco, TX

ATM Kitten

i stopped to get cash at an atm, in a hurry, but i heard a faint sound i thought was birds, and the more i listened, the more desperate the noise sounded. i began looking around, and saw this tiny black ball of fur moving over at the corner of the bank. i got out, went over to discover a helpless, pitiful, little kitten, all alone and just screaming out for help. his poor little eyes were completely blinded by the stuff that had them glued together. actually, i thought he didn't have eyes at all. his little pink paw pads were scuffed up from clawing on the bricks trying to get in. i scooped him up, got my jacket, wrapped him up and hurried home to help him. i first took a warm cloth and gently wiped his little eyes, hoping he did have some, and after what seemed like forever, one little eyelid popped open, and this little blue eye finally stared up at me, and instantly, his fear left him and he knew he was immediately loved and saved. the same thing happened with the other one and after he could see me and where he was, i fed him some wet food and some warm milk. then, he got a warm bath, fleas picked off with tweezers, wrapped in a soft, towel, petted and loved on until he fell asleep in my arms.

and, now over 3 years later, he is still the joy of my day. he lays across my feet if i try to leave, and greets me at the door as soon as i return. he sleeps on my bed every night, making sure his head or paw is touching me at all times.

it took me days to name him. i just couldn't come up with anything special enough for him. but i finally looked at his beautiful black and white coat, and Tux came to my mind, i hadn't heard it anywhere before, but i thought it was perfect, cause he's just so handsome, and he's fancy all the time!

Julie Justus
Clarksburg, WV

My Oreo

There was a picture of a cat in the newspaper. He is 2 years old and when his owner moved he didn't take the cat. I saw his picture and he was looking right at me. I called my daughter and told her I think I wanted him. I called the shelter and he was still there. My daughter drove me over to the shelter and I adopted him. I brought him home and named him OREO.

Janet Smith
Phoenix, AZ

Tiki the Wonder Cat

In 1999, we rescued two feral kittens, Tiki and her sister, Garfi.

In 2013, I was reading a book and Tiki was sleeping on my laps. She woke up, and started to knead my left breast (which she had never done before). She was very gentle, and it didn't hurt, so I let her continue. This went on for about 15 minutes, and Tiki had this very intense look on her face.

Suddenly, I felt this sharp pain deep inside my breast. I scooted Tiki off, and looked inside my blouse. There wasn't any sign of scratches on the skin. I went back to reading my book, but as time passed, my breast began to ache, with occasional twinges of pain.

When I went to change clothes to go to bed, there was blood on the inside of my bra cup. As I moved my breast, a red viscous fluid was discharged from the nipple.

I saw my doctor the next day. I went immediately for a diagnostic mammogram. Then had a biopsy. I was diagnosed with DCIS - cancer of the milk duct. I was stage 0, so I had two lumpectomies. The tumor was very large, and on the chest wall. I eventually had a mastectomy.

Because the DCIS was at stage 0, I did NOT have to have chemotherapy; and because I had a mastectomy, I did NOT have to have chemotherapy.

My doctor's theory is that the fluid sac around the tumor had started to leak, and Tiki may have smelled that. Her breast massage caused the fluid sac to rupture, which caused the pain, and the fluid was discharged.

So ... my cancer was first diagnosed by a CAT scan!

I thanked Tiki by cooking her a baked chicken weekly to supplement her cat food. She lived until October 1, 2015, when she passed away from stomach cancer. I miss her very much.

Morjana Coffman
Sacramento, CA

My Baby

Misty was found abandoned with her 3 other siblings at 5 weeks old. The gal that found them took them to the vet and asked for $25.00 each to help with the checkup costs. I fell in love with her and here she is, happy and healthy 5 years later. Her adopted sister is a mini-schnauzer and they love each other. In fact, sometimes you'd think Misty is more dog than cat. She definitely made our home complete.

Deb Kozel
Los Angeles, CA

Princess' Story

Hi my name is Gina, I am Princess' mama now! One night in early September, my boyfriend was outside with the dogs, when one of the dogs heard a sound by the fence and alerted my boyfriend to it. My boyfriend went and checked out the area by the fence and found this very little grey kitten, maybe just 2 or 3 weeks old. Her eyes were open, and she was there alone. He brought her into the house to me. I figured that she had been abandoned by her mother, so I kept her and bottle fed her for a couple of weeks, then we put her on canned food until she was old enough for dry food. Now she is about 4 to 5 months old and is the terror of the house! She loves playing with my little dog Buffy, whom she has gotten a bit bigger than at this point!

Gina L Whitford
New Bern, NC
Kaleidoscope of Paws Packable Shopping
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