Adopt a Stray in Honor of Bella!
On June 2, Remembering Bella Day, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is encouraging our friends around the world to adopt a homeless stray from your local animal shelter or rescue organization in honor of Bella and the unique bond she and Tarra shared. Bella and Tarra’s devotion to each other uplifted everyone who knew their story. For eight years, The Elephant Sanctuary was witness to an amazing relationship between a stray dog and an elephant, one that transcended all barriers and inspired people around the globe. As we all know, the unconditional love experienced in a relationship with a companion animal is boundless in joy.


Do you have a stray dog that wandered into your heart and home, much like Bella did at The Elephant Sanctuary? Have you adopted a dog in honor of Bella? Post a photo of your beloved companion and their inspirational story below. Share with us the life lessons your rescued pet has given you.

Please join us on June 2 as we gather at The Elephant Sanctuary’s Welcome Center for Remembering Bella Day, and you can adopt a Hohenwald stray from High Forest Humane Society!

At Remembering Bella Day, meet Sanctuary Board member, author, and dog rescuer Sharon Langford at a book signing of “Living with the Rescues.” The book is filled with heartfelt stories about the fourteen rescue dogs who woofed their way into the author's life, changing it irreversibly. Sharon Langford is deeply connected in the animal-rescue community, and all proceeds of “Living with the Rescues” sold through The Elephant Sanctuary Welcome Center or online Gift Shop will go to support The Bella Fund.

To make a donation to The Bella Fund to support both the ongoing care of the resident elephants as well as the care of strays, like Bella, who wander into Hohenwald seeking sanctuary and friendship, click here. A portion of the proceeds from The Bella Fund are used to support local humane associations and their efforts to care for strays in need of a permanent home. A contribution from The Bella Fund to High Forest Humane Society will be presented at Remembering Bella Day.

Please join us on Saturday, June 2, for Remembering Bella Day.

Add your adoption story:
*Please note, your story and photo will be reviewed before it is posted.
You will be returned to this page after you successfully submit your tribute.
* *will not be displayed
*jpg or png format, max 1 MB

*Required: Type the characters you see in the picture below.
This is a feature to prevent spam.

67 Adoption Stories in Honor of Bella

November 14, 2012
HI my name is Junior and I'm one of the 40 rescued beagles from a lab in Spain! This was on all the major news networks a year ago. I had lived in a cage for
4 and a half years being tested for drugs. You might remember pictures of the happy tail wagging dogs after the rescue. But it was scary for me to be on the ground for the first time so I stayed in a corner, scared. Soon I was rescued by Aaron and Kevin. The very first thing they had to teach me was how to walk over to my bowl and eat. So Kevin spent one day with me crawling on the floor,
showing me how to eat. The next thing was how to take a walk. Remember, I had never felt the ground, felt sunshine or sniffed all those wonderful smells. Very quickly, there was a problem. I would sit down and refuse to walk any more. Aaron though because I had been in a cage I couldn't walk very far. But No! I sat down because I was loving the walk and didn't want to go back home. I'm a lover of long walks! After I had been with them for a month, we had a special day. We went to the shores of a lake. There, for the first time ever I was off leash and allowed to roam around as I pleased. What freedom! But it was even more special because of the sand. Sand is so much more pleasing to my paws that a metal grate.

Anyway, it has been a year now. I love being out of a cage, love everything Aaron and Kevin have done for me but I especially love just being a dog.
Liz Rondelle, California, United States

August 7, 2012
Before horrendous cruelty shattered her she must have been a perfect, show-topping Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Now, her once-ringleted ears were still matted despite her Atlanta rescuers' heroic efforts at grooming. Her beautiful eyes, dimmed by neglect, looked almost blind....and when she opened her mouth to wail her wrongs it was clear this tiny dog had been abused for years, her few remaining teeth rotting and broken. As I hefted her crate at El Paso's airport the note on its top was etched forever into my memory.
This pitiful scrap, flown in from Atlanta, was seen being tossed from a speeding car onto the freeway and rescued, at great risk, by a woman driving behind who saw the vile deed. Taken first to a Shelter and then on to Cavalier Rescue kennels, the dedicated woman who collected her told me that she cried when she knelt to peer into the cage and saw eyes oozing pus, claws grown back into the flesh, matted ears, balding tail...and little boobs so pendulous it was obvious this tiny thing had never, ever, been allowed to miss a breeding cycle.
As I was on file with Cavalier Rescue and one who'd been successful with "hopeless" cases, P. called me. "Could you...? She's pretty far gone but..." I did, hence crate and that heart-tearing note.
I named her Perdita, after Shakespeare's lost princess who finally came home. Perdita enriched my life for almost four years...though the first four weeks were a nightmare. If she could not see me she screamed unceasingly, clawed the patio door so badly when put out briefly to do "chores" that I had to repaint it twice. However, my mantra has ever been. "Whatever dog arrives, stays!"
Glacially, trust grew until Perdita only whimpered softly in bad dreams and howled only when taken in the car to the vet. She was not blind after all, though drops were needed forever. She ballooned to a whooping 20 lbs. of silky chestnut and white fur, "chirrupping" softly to be lifted. When slippers began vanishing I spied on her and choked with laughter..and I watched her "mumbling" one into her toothless mouth and carrying it to her basket to curl up with it.
For the rest of her life she enriched mine. Now, her grayed little face, framed in its hooded sweater, watches over me from a den bookshelf.
Dr. Tessa Nelson-Humphries, New Mexico, United States

August 3, 2012
Our Chelsea came into our lives on a freezing November weekend in 1996. My aunt and I fed stray cats at an empty mall. We used to feed them mid morning but one Sunday a voice said we had to go right then even though it was early. My aunt warmed up the car and off we went. Driving into the back lot of the mall a black puppy was chasing a seagull through a half frozen puddle.

We drove over, I got out of the car and called to her and the puppy ran straight to me and jumped in my arms. I got back in the car and we went to feed the cats, then stopped for a full assortment of puppy supplies. She was a beautiful black cocker mix and my aunt named her Chelsea.

She was sick and took a couple of months and countless vet visits to make her well but she was worth the effort. We had cats at the time and weren't sure how they would react to the newest family member. Chelsea fit right in with them. She was our first dog and for fifteen years she blessed us with her sweet, gentle loving presence. We lost her after a brief but devastating illness last August and the pain hasn't faded at all.

