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Simba, A Puppy Tale

My husband & I have always been advocates of adopting shelter animals & Simba is our 2nd pound puppy.

Around Easter, our first shelter dog, Sassy, passed away, & she is still missed by both of us very much. Time passed & we both thought it would be nice to have a dog again. We visited the shelter after work almost every day to see if there was a dog there we would like.

The 2nd time we visited the shelter, we saw a couple of possibilities. We were getting ready to leave when a dog caught my husband's eye. We asked to see the puppy and it was instant love! We found later that Simba had to be surrendered by his owners, who were dog breeders & they had too many dogs to take care of due to the breeder's health. We could tell by Simba's condition that he wasn't cared for as he should be. His coat was a matted mess & he was hungry. We took Simba home, fed him, and bathed him & gave him some toys to chew.

We've had Simba for over 6 months now & he has been a joy to have! We've never trained a puppy before so it was a learning experience for both Simba and I. There have been time when we thought, why did we adopt Simba, but eventually we got to know & love each other. We've truely bonded & to think that we almost passed up on Simba!

Kimberly Paul
North Platte, NE

Pippin

In April of 2008, my daughter Charlotte and I spent her Spring Break in Vieques, Puerto Rico, visiting a friend.

We were surprised to see what a tough time dogs had. There were so many stray dogs running around -- some mangy or tick-covered, many hungry or injured, but all with the same sweet nature and gentleness.

On the second day of our visit, we were walking along the boardwalk and saw a sweet little dog ahead, standing politely beside a man who was sleeping on a stone bench. As we got closer, the little dog's tail began to wag wildly and we could see his adorable face and beautiful golden eyes. We were smitten.

We patted him on the head but walked on, thinking he belonged to the sleeping man. It turns out he did not belong to anyone, and we saw him again later that day. Our friend Katy called the local shelter to ask about him. They knew him since someone had brought him in, where he was neutered and vaccinated. He was heart worm positive, they said. They had to put him back out on the street because of a lack of space, but they loved him. We loved him too.

Fast forward two years and Pippin (named after the littlest Hobbit) is a beloved member of our family. Pippin came through the heart worm treatments like a champ and is a healthy, happy part of our lives. He learned to play with toys, fetch a ball, and sleep under the covers with me.

I'm writing this in hopes I can bring attention to the wonderful work of the Vieques Humane Society (http://www.viequeshs.org). Without their excellent care, Pippin and many dogs like him wouldn't have a chance. And thank you, TARS, for all that you do!

Kristin Frykman
Peterborough, NH

Our sweet little Roxy

We saw online that a litter of kittens had been abandoned in a parking lot. We went to the shelter, planning on adopting a certain one. When we got there, all four kittens were playing together in a cage. When we reached in to pick the one up that we planned on adopting, Roxy came running to be picked up. As soon as she was in my arms she crawled her way up to rest her head right under my chin, then gave a big sigh. She knew she was home and so did we! She has been our sunshine ever since!

Rebecca
South Jordan, UT

He's back!

A few months after our 13 year old Claudius had to be put down with cancer, I was at the vet's office to get shots for our toy poodles. In a huge cage in the vet's waiting room sat a tiny replica of my cat, screaming for attention. The owner of the litter had despaired at finding homes for the last two kittens, a male and a female, and figured tossing the 5 week olds out a car window would be the answer. Fortunately, they ended up at our vet's office. An earlier client had taken the female kitten and here sat this little boy demanding attention. Shocked at seeing the newborn version of my Claudius when the family was still grieving his loss, I resisted the temptation to scoop him right up. But when the vet told me how that tiny guy had ended up in their care, I took him home ! Five years later, Milo is frequently called Claudius by accident because we're totally convinced..."he's back !" Sharing our home and affection with three hand-me-down dogs, Milo fits right in. It's like he'd never left.

Jayn Albury
Sarasota, FL

Toby wants a kitten

After Toby chose me at a shelter adoption event, he adjusted quickly and then we fostered a couple litters of motherless kittens. I did the feeding, Toby played with, socialized, nuzzled, loved and instructed the tiny kitties. When they were old enough to return to the shelter for shots, spay/neuter, and their own adoptions,Toby was a sorry feline. He meowed, searched the house and acted listless. Finally, I got the message,Toby wanted a kitten of his own–for keeps! A call to the shelter quickly brought Sissy and Toby perked right up. A year later, Sissy has grown up but they still cherish each other.

Kay
Maynard, MA

Wrigley and Ivy

Our dogs were shelter rescues from Benld Adopt-A-Pet. Wrigley was 1 of 2 pups that lived from a litter of 8 that was dumped at the shelter 7 years ago. She was so sick when we brought her home we didn't think she would make it! Now she is healthy and teaching Ivy, our new pup, the ropes!

