Happy Tail: Bonnie
Happy Tail: Jack-Jack
Summer can be a tough transition for any kid, but especially for a child living with sensory processing disorder. For my 5-year-old daughter Karina, transitioning to anything new is a struggle. A new routine, a new sound, a new taste, a new smell … any new sense can send her into a spiral of emotions as she struggles to regulate herself.
So our summer began, and while other families were celebrating with vacations and late nights around a fire, we were silently struggling with a thousand emotions, many of them negative. I was on behavior management duty 24/7, and I was worn out and desperate for change. Weighted blankets, a solid routine, and weekly trips to the occupational therapist just weren’t reaching my little lady, and I felt helpless.
For the sake of my other children, I needed Karina to have a coping mechanism other than me. Someone who could be there as she cried, react with a loving heart, and provide a calming technique when the world became, in her words, “too much.”
A friend of mine was fostering him for Paws for Life Rescue and posted a photo of him. We had been looking at adoptable kittens for months but had not seen one that struck our interest. Knowing he was being raised in a home with young children put my heart at ease, and it truly was love at first sight. All three of my children have beautiful blue eyes, and this kitty did too! Something in his face said he was meant for us, and we had to meet him.
From the moment Jack-Jack was delivered to us, he knew just what my Karina needed. Despite having zero training as a therapy animal, he distracted her with playful kitten shenanigans when her mind started to spiral, and provided a loyal companionship when she needed a friend. She found calm to her chaos with slow pets to his chin and would instantly relax when the soothing sound of his purrs began. After they were acquainted, he would seek her out when she began to have a meltdown. In the thick of the summer heat, she became his preferred human, and I rested easier knowing we were going to make it through this tough season with his superpowers in my arsenal.
I have always known pets can reach the human heart on a level we cannot comprehend, but I was not fully prepared for their special relationship. Now, when Karina is upset, she calls for him. He is the first thing she looks for each morning, and the last thing she wants to see before going to bed. I am grateful for their love of each other. It is amazing how a sweet kitten can bring out so many emotions. Thankfully, for our family, it is all love.
Even though our family was the one to rescue Jack-Jack, I would be remiss not to thank Paws for Life for rescuing us, too.
Happy Tail: Olive and Popeye
Olive we have had now for three years and she has really come out of her shell! She used to hide whenever anyone new came over and now she loves everyone! She is very vocal and loves belly rubs. Literally is my little shadow, following me everywhere. She is my first very own fur child and she is perfect I love her so much!
Popeye we have also had for almost three years now and, while he is a bit more challenging of a child, he is the most affectionate momma’s boy. Every night when I go to bed, he is right there wanting some love and he sleeps with me every night.
Thanks to PFL and Santa for my babies! My life would be so boring without them!!
Happy Tail: Jack
I hadn’t been retired long before Jack joined our household. Bringing him in was a stretch; with a border collie and a lab-border collie mix already aboard, we could only hope there was room – and patience – enough for a 100-pound Labrador retriever with an outsized appetite and a bark that can peel paint.
But, he beguiled us.
Like most newly minted retirees, I was a bit at loose ends as I joined the ranks of my fellow cast-offs. Retirement, for most, means that you suddenly have to steady yourself and make a new stand in a world that seems to place little premium on whatever usefulness you have remaining.
Jack helped. A lot.
My wife was Jack’s primary caregiver. Put Jack’s food down for him twice a day and he’s a loyal friend for life, and she was already doing that for our other two faithful minions, so it was no stretch to add him to the mealtime follies. Yet, Jack still seemed to mostly gravitate toward me and I, in turn, was happy to scratch his ears, brush him out and wrestle him from time to time. Still, I had yet to think of him as my buddy.
Until the day he loped over when I just sitting in a reflective mood, laid his head on my leg and turned his eyes onto me.
Now, if it can be said that a dog’s eyes are a window into their soul, then surely Jack’s are a pair to be remembered.