Because of her we have adopted more dogs and now have our rescued pug.
Reg, Massachusetts, United States

July 4, 2012
I wrote this story about my rescue dog. His shelter name is Calvin although we call him "Cal-boy!" He was going to be euthanized by the shelter in NYC (we live by West Point) in NY. Our local rescue worker drove all night to get him before he was put to sleep. He came to live with us shortly thereafter. We love him dearly and he is a happy & healthy little guy.
michele starkey, New York, United States

July 4, 2012
Buster arrived one evening after he spied a bunch of school age boys playing ball in the cul de sac. A big yellow dog, much like Bella, he sauntered down the street and joined the game, catching tennis balls in his mouth and returning them to whomever threw or batted them. With retrieving skills like that, we figured he had wandered out of a nearby yard and would be missed. We put him in the backyard for safekeeping and posted signs and ran ads in the paper. No one claimed him. Tossed out, I thought. Buster was with us for 13 years. He loved his life surrounded by kids who camped out in the backyard with him, used him as a pillow while watching tv or playing video games, sleeping among them during a slumber party,and, of course, playing endless hours of fetch. After he passed away, someone said he was lucky to have found us, but we know we were the lucky ones.
Paula , Texas, United States

June 27, 2012
Last weekend, we went to 'catsanonymous', a shelter about an hour north west of Toronto. We were able to meet many cats, and were amazed at the dedication of the people who run this all-volunteer shelter. All cats are happily living in a variety of rooms, depending on their temperament. We left, having adopted a beautiful young female, Tamara, to be renamed Joy,in honour of Bella. Congratulations to all those who care for animals who, by no choice of their own, have not had a good start to their lives.
Joy, Ontario, Canada

June 22, 2012
We got Karmen through Craigs. She was rescued from a shelter in Washington State. We have her now and love her very much. She is a great addition to our family. In memory of Bella and Tarra and the inspirational bond they held.
Pamela Kaczynski, Pennsylvania, United States

June 19, 2012
The day I had to put my nineteen-year-old cat Poo down, I went directly to the local pet shop and headed over to the walk-in cages containing the cats they sponsored for the local humane society. I love long-haired, Maine Coon-style cats and they are often scarce but lo-and-behold, there was one looking right at me. Her name was showing as Cindy and she had been picked up as a stray seven months before. The pet shop folks said that the humane society had just told them that they wanted to move her to another store to see if that would encourage an adoption. When I asked about her personality, I was told that "no one liked her."

I walked into the cage and began talking to her. She was up on a carpet-covered shelf at about chest level. I moved my hand to rest it on the edge of the shelf, still talking, and she rested her paw right on top of it. That was it. I adopted her on the spot.

Renamed Cinnamon because of her beautiful coloring, she didn't come without challenges. She periodically engages in a bit of lunge and attack on my leg as I walk by and she won't allow another cat (or kitten) into the house but I chalk it up to her life in the pet shop all those months not being able to get away from anyone attempting to play with her. She is shy by nature but has slowly come out of her shell. She has learned to play and purr and talk, none of which she did for the first year. She was about two years old when I took her home and is over six now and has become my dear companion.

I won't let her out as I'm afraid it will encourage her (probably) feral past but I built her a catio off my home office and she has lots of room to roam in the house as well as a view of the koi pond from her favorite window. She sleeps at my feet at night and welcomes me home from work to cuddle on the sofa at the end of the day and I wouldn't exchange her for the world.
Lane, California, United States

June 19, 2012
We have rescued several dogs since we moved to Tennesse in 1978. The 3 in this picture are Pete (1990), Lucy (1993) and Alby (2001). We got Pete in Hardeman County, Lucy in Perry County (she was our dumpster-dog rescued starving and covered with ticks living under a dumpster)and Alby adopted us here at our home in Hardeman County. We only have Alby left and she is 11 - all our dogs have lived to 14, so we hope to have her for a while yet. They have all been special and given us much more than we could ever give them. Now that we are retired we hope to travel some and then start rescuing again. Thank you for all the great work you do every day and thank you Bella for being such a soulful hero!!
Debbie Blankenship, Tennessee, United States

June 16, 2012
My husband and I took in a stray dog in early 2007. She was in bad shape but immediately, our hearts were hers. We named her Deeohgee. We were in love with her for 3 wonderful months, but sadly, she didn't make it as the distemper she had contracted before we found her had taken over. The same day we had to put her down, we went right to the Las Vegas humane society as we knew we couldn't go back home without a dog. Our hearts were broken. That's where we found our Franky. She was 1 year old and had been there for over 2 months. Two weeks before we found her, several hundred dogs had to be put down at that shelter as there was severe kennel cough spreading through, and they could not contain it. At that time when all of the dogs were supposed to be put down, the employees hid Franky because they knew she was healthy, and she was a staff favorite.

We felt that somehow the stars had aligned and we were meant to find her. Being a full-grown puppy with little prior discipline, she was a crazy pooch. We went through several couches, cushions, shoes, you name it. She is now the best dog you could ask for, and we could not imagine our lives without her. We always say that Deeohgee was her angel.
Laura Ochoa, Washington, United States

June 15, 2012
She was only four months old the first time I saw her. Attracted to the boundless energy of her sister, I was surprised when a warm little body tucked itself up behind my legs. Leaning down, I caught a glimpse of an amber eye and little pink nose before she hid her face behind my knee.

The two sisters' rescue was a sad story of pain and fear, a short chain in the backyard and months before the end of an Alaskan winter. Naturally shy, the beatings were to toughen her up and she remained fearful the rest of her life.

Baseball caps, canes or sticks, boots and loud noises sent her under the bed or trembling behind the shower curtain.

So, that was how I was picked and she spent every evening tucked up beside me in the recliner, the only way she could sleep without thrashing. After four months, she began to lift her head, the tail uncurled from her belly and, though still very shy, she blossomed in obedience and agility classes.

After seven years together, many travels, and many happy afternoons watching her little white feet dancing around the backyard with her big blue ball, her heart gave out. She rests beneath a white rose garden where I talk to her every morning. She says she is not afraid any more.

This was Hope & Glory MacGregor. She was my Pit Bull and I loved her.
Carolyn E. Gregory, Florida, United States

June 15, 2012
Poor "Hannah Jo" who is 17 was hit by a car and left in the road on April 28th with injuries including a broken leg. Hannah Jo was sort of the "community" friend supposedly owned by a local farmer who never gave her the proper care. Even tho Hannah Jo has had a rough life, it is amazing that she is still the sweetest, gentlest girl, as she has led a lonely, wandering life, fending for herself in the hills and hollers of our timber area. It is also a miracle that she has lasted this long. It is very sad that she has never been given the opportunity to show her true family potential, and be able to share all the love she has. After laying suffering with her broken leg for almost 2 weeks, I was able to acquire full custody of her for fostering, and I brought her into the Animal Medical Center in Macomb, Illinois. She has finally received her very first collar in her life, and is now being seen by a veterinarian for the first time in many years! She deserves her rewards of true love and life now!
Kim Sedgwick, Illinois, United States

June 12, 2012
I wanted to let my friends know that my sweet Betsy died March 28th. She was fourteen. They tell me that to write about her helps.

Betsy came into my life in 2000. She was already around three years old. She was in a very small cage at the Petco store where the rescue people were trying to adopt her out. They told me that they had her for four months and no takers, that's because she was waiting for me.

When I got her home she would follow me everywhere, even when I just went from room to room in my small place. I soon called her my velcro dog. She never tried to run out the gate or run away without a leash. Little did I know how lucky I was that she stayed so close and to not have to worry every time the door got opened.

When I first got her I was still doing massage work and she would patiently wait for me in the car and when she saw me she would light up and be so happy. Later when I started up the gift shop at Trancas I never had to worry about her leaving the porch. She was the store dog and everyone that came in loved her and petted her. One of my favorite things to do (not hers) was to brush her hair out at the store when there wasn't any thing to do. Her favorite thing to do was to be on my lap or sleep next to me on the bed. She also loved to ride in the car and even went to Utah with me one time.

