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Belle Leaves Pawprints on My Heart

Upon moving away from my family to attend college, I missed the company of a dog. After several months without a 4-legged friend, I began to look on Petfinder.com at all the sad faces of dogs without homes. Finally, one day I came across a forlorn looking girl listed as a chihuahua/pug mix. She was around 8 mo. old with a blond coat, pink nose, and the most beautiful copper colored eyes I'd ever seen. I immediately called the shelter to make sure she was available, then promptly drove the hour and a half to retrieve the dog.

When I met Belle in person she had no name, only a number, and was confined in a run with 3 larger, dominant male dogs. The shelter attendant told me how she had been left in the overnight runs as a drop-off and had been scheduled to be euthanized on three different occasions, and that it was her last chance to be adopted. I signed the paperwork, paid the fee, and put her nervous, trembling, underweight body onto the passenger seat of my car. I headed to Petco and bought her food, toys, and treats.

Belle was terrified of men, and is still wary of them, perhaps having been abused, but she didn't take long to come around and quickly made herself at home. She was easy to housebreak, never chewed up things, and wants only to please. She rarely barks, is exceptionally gentle with children and other animals (especially our chickens), enjoys our other rescue, and LOVES to be petted and brushed . I've had her for 5 years now, and I love her with all my heart. I can't imagine my life without her. I believe we were meant to be together...Please, save a life, adopt a shelter pet!

Trista Roberts-Rice
Morgantown, WV

Together Forever!!

Siena and I found our Lop, Dusty during a visit to her vet.Dusty was staying there, after being rescued, in hopes of finding his forever home. Siena was getting ready to come out of her carrier to go see the Doctor. As I was opening the carrier, Dusty proceeded to jump into it with her still inside!! I guess he picked us!! After an interesting bonding period they are now inseparable. I CANNOT imagine my life with out them!!

Beth V
Long Island, NY

Dumped out of a truck

My boyfriend and I were driving on a very rainy cold day. As we turned onto a road, we saw a truck stopped on the side of the road. A man in the truck got out, opened the camper shell, pushed this dog out and drove off. We watched the dog try its best to catch up to the truck. She gave up and stood in the middle of the road. We pulled up to the dog, my boyfriend got out and she ran away from him. I opened my door and she jumped in. She was extremely thin, stinky, and scared. It looked like she had just had a litter of puppies. We took her home and fed her. After eating she was vomitting and having diareha at the same time (yucky!) That was over 4 years ago. Now she is chubby and happy. She is my sidekick. She enjoys naps, tennis balls, stuffed animals, and blankets. I couldn't imagine my life without her.

rachel
northern california, CA

MY HEART LEFT WITH SMOKEY

At about One year old, Smokey, a Gorgeous Tuxedo Cornish Rex Mix, came to me by coincidence on his way to be put down for a serious kidney problem. I looked into his eyes, fell in love with him instantly, I refused to let his intended fate happen and took him to a Vet, many days of surgery, treatment and recovery let alone many dollars later, I got him back and our friendship began. I kept Smokey as an indoor cat but would walk him several times a day and night on a leash and He loved it. Smokey and I were One, where ever I was, there was Smokey, Day and Night for almost ten years. I swear I could read his mind whenever he wanted something, and I knew his sounds when he was going to be ill or when he wanted to go for a walk. One Horrible day Smokey's kidney problem came back with a vengence and this time it claimed his life on May 1st-2010. My heart aches every day and night at the loss of my Pal Smokey. I have difficulty even writing this story. I will Love Smokey forever, and One day we will meet at that Rainbow Bridge and cross it together.. I Love you Smokeydo.

Bondo Bill

Palm Bay, Florida

BILL MERCIER
PALM BAY, FL

MESSAGE TO JAMES G. VIOLANTE!!

In regard to the stray dog in your son's unit in Afghanistan: try contacting Operation Bagdad Pups. You can find the website online.

Please tell your son thank you for his service.

Amy Harrington
Harlingen, TX

Sprite gets a Forever Home

We'd lost our best guy, Jettson after 13 years and were heartbroken. Not having a set of paws clicking behind our every movement was difficult, because this was the first time in 30 years that I didn't have a dog.

