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Happy Tail: Fondue

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.”

Enter Jack-Jack. 

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!!

- Emily

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, 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.
Sincerely, Joe


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.” 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.”

- Julie

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!


Happy Tail: Cash
Dear Paws for Life, thank you for the reminder about Cash’s vaccines. He is up to date on all shots and the vet says that he is in excellent health. He weighs about 79 lbs now, but still thinks he’s a lap dog. I have attached some pictures of him playing in the sprinkler last summer, as well as a picture of him when he got back in the house after playing in the sprinkler. I actually had to turn the water off to get him to come into the house. As you can see in the last picture, he just wore himself out. We think that, in addition to the boxer and pit bull in him, he must have some type of water dog (lab, retriever) in him as well because he loves playing in the water.

Happy Tail: Charlie

Hi! Quick update on Charlie – first of all, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! He is the sweetest cat ve ever met and has the CUTEST little meow. He is settling in nicely, still shy but getting braver and more curious every day (he no longer lives under the bed!). 

He absolutely loves treats, wet food, watching birds and squirrels out the window, and playing (especially at 3 in the morning, lol). His favorite toys are a stuffed piece of bacon and a little stuffed mouse. He is super affectionate and sleeps with me every single night now, and is turning into a total snuggler. He is truly the best.

Happy Tail: Bubbles

Bubbles freedom ride!

Happy Tail: George

Dear PFL, Fransisco (now George) is amazing. He is sweet and loves to lie down next to us on the couch. He got used to the house very quickly and has found his favorite places to hang out. We love our ball of fluff!

Happy Tail: Juliet

Happy Tail: Rajah

Happy Tail: Moose

Volunteers at Paws for Life: I wanted to send you an update on Captain Kirk, aka Moose, lol. He has been amazing, very healthy boy weighing in now at 75ish lbs, gets snuggles all the time and is very spoiled. Moose has calmed down a quite a bit since being at the shelter and has learned some more commands. He is still an upbeat pup, but for the most part loves to be lazy and sleep.

Thank you! He’s perfect.


Happy Tail: Helen Keller

Dear Paws For Life, 

My name is Kate and I am one of the veterinarians at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital. Helen was the kitty that we got from you in April of this year to try out as our clinic cat (you just sent Dr. Hawker a reminder for her vaccines). While her personality was phenomenal, her upper respiratory diseases kept us from being able to keep her as a clinic cat. She began sneezing, so we tested her and she carries two virus/bacteria that are transmissible to other kitties. I had bonded with her, and since I’ve been cat-less for the last few years, I decided to try her at home to live with me and my dog. She was renamed Ava before she left the clinic and I decided to keep the name.

Ava is the biggest pain in my butt … she attacks my feet, scratches my couch, demands food as soon as the dish is empty, acts out if she isn’t played with enough, and meows outside my bedroom door every morning as soon as my alarm goes off (no sleeping in). And I love her with my entire heart and soul and wouldn’t trade her furry little self for anything in the world!!! 

She is a snuggly, purr-fect little soul, and she brings me joy every day. Even my dog likes her and he’s not such a cat fan. I thought I’d include a few pictures (like any crazy cat mom) so you could see how loved she is. The picture of her stretched across my chest in the office is the day we met … it was love at first sight.

Anyway, thank you for placing her with us, thank you for the reminder for her vaccines, and thank you for what you do! My life is certainly more colorful and fun because of Ava, and I have you to thank for raising her into the wonderful cat she is. Thanks for entrusting her to my/our care. 

With many thoughts of gratitude, Kate

Happy Tail: Minnie

Happy Tail: Ichabod

In October 2014, I was going through your website looking at all of the animals that needed homes. I was a little on the fence, wondering if I could possibly love another animal the way that I did my cat that passed in August 2014. This one cat struck me and almost every day I looked at his picture. There was just something about him. His name was Nico. 

Finally, one day I just decided I CAN’T pass this cat up. I filled out the adoption papers and a week later I finally got to meet the little guy. We changed his name to Ichabod. He was a little scared at first. Within two hours he came out of hiding and was just the most cuddly little guy. He made himself right at home, but he was still a little skittish. Well, almost a year later, he runs the house and he knows it. You call him, he comes running. He even plays fetch! He’s the perfect fur-baby! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to find my new best friend!! Both of us are very happy to have each other!!