As she got older she could not jump up into the car or up on the bed so I got her a Temper-pedic dog bed next to me and some walk up steps to get into the car. These last several years we walked every morning at Westward Beach parking lot along the beach. She loved all the other dogs and everyone loved to pet her. I could always count on her love and companionship. She was my baby and my heart is very broken.
Carol Bretonne, California, United States

June 8, 2012
This is Sadie. I adopted her from the Scott County Humane Society in 2008. She was 4 years old and had been accused of killing 25 chickens in one day! She must have been framed, because I have 9 hens and she is jsut fine with them. She is a therapy dog. She visits area residential care facilities every other week and brings lots of smiles and offers lots of kisses and love to many friends.
Beth, Indiana, United States

June 5, 2012
Our Dixie. Found me one day when she was running across a busy road called Dixie Highway in Florida. I saw her in my rear view mirror and told myself, "no don't turn around you can't have a dog and she probably lives around here." Well, when I got home that day Dixie was with me. We posted flyers and put an ad in the paper but no one contacted us. As the days went by we were glad they didn't.

She loved the beach and the woods and enjoyed both in Florida and later in Indiana.

Dixie lost her eyesight the last 1 1/2 years of her life but she did't let that stop her from loving the wind blowing through her fur and the smells in the air and just being outside. We, in a sense, became her seeing eye people and wouldn't have it any other way.

We are very grateful Dixie was with us for 15 years and we will always remember her loving, gentle nature and her spirit for adventure.

Rest in peace Bella. Your spirit lives on in our hearts.

Lisa McDace, Indiana, United States

June 5, 2012
We first met our sweet baby girl, Raven, at our local Humane Society where we were volunteers. Raven was brought in by a woman who had been caring for her after she was left abandoned on their desolate country road.
From the beginning, Raven was a sweet & gentle soul. She settled into her shelter surroundings fairly easily & quickly became a favorite of the staff & volunteers alike. She was a frequent guest at numerous local adoption events; but the home she so desired & deserved eluded her.
After weeks of waiting patiently for the family who never came, Raven received her big break. She was chosen for a rescue transport in which she would surely find her "fur"ever home; leaving behind the worry of her unknown fate at the shelter.
My family was asked to foster Raven until her departure 4 days later. This was our first foster experience & we were eager to introduce her to our current pack at home. Wouldn't you know, she fit perfectly with each of our boys! All of whom exhibit very different personalities. They adored this new little girl who had entered their lives; as did we.
After only 72 hours, we couldn't possibly imagine our lives without her. We discussed & pondered & decided to petition our rescue coordinator to make her a permanent part of our pack. She agreed & we couldn't be happier! Raven's been with us since March 2012 & life is grand!
Rescued pets bring about a new perspective to our lives. They teach us that every day is a blessing when you've lived on the streets without anything, water, shelter, safety, love. Bella found these things at the most unlikely place - The Hohenwald Elephant Sanctuary & with Tarra - her faithful companion.
Thank you for bringing their story to life & for sharing each & every heartwrenching detail of the unconditional love they shared. Theirs is a truly inspiring story! RIP sweet Bella.
God Bless you all!
Kelley Duggins, Indiana, United States

June 5, 2012
My Maggie was found in Alloway, NJ by my cousin obviously dumped at my cousin's horse farm. She Facebooked a picture of this stray and since I live in Delaware I went over and picked her up. Maggie's collar was too tight, she was filthy and very thin. First night at home, a disaster, diarrhea all over my carpets, she was desperately sick but was house trained. Went to vet immediately, got her situated but she wasn't spayed... :( Not good, long story short, comes into heat but it doesn't stop... so emergency surgery and over night vet stay. So $2500.00 later we are a happy family. LOL-- I look at things thinking it could always be worse, we may not have found each other and she wouldn't have received the care she needed or she could have come to me already pregnant?
Tracy Tilton, Delaware, United States

June 5, 2012
Miss Lily Anne is a mixed-breed rescue dog. She is also a special needs dog: she was born with damage to her cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls movement, so her legs twitch all the time. She runs, jumps, and plays like any other dog, oblivious to her problem. Lily is the happiest, silliest, and most loving dog!
Delphia Janiszeski, Arizona, United States

June 4, 2012
This is my sweet blond boy, Nugget, gone almost 2 years now. He was a college puppy being kept in a small cage so a relative befriended his owner and convinced her to let someone else give him a better life. One look in his chocolate brown eyes and touch of the softest fur ever and we knew he was ours. He quickly became a cherished member of the family and will always be dearly loved and missed. Just like Bella!
Laney Starke, Pennsylvania, United States

June 4, 2012
On Saturday June 2nd my husband and I stopped by the local Animal Shelter's Adoption Fest. We were just looking, our dog Emma is a rescue dog and is 11 years old. We thought, well looking can't hurt. We found a beauty! Shadow is a 7 year old black lab mix. Shadow was rescued from an abusive home and she also had heartworms. She was ready for adoption and we couldn't resist. She now has a loving forever home!! When I got my Trunklines this morning I was happy to see in some small way I could honor Bella & Tarra!! Thank you for all the love & support you give the "girls".
Carol Roy, Michigan, United States

June 3, 2012
I adopted a kitty named Buddie. He was on his own for three months before the police picked him up consequently he bites and draws blood at the same has been quite a while since he has bitten me, so maybe things are going in the right direction now.
Nancy L. Ebanks, Minnesota, United States

June 3, 2012
My dog, Fancy, showed up at my house 6 years ago. I live on a mountain in Tennessee and someone just dropped her off to fend for herself. The great part about it was that she showed up just when I needed her. I had lost my job and hadn't been able to find another one. I lived by myself and was depressed. She showed up at the house and I couldn't resist her big, brown, sad eyes. She was matted and was full of fleas and ticks. She patiently endured hours of brushing and pulling ticks off of her and never snapped or anything. I had no idea what to name her until I had a dream one night that I was going to take her for a ride in my car and I said "Come on Fancy, let's go." That has been her name ever since. She is an awesome dog and loves everyone she meets. She thinks everyone is there to pet her. My favorite thing about her is, when I come home from work, she meets me at my car, and as soon as I open the car door, she puts her head on my chest and whines. The more I ask her if she missed me, the louder she whines. There is nothing greater than coming home from a long day at work, or just having a bad day, and being welcomed and loved by my "Fancy Pants" who is so excited to see me, and I am just as excited to see her. How awesome this world would be if we could all love in the same way our pets do!
Dawn Alter, Tennessee, United States

June 3, 2012
A wonderful friend walked into my life last year. He was a mess when he came to my house, ears fly-bitten, underweight and sad. He looked like he wanted to lay down and die, I was not having that so I gave him some cat food (from the cat that adopted me) and water to hold him over. For several days we both were leery of each other, I'd stick a finger or toe out the door thinking if he is gonna bite me it would only be a digit. He did not bite me and after several days he decided to let me pet him, from then on we have been the best of friends here in the City of Detroit. Later that year he alerted me to several men trying to break into the neighbors house and would not let them get away. Now this retired Detroit Police Officer and former Marine has a friend till the end. I love my Bud-Dog, the photo is the first time the two of them (Spike cat and Bud-Dog) were actually together.