A friend saw a photo of a ridiculously cute dog with gigantic bat ears on the Animal Friends website named Sprite, a Boston Terrier-Jack Russell mix. We saw Sprite the next night. In the Meet'n'Greet room she was excited about being out of her cage, but she also gave us tons of kisses.

And then, magic happened.

My husband always wanted a dog to jump into his arms. When he called Sprite, she sprang up into his hands. Within 48 hours we adopted Sprite. Later that day, without any warning, she did it again, springing 3ft into his arms. Luckily he caught her in mid-air!

From her known history, poor little Sprite, age 2, had been several homes, with tags from 3 counties in Southwestern PA, papers from 2 previous shelters, and had multiple litters of puppies. Sprite was actually adopted 3 weeks before we met her, but was returned for growling at the family's young daughter and other dog while playing with toys. When we adopted her, she still bore stitches from her spaying. This girl had seen some bouncing around and a lot of travel.

Getting to know Sprite, we realized quickly that she is extremely playful, and when she "growls" while playing and it sounds "fierce", but it's how she plays, 100% goofy. She's quite an actress!

We knew we'd be Sprite's forever family. However, little Sprite didn't know until she got into the car on Adoption Day and busted out the biggest dog-smile we'd ever.

This photo is when she realized she was going home. Forever.

Allison Glancey & Craig Seder
Pittsburgh, PA

Stray Dog

My son and the guys in his unit in Afghanistan adopted this dog. The dog was starving and had been beaten. They have nursed him back to health and now they want to bring him home. They need to raise three thousand dollars to get him here. People in Vermont and New Hampshire, where the unit is from, is taking up collections to help. If the dog is left behind, the afghans will torture and kill the dog. When my son comes back in from a mission, the dog is laying on his bunk in the tent waiting for him. I have a feeling we are going to wind up with the dog, if the funds can be raised. Is there anything the animal rescue mission can do to help them? I do appreciate any help that may be extended. Please advise on what we can do. Thank you very much. These soldiers would be heart broken if the dog is left behind after giving them so much joy while there.

Thank You

J.G.Violante

James G. Violante
Parkertown, NJ

SHAQ To The Rescue

Being "empty nesters" was somewhat lonely, and each time we saw a TV commercial about the rescue of abandoned animals, we felt sad. We decided to take a ride to Lied Animal Shelter and see if they had a small dog that would be easy to care for. After viewing several adorable animals, we decided on "Shaq". He played well at the shelter with our grandchildren and was friendly and sweet. We chuckled at his name because he's about 7 inches tall and Shaquille O'Neal is about 7 feet tall. The shelter named him, and we decided to keep his name because it was unique.

Shaq is a Chihuahua mix, and he has rescued us. He's brought us lots of fun and joy. He loves to play ball, and is learning new tricks. He also loves our grandchildren who are also crazy about him. The REWARD is he came to us already housebroken. Shaq has brought a new brightness to our lives and we are extremely happy to have him. We're hoping he can swim because it will soon be pool season!

Bunnie Guanci
LAS VEGAS, NV

My Precious Friend

My little Shayna (Nayna/Shaynie) came to me three years ago this coming August. Day one saw her snapping at me, and me crying myself to sleep, wondering if I could really handle this animal. Today sees us as the best of friends. I can't explain how amazing it makes me feel to know that I really was her last chance. For some reason, I saw her little face online and decided to just meet her. And something told me that she should be mine. Yes, I've been frustrated with, angry towards, even fearful of this little "beastie." She came with a lot of baggage. But, she has honestly shown me so much more love and devotion than I ever thought possible. When she bats her paw at me and says "I'm sorry," or looks at me with that "I love you, Momma" look of hers, I know that I made the best decision of my life so far in taking her home with me. There are trials ahead. We live alone now, and things are pretty scheduled and predictable. We'll both probably need to adapt to new places and new people in our future. But, I tell her often that I will never, ever leave her, and I will never, ever let anyone hurt her again. And I know she feels the same way.

Amy Trethewey
Duluth, MN

My Best Friend Sassy

We got Sassy from a lady that took a male and a female from someone that could not care for them. She only wanted the male so she gave Sassy to me. When she brought her to us she was skinny and scared but she took on to my handycaped son right from the start. Now she is 60 pounds and she thinks she is my son's full time nurse and protector and does not worry about eating from trash cans anymore. We could not think of life without her.

Laverne Wallace
Charlotte, NC
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