Happy Tail: Rose

Happy Tail: Goldie

Hi, I know that it’s been over a year since we’ve adopted Goldie, now Darcy Tucker, from Paws for Life, but I wanted to give you an update. Darcy is healthy and still very handsome. He runs our home and he knows it. I’ve included some photos from the last 6 months. 

During his last vet visit, he weighed 15 lbs. He sleeps with me almost every night and he is very vocal. 

I want to thank you for allowing us to adopt Darcy. It feels like we’ve gad him in our lives forever compared to only a year. I can’t even express how much he’s changed my life and how much love I have for him.

Thank you, Amanda

Happy Tail: Candice

Hi everyone at PFL! 

I just wanted to let you know that today is our 3-month anniversary with Candice, although we changed her name to Maver, and we couldn’t be happier. 

As our only child, she is spoiled with treats and toys everyday and sleeps right in the bed between my boyfriend and I. While at work, we have a private dog walker come everyday, who has also fallen in love with her. 

We cannot thank you enough for the joy that you have brought to our home. She truly is a one of a kind dog, who has become a member of our family. We can’t imagine a life without her now!


Thanks again, Rachal

Happy Tail: Sardine

About 4.5 years ago, we adopted this gorgeous kitty named Sardine. We were told she was super shy and would likely never be a lapcat. She hid for well over two weeks, only coming out to eat at night (hence why we called her Nessie, for the Loch Ness monster). 

It took a few months, but she warmed up to us and is very much a lover and is a lapcat on her terms. We love her so much and are so thankful to have her as part of our family!

Happy Tail: Brownie

I just thought I’d shoot you an email and let you know how well things are going! He is fitting in fantastically, it feels like he’s just always been here already. My mom drove down from up north to meet her new grand dog and then proceeded to spoil him. We went to Petco and she literally bought him everything he showed an interest in. Lol, he ended up with a couple hundred dollars in toys, treats and misc doggie items. The frog is one of his new favorites to carry around.

We renamed him Remington, Remy for short. We couldn’t be happier and I think Remy is very happy, too. He’s been a total love. Great with the kids and just awesome all around. I know we haven’t had him very long, but I can’t imagine anything that could make me want to extend the trial period or find a different dog. He’s just the best. We are even more in love with this boy than we were a week ago. He is the best dog. I can’t imagine why anyone would ever let him go!

He seriously gets more awesome every day. I’m sending some pics for your happy tails and I have to tell you, this is the best dog. Every other adopter should be sad they missed him. LOL. But in all seriousness, Remy is amazing. He is sweet and loving and protective all at the same time. He is exactly what I was hoping for. He doesn’t bark at every little thing, only when a person is actually approaching the door. He has what we call “helicopter tail,” when he gets really happy his tail goes around in a circle. It’s so cute. 

He has actually stopped destroying his toys. He has a duck and a chick with bunny ears (Easter Gifts) that he carries around in his mouth, sometimes at the same time, which is funny and adorable, but he never pulls the stuffing out. We just love him so much. He sleeps in my bed every night. As I type this, he is laying under my legs on the couch. He always wants to snuggle and there is always someone here happy to oblige! We are working on leash manners. I bought a easy walk harness and that’s helping too.

I really can’t thank you enough for allowing us to adopt Remy. He is absolutely perfect. Everyone who meets him falls in love in minutes. I am just so ridiculously in love with this dog, he’s the absolute best. Ever. He’s met dogs, cats, little kids, and he is happy to meet everyone. He seems to know how to be more gentle with little kids. He’ll play rough with my 15 year old, but then go through the same motions in a completely gentle manner with my 5 year old. He’s so sweet. We play fetch in the backyard every day it’s nice out. When he first got here, he didn’t so much play fetch as he played chase the tennis ball, shake the tennis ball, then lay down and proceed to kill the tennis ball by ripping it to pieces. LOL. But we got some sturdier balls and he’s now bringing them back and learning “drop it.” He’s hilarious in the yard. He runs full speed straight at you, then either stops on a dime inches from your legs or turns at the last second to avoid bowling you over, then doubles back to sit at your feet. He’s so silly!