Daniel Solano, Michigan, United States

June 3, 2012
I loved Bella & Tarra's story and I think the Sanctuary is a wonderful place. There is nothing like it here in Europe (UK) at the moment but there are plans to create something like it - it is desperately needed. Our rescue dog is Buster. We didn't get him from a traditional rescue centre though. Our daughter's neighbour had him as a small puppy and really wasn't looking after him very well at all (we had no idea at the time just how badly he was being treated). On a particularly wet day Buster had been left outside again all day, our daughter Caroline knocked on the neighbours door and asked them if they wanted their dog. Their reply was "not really, we can't handle him, we're going to take him out and leave him somewhere". Needless to say she said she'd take him to us. Buster was 7 months old and very ill.

It took two years to get him healthy. He was very underweight, full of worms and fleas. It was obvious from his behaviour that he had been beaten with something like a hairbrush as he was terrified of anything that looked like one. He's never been outside or to see a vet. He has chronic health problems due to the neglect he suffered as a puppy. We later found out that when he was let indoors he was locked in an under-stairs cupboard - this was done from 12 weeks old when he started to teeth and 'get on their nerves'.

Buster is now 7 years old and a very happy, friendly dog. His health problems are managed through diet and herbal medicine (he doesn't cope well with orthodox drugs). He loves people and other animals and enjoys playing with our other two dogs Spike and Benji. He is a wonderful dog and has a ninja like ability to snuggle into your arms and get you stroking him without realising that you are doing so! The only reminders of his previous life are the doggy nightmares he occasionally gets and a good cuddle usually fixes those. We love him and can't imagine life without him.
Ann Rowe, Alabama, United Kingdom

June 2, 2012
My mom already shared our Missie's story (see below), but I'd like to add some more. One of the most important lessons I learned from our sweet, patient pup was to slow down and enjoy the moment. Never in my life had I seen a dog that walked as slow as Missie did. She was definitely capable of moving fast, as any sight of a cat or squirrel and she was gone (boy could she run!), but her preferred speed was a saunter. Missie liked to take her time and take everything in on her much loved walks.

Given the nickname 'Nosy Rosy' from a neighbour down the street, Missie definitely fit that description. On our walks, if anyone walked or drove by us, she had to get a good look at them. Oftentimes she would stop walking, or even sit down, and just watch the passersby until they were out of sight. It was as if she thought everyone wanted to come over and say hi to her, so she didn't want to leave until they had the opportunity to do so. She definitely liked to be the centre of attention!

She was sure a unique girl and the best dog a girl could ask for. A few weeks after she left us to go to Rainbow Bridge, I got a portrait of her tattooed on my back as a tribute. She will always hold a special place in my heart and just like she did when she was alive, she will forever have my back.

M, British Columbia, Canada

June 2, 2012
LOVED the Remembering Bella Day today! Thank you so much for such an inspiring day! Adoptions - we've got over 15 cats and 4 dogs who've been adopted. Some simply found us and we kept them and a couple we got from the Bowling Green/Warren Co Humane in KY. Here's a picture of just some of the cats who decided to adopt us.
Colleen, Tennessee, United States

June 2, 2012
This is Nora and Leo, both are rescue dogs who had been abused and/or neglected. I recently adopted Nora and she is very scared of me but is making progress. She was a puppy mill breeder so probably had no contact with humans. I have learned so much from them! I have learned to be patient and let them come around when they are ready, that I can't force them to trust me. Adopting them has caused me to face my own issues about trust, abandonment and anger. I am working on turning my anger into compassion towards the people who hurt them. Those people must be in a lot of pain themselves to do what they did. Adopting rescue animals will teach you so much about love and the animals really end up loving you back on a deeper level.
Christine , Colorado, United States

June 2, 2012
This is Coby, and he came with a plethora of problems. His first owner had been in a terrible car accident and he could no longer afford to care for Coby. We later found him on petfinder and drove four hours to Yarmouth to pick him up. He was terribly shy, thin, and battered when we got there. His fur was singed and burnt and he had many scars on his neck and face. We later learned that his next owner had beaten him and possibly used him as a bait dog. He was sealed inside a dog house with a board nailing him in until the SPCA came and got him. Unfortunately the only thing he had to eat was one very hard dog toy which later cost us to have removed from his stomach after we noticed he was vomiting blood.

Three years ago he walked into our home a disaster, now he is loved and fed to healthy weight again. Coby doesn't look back on his past and neither do we.
Coby, Nova Scotia, Canada

June 2, 2012
A good friend had lost her pup of 20 years....when she was ready I accompanied her to various shelters as she wanted to adopt again. She found her Raven.....and I found my Missie. Missie was in a no kill dog pound. She'd been found as a stray with a puppy at her side, by a vet tech. Lisa took them to her work and took care of her and her son ...then spayed her and took her to the shelter, with the guarantee she would be safe there. I think she was waiting for us as she was there for 6 months...her pup found a home pretty quickly. It took a month for her to realize that the males in our house were her friends and loved her...would never, ever hurt her. She was very nervous and you could see by some of her reactions that she'd been mistreated in her former life. She was about 3 or 4 at that time. We were blessed with this precious girl for just under 13 years. We knew age was creeping up on her as well as an inoperable growth on her liver. She chose her time and passed away in my arms on a beautiful, sunny day on August 1, 2011, with a sweet smile on her gorgeous face. The heart still hurts and we still miss her so very much. On a side note.....her pup, a son named Sebastien, lives within 5 minutes of us! We bumped into him with his 'dad' on one of our walks...'dad' and I compared notes and there is no doubt they are family. He was adopted about 4 months before Missie....and does he ever look like his momma!

Thinking of Bella and her special friendship with Tarra today....and I am hopeful that today with see some special friends finding new homes not only from High Forest Humane, but other shelters all over world.
SC, British Columbia, Canada

June 2, 2012
Ellie Mae, a 4 pound Chiquaqua rescue, found us at PetSmart in Little Rock 6 years ago. She put her big brown eyes on me and I couldn't not go over to say hello, then hold her, then fill out adoption paperwork. She had been rehabbed 2 times by the same loving volunteer with Helping Paws, the second time requiring surgery for infected bite wounds. My husband was very skeptical - OK, he really didn't want to adopt her at all and now he is head over heals in love with her. :) He could write a book of how to baby talk to your dog! He secretly needed a new furry friend after losing his lap buddy, rescue cat of 16 years, Simon. It took a good 1 1/2 years for Ellie to totally trust Jim. Her first 2 owners were men and Xrays reveal broken ribs from being kicked. Now Jim and Ellie share daily bananas, Cheerios, ice cream, etc. Ellie Mae has become our alarm clock, home alarm system, greeter, dishwasher, leg and hand washer, and GPS system all in one. We swear that 3 pounds of her 4 pound body is heart because of all of the love she provides. She has taught us to be open in our hearts and minds to taking on a rescue pet, even unplanned.
Jim and Jan Robbins, Arkansas, United States

June 2, 2012
I adopted my precious Emily over 40 years ago. She was mostly a Border Collie, not unlike Bella in her looks. Emily and I were soul mates, we camped cross country together. We were so joined at the hip. When she was diagnosed with canine cushings disease when she was 13, my vet told me there was no hope and I should let her go.

At exact time of her death, I came into my living room, she was lying in front of the sofa, I said "Emily, move over, I have to sit down." And then she disappeared.

