Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gracie's Story

Pet's name: Gracie
Adopted by: Christine Zorn
From: The Marshmallow Foundation, Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Gracie's story originally appeared on Christine's blog, A Sugar & Spice Life.

For the past couple of months I've found myself searching ... For anyone who is unfamiliar with it, it's a great website to search for adoptable pets in your area. I don't know why (because I certainly didn't NEED another dog ... we have Ella), but I've been looking at the dogs, kind of waiting for a perfect match for our family to come along.

Casey had been staying with my parents for the last year, because he was having health issues and considering everything going on with Sam, it was just better for my mom to take care of him (he had always been with them quite a bit anyway, because they took him to the lake all the time) ... and we knew that Casey was near the end of his life. So, I would look at Petfinder now and then, thinking "this isn't a good idea" ... but I would look anyway. I'm a total sucker for dogs who need homes (thanks, mom and dad!). I had seen "Blondie" before ... thought she was cute, but I don't know why she didn't catch my attention more.

But then on Tuesday I really started looking at her, and I called the shelter. She sounded great ... friendly, about 24 lbs., good with kids and other pets, about 1.5 to 2 years old. It just so happened that my husband had Wednesday off, so we made the hour drive to look at her while Emily and Gabe were in school. (I didn't want them to know until this was a done deal.) When we got to the shelter and said we were there to look at Blondie the workers all said "Oh, she's a sweetie!" Good sign!

Gracie's listing

We met her and fell in love. She was sweet, friendly, and tried to give Sam kisses. :) I already had the adoption application filled out so we turned it in and said we'd like to adopt her. They said everything looked good, but that they'd have to contact our vet and our references, so we'd probably hear back later in the afternoon and would be able to pick her up the next day. Well, we were about 3/4 of the way back home when they called and said we were approved! So when the kids got done with school I told them what I had done (they approved wholeheartedly!), and we went back to pick up our new little girl.

We decided to name her Gracie. She's such a sweet girl, and things are going better than I had hoped. Ella is a little bent out of shape. ... Gracie wants desperately to be friends with her and wants to play, but Ella isn't quite ready for that. I'm sure she'll warm up, though, because Ella is also a really friendly, playful, good-natured dog. They have similar personalities. We've had a few accidents in the house, but we had that happen when we first got Ella, too. The behavior "problems" we're having are really minor (like putting her feet up on the kitchen counter). ... Gracie is a really smart girl and I'm sure she'll catch on quickly ... she's still learning how everything works around here.

Gracie with Ella

I can't understand how someone could lose her and not want to get her back. She was in the pound and then in the shelter since October 6th. She's a happy, well-adjusted dog ... not to mention adorable! She's great with the kids, and has such a wonderful personality. We're lucky to have her!

I could go on about how great she is, but I've already gone on too long! I have my thoughts on what kind of mix she is, but do any of you have any ideas? We might have to get doggie DNA testing done just for fun!

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Zelda and Mrs. Parker's Stories

Zelda and Mrs. Parker perched on the shower door

Pets' names:
Zelda and Mrs. Parker
Adopted by: Leonore
From: Putnam Humane Society in Carmel, N.Y.

Leonore (who blogs at As a Linguist...) sent the stories of Zelda and Mrs. Parker, her two sister kitties. 

My first cat, Gomer Pyle, had come to me as a refugee from a friend who loved him but also loved her two Boxer dogs and didn't want him to be chased anymore. He was a goofy cat: crooked tail, overbite, and slightly crossed eyes. Then, a tumor required the amputation of his front left leg and shoulder, which didn't stop him from chasing his tail. Finally, after a fang extraction, his upper lip would often get caught on his lower fang, making him look like he was imitating Elvis' famous half-sneer half-seductive smile.

And oh, how I loved him! I had him with me for six years.

Gomer got sick one Friday in March 2010. He was better by Sunday, worse again on Monday, and put to sleep on Tuesday. His last moments were spent purring and pushing his head into my hand for the scratches he so loved.

I spent a week crying, another week feeling numb, and the next four months not wanting another cat. Then, I finally decided it was time. I was ready for a new cat—not just Replacement Gomer—and maybe even two so they wouldn't get lonely when I was at work.

One day at the end of June, after many false starts and falling in love about a thousand times, I knew I had found my new cats.

My boyfriend and I walked into the Putnam Humane Society to inquire about some foster cats I'd seen on their website. Before we even called the foster parents, however, I saw two small kittens in a corner cage. They were sisters, 10 weeks old, and had been brought in about two months earlier. They'd been found together in a garage alone with no sign of their mother. They were quite feral at first but had responded well to care and attention.

I was handed a tiny white kitten. She was the softest thing I've ever felt. She sniffed around a bit, and then settled into my arms, closed her eyes, and started purring. I scratched her head. She purred harder. I rubbed her belly. She squirmed and, still purring as loud as anything, she turned her head and gave me a little love bite on the arm. She had chosen me.

Her sister, a little brown tabby, was still in the cage. She was even smaller than her sister. She had been in her little kitty cave, watching the whole thing. She was taken out and held up. She immediately squirmed and let out a little squeak that melted my heart even more than it already was. Her sister would not be going anywhere without her.

I was hooked.

A week later, just before Independence Day, they came home with me. They've grown into beautiful, incredibly sweet cats who still love to snuggle with each other when they're not chasing and tussling. In some ways they are very similar: they aren't very talkative, but they both trill quite a bit and let out their little squeaky meows when they want cheese, their favorite snack. Both also like to be in the same room as I am, and they both are very playful. Neither of them have a mean bone in their bodies, and they never bite or swat at me or my boyfriend.

Snoozing under the futon

But they certainly have distinct personalities. Zelda is intensely curious about everything and often gets into mischief by jumping to the tops of doors or bookshelves, or exploring every nook and cranny of a room. She loves to drink out of the faucet and is always on the bathroom counter to watch me put on make-up. She's the one who knocks pens off my desk, or bats at the cursor on the screen when I'm working on the computer. And she loves to snuggle, often making herself comfortable on my lap or next to my head at night.

Mrs. Parker is still more skittish around too many people, but she is extremely playful and silly. Her favorite toy is her scratching post, which she beats up regularly. She doesn't like to be picked up but will snuggle and purr for hours if she's burrowed under a blanket with me. She's a chewer, and after losing two sweater belts to her gnawing, she is the reason I now have a latch on the closet door.

I'm still as smitten as can be with my girls and can't imagine my life without them.

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!