Set against the sleek black fur on his giant head, Jack’s eyes are two deep pools of sincerity and trust. How a dog that had failed two foster placements and lived through the neglect of his original owners can grow a heart like his is a mystery. But, the reality is that Jack’s eyes melt you and, that day, they melted me.
With his simple gesture of kindness, a hallmark of Jack’s (or Jackie Boy,Ã‚Â the more formal name bestowed on him by our grand-daughter), he added a little more purpose to my life and that’s a pretty generous gift to be given to anyone by anyone.
To be unconditionally appreciated is a basic need. Now I know, in some small way, how those thousands of Paws for Life rescue pets feel when they find their way.
It’s always been my belief that, when the world is working right, we all rescue each other. Jack and those earnest eyes surely received that memo.
Happy Tail: Buddy
Dear Paws for Life, Buddy had a wonderful Christmas! He’s hard NOT to love – he’s just wonderful and such a great dog! Everybody that has met him just loves him and tells us how lucky we are. Thank you guys for choosing us for him! We really do feel lucky to call him ours!
Happy Tail: Sydney
When I first met Vicki, a volunteer at Paws for Life, I was distraught over the loss of my 19-year-old cat. I was uncertain about adopting again, but knew I was missing something in my life … the house was too quiet! I told Vicki what I was looking for and she brought Sydney to my house to meet me.
Unfortunately, Sydney had been living outdoors with a couple who didn’t properly care for her and eventually gave her up. Syd came to PFL Rescue pregnant, with worms and eventually developed mastitis while being weaned from her kittens. I don’t think I have ever met a more beautiful cat. I couldn’t believe the color of her eyes. How could someone ever give her up? I certainly couldn’t and, needless to say, Syd didn’t return with Vicki.
Syd went through a few more health issues, went into heat and was then spayed. It was certainly a rough couple of weeks for her. But 30 days later, I came home one night from work to a fat, furry cat! It turns out Sydney was neither lithe, little or short haired! In perfect health, Sydney turned into the absolute beautiful, furry and loving cat she is today. She has a huge, puffy tail, which has been passed on to her beautiful kittens.
I truly believe Sydney has never forgotten where she came from and shows me every day how much she loves her new home and family. She is the loudest purrer, has become my personal lap cap and can’t help but groom all those around her. Sydney filled the void I feared would never be healed when I lost my dear Petunia. I could have never imagined how wonderful it would be to welcome my dear Syd-vicious into my home. Thank you Paws for Life, and to Vicki, our “furry godmother.”
Sincerely, Kate P.
Happy Tail: Raven
Dear Paws for Life, a very special thank you to foster mom Sue, who listened to my interests and paired me with an absolutely wonderful animal. I’m so happy we were able to give Raven (formerly Sophie) her new forever home. Raven has already become a very loving part of the family.
Happy Tail : Big Dog
Big Dog has been adopted! New name, new family, new start!
Dear PFL, I just wanted to let you know that Tommy and I are absolutely thrilled with “Big Dog”!!!! We re-named him Ringo, got him groomed and settled in, and he is the absolute best dog we could ever hope for!
He knows how to sit and stay, he is super gentle with kids, friendly with other dogs, and calm indoors. He learned to pull less on the leash in the first week, and now we are working on walking side-by-side and he is getting it really well! He also learned to go in his crate and not bark or whine, and he hasn’t had a single accident indoors. Just the best pup in the world and we love him so much!! Thank you for all your help!
Claudia and family
Happy Tail: Nuka
Nuka was rescued as a kitten in December 2011 after both of his siblings were found frozen to death. He was very sick with a severe upper respiratory infection, an underdeveloped third eyelid and was severely underweight at just 12 weeks old.
With four cats of my own, I had a full house, but Nuka had no where to go. We couldn’t turn him away and I agreed to foster him for Paws for Life Rescue. For the first week, we weren’t sure if Nuka would make it. He was just so small and so sick.