Emily was a trooper. The photo is when she was around nine months old.
Janice Mahon, Maryland, United States

June 2, 2012
I found Chance in Wilderness Battlefield with a broken leg.
Animal control said they would have to put her down, so instead I managed to get her in my car and brought her home. She was skin and bones and covered with ticks so spent the night in a large crate in my backyard. The vet saw her next morning and operated on her a few days later after she had gained some strength. He said she had probably been hit by a car 3-4 weeks before I found her.

She showed amazing patience and courage throughout her recovery and now often occupies my chair in the living room.

Elizabeth Erb, Virginia, United States

June 2, 2012
20 years ago we spotted this sweet puppy at the Ottawa SPCA. She was border collie cross Bernese mountain dog, and was only about 12 weeks old. It was love at first sight. While filling out all the paper, we figured she looked like a Shasta! So that was her name! What a wonderful companion and family member she became.
She loved everyone, and doing everything. She made the most unique snow angels I have ever seen! She lived for 8 years, and she is dearly missed.
Robyn MacDonald, Alberta, Canada

June 2, 2012
At the time we adopted Tasha, our yellow (blond, as well like to describe her) lab, our 1st rescue, Sullivan, was about 8 years old. We needed to go to Michael's in Bellevue for some craft suppplies but decided to see the Proverbs 12:10 rescues at PetCo before shopping. We fell in love with this little yellow lab puppy, with a Harry Potter scar on her forehead. I said no to start, as did my husband (who we called), but our daughter wore me down. We brought this little bundle of joy home, and she's been the "princess" and "in charge" ever since. After Sullivan passed away of lymphoma, we adopted Parker also from Proverbs 12:10. He is our little boy...full of life...wanting to help with everything we do. He especially likes to help with laundry. They love it each so much. We love them so much.
Ann, Tim and Kelly Meehan, Tennessee, United States

June 2, 2012
This is MaisyLou. She was part of a group of strays from Ohio that were going to be put down. All were adopted through and came up to Massachusetts after traveling all night in crates in a van. Described in her bio as "standoffish", she proved the description correct. When all of the dogs arrived, they all excitedly ran out of their crates into the arms of their new owners. Except MaisyLou, who hid in the back of her crate trembling. It took years of patience to make her a more well adjusted dog. Walks taken where she was afraid of parking meters, fluttering flags and people. She has never come when called, but will return over and over again if you throw a tennis ball, flying through the air gracefully to catch it in flight. At the age of 8, she is still somewhat neurotic, but I love her dearly and wouldn't give her up for the world.
Liisa Budge-Johnson, Massachusetts, United States

June 2, 2012
We have just brought our fourth Cocker Spaniel rescue to join our family. Sweet Pea is a 3 yr old rescue from Tennessee, who is now living with us in California. He was wandering the streets of Nashville less than 4 months ago when someone picked him up...he had been attacked by a larger dog & lost his eye as a result...not a handicap for him...despite this he still loves other dogs, likes to play & is very friendly with people. He has now healed and is adapting to having only one eye. Camp Cocker, is the rescue group in San Luis Obispo, California, who not only flew Sweet Pea from Tennessee to California, but paid for all his surgeries & medical bills. He is adjusting to life with our other 3 doggies, my husband and I...and we have all fallen in love with him. He's a little gentle soul who needed to belong in a loving, forever home. Sweet Pea you've come a long way!! And Bella, we will never forget you!!
Christa Morones, California, United States

June 1, 2012
I adopted my Belle from American B&T coonhound Rescue. She was caravaned up to me from southern IL by volunteers. She is the sweetest girl, about 4 yrs old. She came to me on the low side of HW positive for which she is on year-round HW. Even though I found out about the positive test the night before she was coming, I couldn't let her down. She was found wandering down a highway so none of her past history is known. I do know she hates loud noises. She is my little sweetie pie and sleeps with me and the 3 cats(rescues) and her Dobie buddy. She made herself at home right away. So happy I have her. The pic is her and I meeting for the 1st time after her long trip.
Terry W, Wisconsin, United States

June 1, 2012
This is Lacie. Left at the back door of HSYC, Fort Mill, SC, along with her 8 siblings in a cardboard box. She was the runt and hydrocephelus. I took her home to foster through a bad URI. It was a long journey and when the time came to put her up for adoption, she was already a part of our family. She is just over a year old now and knows at least 12 commands and tricks!
Vicky Ann Farr, South Carolina, United States

June 1, 2012
His name is Bam Bam, I wasn't supposed to adopt him, since I already had 2 dogs. But even though I volunteered at a local shelter, I knew I couldn't keep every foster dog. They had to go to a permanent home. Cause there was more dogs waiting for me to foster. I took him home from a local shelter, cause the people who owned him, completely cut his tail of, so short there was no skin to sew together. Every time the "knob" healed it broke bake open. I kept him til it finally healed (a year later). By then he was part of the family, and Bam Bam had found his forever home with us.
Marisa Long, Tennessee, United States

June 1, 2012
I didn't plan to adopt a dog -- I went to the shelter in Kennebunk, Maine, to look at a chocolate lab for my friend. But in among all those other dogs, my eyes met Ben's, and I was a goner! He was a puppy mill rescue who had endured long term confinement, but his sweeet disposition never suffered. Over the past 3 years Ben has taught me so much about devotion, patience, acceptance, and unconditional love. I'm convinced that Ben was a gift from God - and that HE rescued ME!
Wendy Reid, Massachusetts, United States

June 1, 2012
One day, a skin-and-bones cat pushed his way through a small hole in my kitchen screen door to try and get to my other cat's food (much to her horror!) I fed him for days out on the porch and tried to find his owner but no one claimed him and no one wanted him. Well, he lobbied HARD for the position of "second cat" and one cold night I opened the door, looked down at him in his cold bed on the porch, and just said "Come on in the house." He wasted no time getting inside. My Dad wanted me to call him Timothy - I wanted to call him Ming. T'Mingles it is! and Timmy Ming has been just the BEST CAT EVER since my first cat died! I'm so lucky he chose MY house to break into.
Dhyan Atkinson, Colorado, United States

June 1, 2012
In October 2006, my husband and I adopted Fergus from the local Humane Society/SPCA. He was abandoned and wandering the streets when rescued. Since he is a Shih Tzu, he was desperately in need of a hair cut and grooming. After he was cleaned up, the most adorable little dog I've ever seen emerged. My husband has since died and he's been my saving grace. He's wonderful company and likes all other people and every dog in the neighborhood. He's truly my treasure.
Karlene Donato, California, United States

June 1, 2012
I have always had a house full of dogs, so I was quite surprised to have this lovely feline family living under our deck.
After working with our local humane society and feline rescue, most of our guests found new homes; however, three of the cats decided to stay. They are now a welcome addition to our home. Lucky us!
Peggy Casselman, California, United States

June 1, 2012
Our Bella found her own home by adopting us. My wife runs 4:30 every morning. Bella followed her home in the dark. My wife getting to the house decided to bring her in and check for ID. All she had was a cat collar with a bell on it. We looked for signs and posted our own. We even called local Vets and the police. After no response the little bell around her neck became her name and we kept her. Our other dog was rescued by my daughter while in school in Arizona. My son adopted a dog while at school in Albany. His dog Mia was found in a carton taped shut. She as a puppy was left to die. We now have all 3 in our home.
Cary Bagell, New York, United States

