Last week while reflecting on my blessings over Thanksgiving dinner, my thoughts went straight to my fur babes; Bindi, Kona, Luna, and Apollo. While they were all nice and cozy back home down in the Sunshine State, I was celebrating the holiday with my family in New Jersey. Since Matt and I don’t have any children yet, I refer to them as my ‘kids’ – which he doesn’t like too much because to him they are pets, lol. But they really are my little babes and I love them with all my heart. Most of all, I love that I have the opportunity to be a rescue mom 🙂
Growing up we were not allowed to have pets other than fish, hermit crabs, and hamsters (such excitement), so I could not wait to be able to adopt a dog and kitty cat once I was on my own. I wasted no time, adopting my first kitty when I was in college and still actually living at home. I snuck the little gray Maine Coon kitten named Zan into the house and hid him in my bathroom for a couple of days before my grandmother became suspicious and blew my cover. Luckily my parents were more surprised than angry so they let me keep him since they knew I’d be moving out soon. Zan became my sometimes sweet (and mostly very sassy) companion for the next 12 years, but we had an amazing bond and because of him I knew I would never be without a fur baby again.
Bindi Cheyenne, my first pooch came from Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach, FL in 2012. I believe she came from a hoarding situation and experienced severe abuse. She is very timid and especially frightened of men. She was also terrified of stairs when I first adopted her and didn’t know how to walk up them. She becomes aggressive around other dogs and it can be a little embarrassing because people always ask to pet her because she looks so adorable, but then she’ll snap at them so I have to respond that she isn’t friendly. I was volunteering at the shelter when I met her and learned that she had been adopted and returned that same week because the people had other pets that she didn’t get along with. I took her for a walk and saw how scared she was at first but then she relaxed and started to show signs of a very happy pup underneath her initial display of distrust. I felt terrible putting her back in the kennel and I actually started crying as I walked out to my car thinking about her sweet face. I knew at that moment she was the dog for me so I walked back inside and said I was interested in adopting her. When they brought her into the room she came right under my seat and laid down and hasn’t left my side since ❤
Kona Otis was adopted from Hope’s Haven in Salem, Oregon in 2013. He was brought there from another shelter in northern California and was apparently dropped off at a vet’s office with his mother because his owner couldn’t take care of them anymore. Kona had an unusual attachment to his mother and followed her everywhere. He was a year old when we adopted him and didn’t know what to do on his own. A couple had come to adopt his mother sadly separating the two and I decided to take him for a few days to see if he could get along with Bindi. To my surprise she accepted him immediately. Kona is very mellow and submissive so Bindi was able to retain her alpha dog status and to this day she loves to boss Kona around. Since he never really recovered from his codependency issues with his mom, he now follows Bindi around and the two of them have a great time playing together, some people even think they’re litter mates. Kona loves to swim at the beach!
I adopted Luna Lemon from Willamette Humane Society the towards the end of Zan’s life in 2014 because I was pretty upset about losing the first real fur companion I ever had and thought if I was able to focus some attention on the new kitty then the loss wouldn’t be as difficult (it still was). Luna is the total opposite of Zan, she’s the most loving little thing all the time. She never bites or hisses or seems to have a mean cat bone in her body. Sometimes she gets harassed by her brother Apollo but she takes it in stride mostly. She was recently named Pet of the Month by our apartment complex.
Last but not least is Apollo14. He was found in a woodpile with food caked on his face, fleas, worms, etc. Poor little guy. We adopted him at around 4 months old, particularly because black cats have a harder time getting adopted. There are quite a few of them and for some reason they get overlooked in the shelter. We played with him for a bit and he seemed active and sweet but boy did he fool us. This little guy is a handful. He’s nonstop action and acts more like a dog than a cat. He’ll run laps around the house, pounce on everyone and anyone including the dogs, and he seems to have more energy than any of us combined. He’s about two years old now but shows no signs of settling down. We actually have to keep him outside on our balcony at night because he constantly kneads on us while we sleep and he even has a naughty habit of chewing through cords – we’ve lost 4 computer cords and phone chargers now thanks to him. But at the same time he is a genuine lover, always purring and loving to be held and cuddled.
Anyway, I just wanted to share these stories because animal rescue is such an easy way to make a difference and help homeless animals. If you can’t adopt, please donate to a shelter or volunteer because it takes very little but can make a huge difference. Too many people are buying pets from pet shops, which exist to make a profit, or get animals from pet mills or breeders and this is completely unnecessary when there are thousands of amazing dogs and cats around the country being put down every day because they cannot find parents to adopt them. Shelter animals may be a little more challenging because they’ve been strays or had a rough start in life, but this is what makes being their pet parent so precious and rewarding. I wouldn’t trade my little fur kids for anything, they are all so unique and special – flaws, fits and all!
Bindi & Kona even got to visit Santa a few years ago. As you can see, they look thrilled ;-P
Do you have an heart-warming animal rescue story to share? I want to hear about it, comment please!