But as time went on, Nuka got bigger, stronger and healthier. After six weeks, he was healthy enough to be neutered and have his third eyelid surgically opened up so that he could see with both eyes. Not long after that, Nuka was diagnosed with Feline Herpes. I started doing research and learned all I could. Turns out, it is very common in cats who are sick for long periods of time. But with some supplements it was very manageable. As time went on, Nuka grew into a very healthy and beautiful cat. By 7 months old, he knew his name, learned to come when called, sit on command, give hugs, walk on a leash and play fetch.
He also developed a love for small, sickly and feral kittens. Somewhere along the way he decided that he made a great mom. So we began fostering feral kittens.
Nuka was just so loving and nurturing with each and every kitten that we brought home that we started to call him “Mother Nuka.”
He would carry the kittens with him everywhere, sleep with them, watch them for hours and hours and even let them nurse on him, despite obviously not having any milk for them. They just suckled on his long fur and belly and he would purr them to sleep.
For two years Nuka raised kittens and helped them become social enough to find homes, yet he himself was still “homeless.”Ã‚Â Everyone who met him loved him, but they were all afraid of him having feline herpes.
Finally, after fostering Nuka for two years, watching him socialize feral kittens, make friends with dogs and charm the pants off of everyone he met, I realized this cat wasn’t meant to go to just any home. He was meant to stay with us. He was meant to live in a rescue family and help raise other kittens to help them find homes of their own. So, in the summer of 2013, I finally and officially adopted Nuka.
He has been the most amazing and inspirational cat and I can’t imagine our lives without him.
Sincerely, Santa Z.
Happy Tail : Regis
Volunteer favorite Regis went home with his new family last week and we’re happy to report that all is well. Here is a letter and photos from his new family:
Hi Paws for Life, I wanted to send you a quick note to thank you so much for helping us get Regis. I cut school last night because I was so worried somebody would take him before I got him.
He is doing so well! He is a tad nervous, which I expected, but he is really calm in the house and so happy with his squeaky balls and the leaf toy you gave him. He loves it. If we roll it, he will chase it. I can see he wants to romp around and play tug of war if given the chance. He’s just a love, he followed me around as I got ready for work and I made a nice spot for him in my office so he could look out the window. He seems to want to see everything that is going on. I went home at lunch to see him and we went outside. I had to dig a little area in the snow, but once he figured out what I was doing, he got in and was romping around. So cute! We then sat in the house and he just sat next to me while I petted him and talked to him all about us and what a good boy he is. He just leans into your leg and wants to be loved. I’m going to get a rug for my office so he’s more comfortable with me, maybe even a little blanket to curl up with.
He seems to be a great fit, he’s not too big at all. I’m going to get him registered with the city, to our vet and when he’s ready I think I’m going to take him to some classes that my mom and dad took their lab to when she was 3. But that’s down the road. For now we want him to get settled and used to us.
Thank you and the people at your rescue society for helping us meet and welcome Regis to our family. Please let those who took care of him know that we are so thrilled and excited to have him. We look forward to many years of fun and many adventures with him! He’s even got a set of grandparents! My mom and dad met him on Saturday and they were amazed at how sweet he is and think he is going to be a great addition to our family.
Thanks again for helping us find him.
Sincerely, Kelly and family
Happy Tail: Lilly and Kinsler
My sweet Lilly was rescued by Paws for Life hours before she was to be put to sleep. She was pregnant and suffering from Feline Distemper (Panaleukopenia). Four of her kittens survived, although two have severe Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which makes walking extremely difficult. Lilly developed serious injuries due to her illness, but she still fed, loved and protected her babies fiercely.
I met Lilly and her litter when the kittens were about 4 weeks old. I was immediately drawn to Lilly’s sweet nature … she had been through so much and deserved a loving home. She has paid me back with unlimited love and devotion every day since.
I also fell in love with her little boy Kinsler and took him home as well. Kinsler also suffers from Cerebellar Hypoplasia, although it is a very mild case. In Kinsler’s case, he looks a little uncoordinated, perhaps a little drunk, but that is part of his charm. Kinsler knows no fear, gets into everything and rules the house. He makes me laugh with his funny little head twist when you call his name or when he tumbles charging after his favorite toy. He truly knows no boundaries!