June 1, 2012
This is Key Goldfinger. She lived to be 24 years of age. My friends found her in the gutter at a gas station. She was barely 3 weeks old and half the size of my hand. Key gave me unconditional love sitting patiently by me during many difficult times. She enjoyed chewing on fresh grass and cat nip, she loved being chased and running around, sometimes in that funny Halloween cat pose. She liked bizzie balls, strings and blue rubber bands from stalks of broccoli. We loved to play together and we had our own banter of vocalizations, physical gestures and a spiritual closeness. Key spent half of my life with me, as I am 47. She lived a wonderful long life. When she passed I held a freshly picked catnip bouquet between us and I looked her in the eyes reminding her how beautiful and strong she was and how much I loved her forever. I'm not ready to get a new pet yet 24 years is many good memories. Finding The Elephant Sanctuary makes me think of Key and I enjoy helping them when I can. Thank you for ALL you Guys and Gals do for these wonderful creatures of the Earth !!! Much Aloha PJ :-)
Pgoldfinger, California, United States

June 1, 2012
I am a Rescue Mom of 4 now. Trevor is my 3rd Sheltie and he happens to be the most mischievious and fresh one of the bunch. One of my Mom/Daughter Duo had passed away and I thought I wanted another Sheltie. Well Trevor came my way at one year old and he had not been taught manners (5 yrs later, I still try!) He was abused and left in a cage way too small for his growing body. I took one look at him on the Sheltie Rescue and I was in love with a Capital L. As the years go by, he is still hard to manage and has a mean streak (Shelties never forget!) a mile long BUT I love him near and dear, and would never send him any where but here.
Trevor has a prance that makes you laugh and he can be very loving on HIS terms and he barks ALOT. I have learned so much from each Rescue I have but Trevor is the most difficult to read. He has sooo much love and is loved beyond words. He has a sparkle in his eye that just makes you laugh, cry and want to spank him all at the same time. He is a treasure to me and my family. I am ever grateful that he came home with me, to be part of the Bush Zoo!
God does work in mysterious ways, and for that I am Thankful. And Bella must have been the apple of the Girls Eyes! I can see why. God Bless All!
Robin Lynne Bush, Colorado, United States

May 31, 2012
It was 12 yrs ago this July. The kids and I were driving to my mother in law's house. Right over the last hill was what looked like a baby skunk, a truck in front of us almost hit the poor thing. When I got up on it I realized it was a tiny black puppy with chewing gum stuck to him. We took him to my husband's work and he said to call the Maury Co Animal Shelter. I did but I was told that they were packed to the limit. My husband decided we would find the puppy a home. First night in our home the lil runt pup slept in bed with us. By the next morning the puppy had a new ownermy husband. He named him Teddy Bear. Teddy followed him all over our property never leaving my husband's side. My husband passed away in 2003 and since then Teddy has been a great guard dog. It was almost like he knew when my husband died he had to step up and guard the family. He smiles and loves children. Teddy has been a blessing to us for all this time. He is like one of my children. Since Teddy we have added 3 other dogs to the family. I am thankful that God put us there at the right time to save Teddy.
Sheri Hardison, Tennessee, United States

May 30, 2012
I lost the last dog that I thought that I would ever own. Her name was Nellie and she was Husky Retriever mix that I adopted from the Anchorage Animal Shelter in Alaska. she was a really great dog and traveled all the way from Alaska to Virginia when retired from the military. I went about year with not having a dog and a friend of mine who was working at the The Humane Society of Montgomery County in
Christiansburg, VA. called me and told there was dog that I needed to come down and take a look at. I looked the dog up on the web page and she really piked my interest. So I made the 200 mile trip to go and meet her and that was after working all night at my job. I met her and we hit it off right off the bat. She is a true joy to have around, we go everywhere together. Her name is Daisy Mae and is a English Setter. I love taking her out in fields on my cousins farm to watch the fields for birds. I am not a bird hunter so the birds are safe, it is fun to watch her work them and point them out. She loves to camp and the picture of her is on the south fork of Shenandoah River near Front Royal Va. We do quite a bit of hiking and hanging out together. Just a really great dog. It was the best thing that I have done making the 400 mile round trip to get Daisy Mae this is the third shelter dog that I have owned and would consider any other dog the does not come from a shelter.
David Castle, Virginia, United States

May 29, 2012
On April 21st, 2011, we lost our beloved Taylor Joseph to cancer. There was no warning; he was never sick. We had no chance to cure him. By the time he did get sick, it was too late to save him. The cancer had spread too far. As I held him in my arms, he looked up at me with his sad, knowing eyes, kissed me twice, and then he went to Heaven. His daddy, grandma, and I sank into the deepest, darkest hole imaginable. The sudden loss of our sweet boy seemed too much to bear. Each day the emptiness of life without him surrounded us.

We knew we wanted to eventually get another little one, so I began my internet search of rescues, breeders, adoption websites, figuring that someday our new little soul would be brought to us, hopefully at least by Christmas. But a miracle happened just one short week after beginning my search: On Friday, May 6th, I entered my usual search criteria and a miracle happened. There, on my computer screen, was Finnigan. His beautiful face with kind, smiling eyes, looked out at me and the sun returned to my world. As I phoned Last Chance Ranch, I prayed and prayed that they would still have him. I knew I couldn't stand losing him. Finnigan was still at LCR, waiting for us.....his new mommy and daddy. On Saturday, May 7th, we held our little boy for the first time and re-christened him Tobie. He slept peacefully in my lap the entire way home. The love that we lost when Taylor died returned to us through our blessed Tobie.

Please give these beautiful souls a new chance at life by adopting a rescue animal. They have so much need and so much love in them to give you. I promise you - it will be like adopting a little piece of Heaven!
Joan Spievak, Connecticut, United States

May 27, 2012
Meet Coco! I hadn't had a dog in 14 years because I was unable to have one where I lived. My boyfriend had seen a show on the Belgian Malinois and became fascinated by their aptitude as a working military and police dog. I found a young Malinois on New Orleans Animal Welfare Society's website and met Tammy and Freba - dog rescuers extraordinaire. Coco was very special to them; we were the third potential home they had interviewed. Coco had been abandoned, tied up in the backyard of someone who had gone to rehab and left her. She had no food or water for who knows how long and they found her on a hot May day. When I met Coco, I have to admit I was a little intimidated. She's a large, strong-willed dog. She sat next to me on the couch and her nose was probably three inches from my cheek. Later I would realize Coco has no concept of personal space. She always wants to be RIGHT next to or on top of you =)She's a love bug. When I first brought Coco home, I adored her but was uncertain if I would be able to keep her. She has a high prey drive and was obsessively jumping on my parrot's cage. She is also pure muscle and very obstinate. I was overwhelmed. I called Tammy and Freba in a panic and they drove an hour to my house and worked with me and Coco. They counseled me and gave me the courage not to give up on Coco. I am so thankful for their support. Recently my parrot jumped off of her cage and landed on top of Coco's back, and she walked away to the other side of the room! We were so proud. She is also very protective of me and makes me feel very safe. Coco is the absolute best dog I could ever have, and she has been a source of unending joy for me. I feel a rush of love every time I look at her. Coco, Tammy and Freba have taught me not to give up, and that the best things in life require extra effort and perseverance. And that you'll always be rewarded tenfold in the end.
Christina Cooper, Tennessee, United States