We brought Wrigley home when our first shelter dog from Adopt-A-Pet was 7. Another 7 years later, when that dog passed, we brought Ivy home because Wrigley wandered around for weeks in a depression, missing her pal.

Ivy likes to play with Wrigley by leading her around by her collar. She will run and jump and go get Wrigley when it's time to go outside! The exception to this is in the morning, when Wrigley is rearing to go out and Ivy wants to stay in bed and sleep!

Tamara Krumwiede
Mt. Olive, IL

Allie Adopted Me!

Allie is a mastiff-mix who's got a huge head, huge paws and will never grow into them. She was dumped at the cemetery where I work, all skin stretched over bone, tail between her legs, terrified, starving and so sad. My husband and I had lost our pittie to cancer two years before and, as we have four cats, didn't intend on getting another dog for a while. When the super called to tell me that he'd called animal control because of a stray dog, I went outside with a bowl of water and some bread (all I had at work) to see if I could corral the dog until they came. This sweet girl was scared, but more hungry, so she stayed near me to eat the bread and drink the water. When the woman from animal control came, Allie put herself in between us in a protective stance. I lost my heart to her then. The woman took her to our local shelter, who kept her for a month to get her healthy, spay her, and cat-test her. On December 8th, they called and told her we could take Allie home! She's now almost 4 years old and is incredibly smart AND incredibly spoiled. She plays well with our cats and bunny, she loves people to death, and is a great watch-dog. My husband and I both adore her and we're thankful that she adopted me that day at the cemetery.

Terry Dubbs
Topeka, KS

Daisy May

I met Daisy shortly after I started volunteering at a No-kill shelter. She had been tied to a tree and abandoned. To make matters worse, she was pregnant. Shortly after being rescued by the shelter she had her pups. They were all adopted quickly, but Daisy remained. Each time I went to the shelter I spent time with Daisy. She'd always ask if she could come home with me, but I kept telling her I didn't have room for her since we already had three dogs. I prayed she'd get a good home. Five months later, I was at the shelter when I saw someone else looking at Daisy and reading over her paperwork. I immediately felt a sense of panic at the thought of someone else adopting "my Daisy." I knew I had to bring her home. I honestly believe God put me at that shelter to meet Daisy. I'm just sorry it took me so long to figure it out! She has been with us now for a year. We're blessed to have her.

Stacey Christner
Johnstown, PA

I love Lucy

I was nine when we walked into a local shelter and saw Lucy. On her kennel was a giant sign that said "Dog of the Day". This shy chow/retriever mix soon became my dearest friend.

Just two weeks after adopting Lucy, our neighbor's two rottweilers broke out of their fenced yard and came charging at my two younger brothers as they were playing outside in our backyard. I heard my brothers scream and I heard viscous dog growls. She stood right in front of those dogs, fended them off and got chewed up for it. Lucy saved my brothers lives.No doubt about it. And she saved me in many ways too. Sadly. just this past February, she passed from her fight with cancer, an auto immune disorder and arthritis. She was 17 years old.

There are many great stories of Lucy, she was my best friend. Lucy was truly an inspiration for what I do now. I work as a vet tech and have since adopted two dogs of my own. Also, one rabbit and four Guinna pigs. Now after losing my furry friend, I am able to comfort other animal owners who have lost. This has become a big part of my job and my life. I truly believe humans and dogs are match made in heaven. The bonds we share to so strong and great. So take a trip to a shelter, you may just stumble upon your new companion, who will always be there to make you smile and laugh.

Courtley
Renton, WA

My Sweet Dakota

Well I wasn't even going to adopt a puppy.....but Dakota won my heart with kisses and cuddles the first time I held him. I had gone to the animal shelter to look after putting my beloved dog down due to cancer. There were a couple puppies at this shelter that were being fostered at somebody's house, so normally weren't even at the shelter. And it was actually closed but I caught the nice lady about to leave, with the puppies. I didn't know she had them until she pulled out this little bundle of golden cuddle. Anyway, Dakota's story is that him and his siblings were found under a house separated somehow from their mama, fending for themselves for who knows how long, they weren't even 6 weeks old. Today Dakota is about 4 1/2 months old and still "hunts" bugs so I think that is probably what they survived on for awhile! I just love to spoil him now, and I get the feeling he really does appreciate it! His eyes really light up big with excitement with every new thing he gets. He really is loving and sweet, with all the exuberant energy normal for a puppy. I am so thankful to whoever found that litter of puppies.

Tara
Sandpoint, ID
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