Both cats have completed my life and I cannot remember my house without them. Thank you to Paws for Life for recognizing how wonderful Lilly is and saving her, and her sweet kittens!
Sincerely, John G.
Happy Tail: Schmitty
Happy Tail: Corey
Happy Tail: Scooby
Happy Tail: Roxie
Happy Tail: Jake
Happy Tail: Shondra
Happy Tail: Faygo
Happy Tail: Ella
Dear PFL, it’s our one-year anniversary with Ella! We love her goofy butt so much!
Happy Tail: Sam
Dear PFL, it was Sam’s first time getting up in to a lap on his own free will and without treats. The kids very much enjoyed this time, even though it lasted a mere 30 seconds.
Happy Tail: Sampson
Happy Tail: Ernie
Dear Paws for Life: I adopted Wooderson (formerly known as Ernie, although he has many nicknames!) in early November and he quickly stole my heart. This fluff ball is cuddly, sweet, and a professional lounger as you can see by the photos. I’m so happy to have rescued this little guy! Big thank you to Paws for Life!
Happy Tail: Aaron
Happy Tail: Max
“Just adopted a sweet cat. We love him so much and cannot wait for the years to come! Thank you for helping us find our sweet boy.”
Happy Tail: Koda
Happy Tail: Peanut
Dear PFL, this is Peanut with his brother. Please share on your page. His new name is Ray! We are so thankful we adopted him! There have been no issues at all with him and his brother Marley getting along. He has fit in perfectly with our family!!! Thank you for all the work your rescue does for animals!!!
Happy Tail: Juggernaut
Happy Tail: Dizzy
Happy Tail: Antze Pants
Happy Tail: Ezio the Cat
Happy Tail: Chevy
Chevy’s freedom ride!
Happy Tail: Triscuit
Happy Tail: Wilma and Wilbur
Happy Tail: Gypsy
Happy Tail: Gunner
Happy Tail: Molly
Happy Tail: Bagel
Happy Tail: Bella Bandito
Bella’s freedom ride!
Happy Tail: Sandy
Happy Tail: Spin Off
Spin Off’s freedom ride!
Happy Tail: Blossom
Happy Tail: Rosie
Happy Tail: Zoey
Happy Tail: Vixen and Biggie
It was nearly six years ago that I received a text from a fellow volunteer, asking me to foster a cat for the weekend in order to save a mom and her kittens. Regardless of growing up allergic to cats, I knew I could manage the allergies if lives were saved.
Just a few hours later, I had Biggie (formerly known as Bentley) in my arms, lying still and purring endlessly. I knew he had picked me to be his foster. As months went by, we attended adoption events, but he continued to be looked over. Meanwhile, in between the adoption events, Biggie and I grew closer. My allergies were scarce and quite frankly, he became my cat-dog. I would play fetch with him, call his name and he would come running. I even caught him drinking out of the toilet! As my birthday approached, I knew the only thing I wanted was to call him my own cat-dog. And so Biggie became mine.
Years passed, then one day I saw a post and was in awe. Nearly 15 animals on death row at an area shelter needed saving. Paws for Life was contacted as a partner to help rehome them, so I agreed to foster a dog, leading me to my second foster flunking experience!
Vixen (formerly known as Darlyn) won my heart from the moment I saw her picture and I melted with love on our ride home. She climbed from the back and rested her head on my shoulder, my co-pilot. I fostered for only a few short months when I knew she was never going to leave. She is a sun-bathing, bird-watching squirrel-chasing maniac bundle of love and snuggles. Needless to say she didn’t make it to a single adoption event and the rest is history!
Her patience and love is beyond comprehension. She snuggles with her brother Biggie the cat. Not to mention all the little kiddos that come around! Best. Dog. Ever.
Thank you for bringing these amazing companions into my life and showing me the ropes PFL, and on behalf of each and every companion you helped to save, Thank You!