May 26, 2012
Super Bowl Sunday 2011. My husband supposedly went out to get snacks and came home with a dog perched on his back seat. He picked her up near a ramp leading to a busy expressway because he did not want her to get hit by cars. She had no tag nor microchip. We did not find her owner either. After a week, we decided to keep her instead of taking her to the shelter. That was when we named her Sage, because she smelled like sage (the herb) all over her fur when hubby found her. She is an older lady (9-y-o) with a sweet personality. She is a border collie mix that is afraid of a rolled or tossed ball, does not know how to roll over to get a belly rub, and seldom barks at all! In all this time we have had her, she barked only a handful of times. I often wonder why that is. Sage's quietness has made her a nice addition of the family. Our two cats seem to feel the same way and often sit near her because she is so laid back.
Ivy, Arizona, United States

May 25, 2012
Rescuing a neglected, helpless animal is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have. To watch that animal open up and bond so strongly with its rescuer is even better. Meet my Shih Tzu, Lucy...neglected, abandoned, left to survive on her own. I have battled in court to ensure her safety and security, she is now with me for the rest of her life. She is worth every trial and tribulation, lawyer fees and protecting her from people trying to claim they "lost" her, even though it wasn't the same dog. It all started 7 months ago, and finally it's done. Go the extra mile for a rescue, you won't be sorry.
Angela Sherrill, Tennessee, United States

May 25, 2012
In late 2010 I watched the movie "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" one time too many. I fell in love with the Akita Hachi and the movie (filmed in Rhode Island) based on the true story of the most famous dog from Japan in the 1920s-30s and how Hachiko was so very devoted and loyal to his master even after his master passed away. He was so well known and famous that there was a bronze statue placed in front of the train station in Japan (1930s) in remembrance of Hachiko. I wanted so much to have a Hachi of my own so I looked on for an Akita that needed rescuing and a home. I found an Akita mix who was picked up as a stray on the streets of St. George, Utah and named Zeke by the kill shelter. With the cooperation of a local rescue in St. George, they got him out of the shelter and put him on a non-stop flight from Las Vegas, NV to Newark, NJ on December 7, 2010. Of course upon arrival his name was immediately changed to Hachi. I have never regretted saving my Hachi's life as his devotion to me is unsurpassed. If you have not yet seen this movie it is a must for your bucket list. On May 19th of this year, there was a second bronze statue dedicated to the memory of Hachiko and this time placed in front of the train depot in Woonsocket, Rhode Island where the movie was filmed. I attended that ceremony with my Hachi. He was an overnight sensation there. Everyone there fell in love with him. I have attached a photo of my Hachi cooling off in the shade at the Woonsocket train depot.
Michael Sultana, New Jersey, United States

May 25, 2012
I found Iris among three other puppies in the yard of an elderly neighbor. He had no idea his dog who was chained to her doghouse had even had puppies. I kept watch on the puppies and mother dog, made sure they were fed and kept warm. Iris was the runt of the litter and was constantly by herself and not being fed. She was only 4 weeks old when I brought her home with me one night to begin feeding her. A trip to the vet the next day revealed she was blind and the vet suspected that's why the mother dog had stopped feeding her. The vet warned me not to get to attached because she was tiny, weak and sick, but I didn't give up. At about 8 weeks, Iris got her sight!! I jokingly say she doesn't know she's a dog because I'm the first "mommy" she's ever seen! She has been nothing but a joy and blessing in my life. She is now a rambunctious 11-year-old with no signs of slowing down!! She loves to play and her favorite treats are apples and strawberries! Rescue today, it changes lives! :)

R.I.P. Sweet Bella, thank you for teaching us so much in just a few short years.
Teri-Neal Cudd, Tennessee, United States

May 25, 2012
Georgy is a West Highland White Terrier. His owner surrendered him at age two because he did not get along with her cats. I adopted him six years ago and he is the love of my life! He lives with my husband and I, his black Lab brother and his black Lab mix (another rescue) sister - NO CATS! He occasionally likes to help with plumbing. Please be a responsible pet owner.
Donna Harpst, Ohio, United States

May 25, 2012
I was told Tucker, on the right, was a breeder's mistake and that he'd likely be put down. It is no mistake that he has been my best friend and guardian for 12 years now. Ayla, on the left, was thrown out a car window when she was a pup. She is missing part of her tongue and a few teeth, but Tucker and I couldn't have a more loving and loyal companion.

Rest in peace sweet Bella. You were taken from us too soon.
B. J. Smith, North Carolina, United States

May 25, 2012
Tess and I have been together for 3 years. She was running around with a couple other dogs on a farm. The dogs got picked up, and when the farmer came to pay to bail his dogs out, he wouldn't pay for Tess, so she ended up assigned for adoption. She's mid-aged and been around the block a time or two at the age of 8 or 9 probably and is part Aussie Cattle dog, as I believe Bella was. While being x-rayed for surgery, BB's were found in her rearend. But she's not telling any Tail tales out of school though, so we won't ever know what happened. We've been working on bonding and are getting ever closer...she's a big sweetie!
Deb, Indiana, United States

May 25, 2012
This is Boofie. I found her living in the bushes of a park. She had cigarette burns on her face and head and an open wound on her throat, probably from a chain. It took 6 weeks of walking past, talking to her, leaving food and water for her to follow us. Another week or so to touch her. She has now been with me for 7 years. We love our lives together: hiking, beach combing and playing with other pups we meet! She has taught me much about patience. She has been a lot of work learning to trust and to be a good citizen! Would not trade a second of it.
Thinking of you, Miss Bella! Still miss you so much and look for you...your precious little face!
Auntie Deb, , United States

May 25, 2012
I've adopted two first was Moly, a lab mix who was my best buddy for nearly 14 years. She was an incredibly sweet, smart girl who gave me many happy moments over the years. When she died from cancer a little more than three years ago, it was really hard to ever imagine being able to take in another dog - the emotions were still too raw. Then about a year and a half ago, I met some wonderful people who run an organization called "Paws on Parole" here in Florida, and shortly after that I met Bogey. Paws on Parole pairs dogs from our county shelter that may be a little hard to adopt (large breeds, a little older, maybe some minor behavior issues) with inmates at our local prison, and they spend 8 weeks together working on training exercises. At the end of the program, the dogs have completed their Canine Good Citizen certificate, and they get adopted out to forever families. This is a great way for the inmates and the dogs to have a second chance. The inmates get a chance to give back to the community, and the dogs learn some basic behaviors that make it easy to transition to a home. Bogey has been part of our family for just over a year. He's a fantastic dog, and I'm so glad to have him as a new best buddy for my boys!
Tammy Davidson, Florida, United States

May 25, 2012
I had lost my first cat, Bear, to FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) almost a year before. I wanted to get another Himalayan, but at the same time, I wanted to rescue a cat that would otherwise be euthanized for being placed in a shelter. I contacted the local shelters then asked them to contact me if they should get any Himalayan, Persian or Siamese cats. I received a call late one Saturday, informing me that a Persian and Himalayan kitten had been confiscated in an SPCA raid and would I be interested? I rushed over to the shelter and when I was taken in to the cat room, I asked the girl to put them both on the floor so I could see how they interacted with me. The little Himalayan ran over to me as fast as he could, ran around me a couple of times then started to climb up my pants. He made the decision for me, so I adopted him. He was four months old, covered in ring worm but he was the cutest little thing.
I took him to my vet who confirmed the ring worm then I went to work every other day shampooing him with surgical shampoo until every bit of the ring worm had been obliterated. He also had a ravenous appetite when I brought him home. It seems that he was malnourished -- and hungry! He devoured a 3 ounce can of kitten food then obliterated a bowl of kibble! Between his appetite and his fuzzy appearance after his bath, he resembled a Tribble (from Star Trek) and the name stuck. Next month, Tribble will be 17 years old, and in October I will have been with him for 17 years. He has taught me patience, as I have had to learn to watch his actions and his moods to be sure he is okay. And he's taught me unconditional love . . . If I have to rush out in the morning, or I come home late, he is always sitting by the door with his tail wagging, waiting for me to walk through the door. When I am not feeling well, he lays next to me to give me comfort, and when he's ill I am constantly watching over him until he is well. I recently went through cancer surgery and up until the day I left for the hospital he stayed next to me every minute of the day. When I came home after surgery, he laid in bed with me when I took naps, and came to bed with me every night. He still sleeps right next to me every night. I'm not sure what I would do without him.
Frank Incremona, Pennsylvania, United States

May 25, 2012
A 6 month old stray black Lab pup hung around for several nights outside the church where my husband was rehearsing his mens' chorus, called The Sons of Orpheus. The morning after the concert, my husband drove back over there, picked up the pup, brought him home, and told me that we would keep him "just until he found a good home." That was 11 years ago, and the pup, whom we named Orpheus of course, became a well loved member of our family. Orphy survived heartworm treatment and other ailments over the years, but we lost him to cancer in April. I will never forget the joy that music-loving pooch brought to our home and our lives.
Gretchen Lindquist, Texas, United States

May 25, 2012
My daughter and I finally were able to get our first dog and we went to a puppy rescue where we fell in love with a little guy. That little guy grew up to be quite large - he was a German Shepherd/Great Pyrannes and we named him Milo. Milo was incredibly smart and protective. He spent hours looking out the window or running in the large backyard. Everyone knew his voice as it was deep and powerful and we knew the cute groans and whining that he would do when excited. I, particularly, was deeply in love with my Milo and loved taking him on walks.

As he started to mature, we noticed that he had some behaviors that didn't seem normal. He would become aggressive without provocation. He did not like other dogs and was very anxious if I tried to take him on anything but our normal walk. I tried to work with the vet and even called in a dog whisperer to see if we could help. We put him on Prozac hoping that it would calm his anxiety but his aggressiveness would continue. After he would go through an episode where he might snarl and lunge he would come out of it and look at me totally confused. It broke my heart.

One night he attacked me - after protecting myself with a chair he came out of it and started crying and trying to come up to me. I could tell he did not understand what was happening and was scared. So was I. After a long conversation with the vet, we decided that he was not safe and we put him down.

I was destroyed and still feel a tremendous loss. Milo had a mental illness which is not something you here about in dogs. His heart, his mind, his loving self were all there but were clouded by something we probably will never understand. He was only 3 years old.

I cry as I write this. I still hear him, feel him, and want to hold him. I can understand how Tara feels losing a friend. The moment Milo left this earth my backyard filled with hundreds of birds - it was as if they knew that we lost a very special guy.
Julia, Colorado, United States

May 25, 2012
BlackJack was a pound puppy that we fell in love with when we saw him, though he was hard to see at first hiding behind his water dish! He's been a mama's boy from the start, & is very devoted to my wife (or me, if it's mealtime). He is a jack russell dachshund mix, with short legs and a big heart. About two and a half years ago, he took a spill off our bed and injured his back (Intervertebral Disc Disease). He was 8 weeks on crate rest, no moving around at all, and our vets were sure he would never walk again.

He's always been a stubborn cuss, though, & after a couple of acupuncture treatments, he started to stand up for a few minutes at a time balancing between my legs.

That was just over a year ago, and he is back to chasing the B-A-L-L(can't say that out loud!) and swimming whenever he can. He runs a little sideways when he's excited, but he's a joy to have, our little "miracle dog".
Jon Harris, Virginia, United States

May 25, 2012
Golgi after surgery to remove wrench and fix eyes.
Bella, New York, United States

May 25, 2012
Let me happily introduce you to our girl, Bella. Also known as BellyBelle. On December 30th, 2011 we lost our sweet babe, Jesse at 17 years old. We'd adopted her at 15 years old and were deeply moved by her coming into our lives. In late February I started searching for another rescue not to replace our Jesse but because I knew we had a home and a great deal of love to offer another dog. I saw thousands of dogs on rescue sites and then one day I saw Bella. A 2 1/2 year old Jack Russell in a shelter in Lodhi, California. We lived in Vancouver, British Columbia. But there was something about this girl we were drawn to and so many phone call enquiries began and an adoption application. They had never adopted to someone in Canada so we gathered testimonial letters from various people in our lives to attest to our capabilities as dog mommies and to speak to the love we gave our girl and our previous dog who passed. We were approved! Then came the challenge of getting Bella to us. I put a call out to my Facebook friends and my writing teacher in North Carolina (Patti Digh) spread the word and before we knew it, we had a group of people we didn't know who were offering to carpool Bella up the coast from California to Seattle where we would then drive from Vancouver, Canada and pick her up! It worked and we met her on March 10th and welcomed her into our lives. It's just over 2 1/2 months that she's come into our lives and I know for myself, she rescued me. She helped me through grieving the loss of our Jesse and has brought play and light and mischief and joy into my heart and into our home, once again and we are forever grateful we followed our hearts and said YES to bringing her home. We are also deeply grateful to the Facebook angels who made it possible to get her to us and we are looking forward to many long and beautiful adventurous years with our BellyBelle.
Jenn Forgie, British Columbia, Canada

May 25, 2012
This dog was left on the street to starve. He ate a 9" long wrench and was at the pound when I found him. The Animal Protection Service never even mentioned that he had a mass in his gut. The same day I brought him home he was scheduled for surgery. It has cost me near $20000 to care for him. His eyelids were rolled in on his eye balls because he did not have enough fat to hold them open. He had eye surgery to repair them last month. He was 47 pounds when I got him, he is 125 now and the sweetest dog. Although he did eat my couch. I'll post a current photo of him in a separate post, as this one only allows one photo. Thanks for all the good work you do. Sincerely, Bella and my cousin Tara who helped me rescue Golgi.(He was called Warren in the pound, but Golgi means metal headed junk yard dog.)
Bella, New York, United States

May 24, 2012
Nash and his sister were abandoned and left to live on their own when they were just puppies in northern Canada. They managed to survive through their first winter, but not without Nash suffering a broken leg which had to heal on its own without any medical care. When they were finally rescued, they were both so starved their survival was not guaranteed. After three months of loving foster care, Nash joined our family. Nash is the sweetest dog you could ever imagine, an absolute joy who shows no indication of his rough start in life. Every day I am so thankful there are rescue organizations that work so hard to save and give these wonderful stray dogs the second chance they deserve!
SR, British Columbia, Canada