I can’t thank you enough for bringing us together! – Jessie

Happy Tail: Scarlet

Scarlet is doing great and I think we’re ready to make it official!

Thanks so much and we’re very excited to have Scarlet now!

Happy Tail: Manfred

Hi Paws for Life, just wanted to share a couple of photos of Manfred in his new forever home! Everyone loves him. Thank you!

Happy Tail: Pudgy

Dear Paws for Life, Pudgy has been a pure joy. He is the coolest cat we have ever been around. He likes to play fetch and loves to hang around us 24/7. He is great with our 4-year-old daughter and loves to play with her. He is her buddy. He loves to sleep on his back with all legs spread to glory. He is just so cute. We love him. Thanks again for setting us up with Pudgy!

Happy Tail: Zoe

Greetings to Courtney and to Zoe’s other friends at Paws for Life!

I meant to send some pictures of Zoe back in March or April when there was snow on the ground. Since I didn’t quite accomplish that goal, please enjoy the pic of Zoe reclining in the fenced backyard, and the group photos from a sunny afternoon in August when my twin brother and good friends were visiting us. As you can see, Zo Zo is happiest when she is the center of attention! 

This summer was a wonderful and comfortable summer with a huge amount of time outdoors in the gardens and landscaping. It became our outdoor living room as I brought years’ worth of gardening efforts to a relative state of completion. My girls reclined in the shade and explored the nooks and crannies in the gardens while I worked, then we would enjoy plenty of relaxation and play time together. Now that summer and gardening are done, we have resumed our hour-long walks in the evening, which Zo Zo adores.

I had to say goodbye to my beautiful shorthaired German shepherd-boxer mix Lady on Friday morning. Her mobility and comfort were starting to decline Thursday night due to arthritis and joint pain. She was a miracle doggie thrice over for her rescue by Shiawassee County Animal Control after being stuck in a creek for 12 hours, and my adoption of her two days before euthanasia, and then her amazing return to good health and fitness. When the animal control office rescued her, she weighed 110 lbs. I was able to reduce her weight to a healthy, spry 68 lbs. Lady, at first, could only walk 100 feet before flopping down on the grass in exhaustion from all the weight she carried. She was able to walk a comfortable two miles without needing a rest break just four months later, due to all the weight she shed with the hypothyroid medication. We had a wonderful two years and three months together and her presence in my life leaves me feeling truly blessed.

Over the next several weeks, I will send out feelers to different rescue groups looking for the right senior dog to fit with the playful Zo Zo and quiet alpha female Winter. The right dog will enjoy walks each night and two walks on Saturdays and Sundays. He or she will also enjoy some play with Zoe without being so rambunctious as to overwhelming Winter. The new addition must also be mild mannered and comfortable enough to let another dog be alpha. Winter is not aggressive though she is protective of her meals and her sleeping space. When Winter and Zoe do a little rough housing, Winter will try to place her head on Zoe’s shoulders in a dominant fashion. Zoe is not a dominant dog of course and she would enjoy a nice little playmate for fun and games. 

Thank for rescuing Zoe and for everything you do!

- Dennis

Happy Tail: Smokey and Bandit

As our third birthday approaches, we thought we would check in and let you know how we are doing. Life here is so good. We still love our home and our Mom. She spoils us terribly, but we don’t mind. We have matured a little, but still get into a lot of mischief.

We have both become beautiful kitties. We know that because everyone who sees us says so. Even our vet thinks we are beautiful kitties. I (Bandit) weigh in at 19 lbs. No fat, just muscle. Smokey is a more petite 10 lbs. 

Well, that’s about it. Just wanted to let you know how thankful we are that you found us such a good home.

Love, Smokey and Bandit

Happy Tail: Oliver

Dear Shelly and PFL, 

Absolutely, YES, we want to finalize his adoption! We love this little boy! 

He is adjusting well, and has not barked at my husband for two days. LOL. That’s GREAT news! I follow Paws for Life on Facebook and I am constantly posting videos of he and my other pup playing and walking and things. 

We are going to do a puppy training class with him, because he is a bit of a bugger on a leash and with recall, but that’s nothing that cannot be worked on. But yes!! YES!! YES!! We LOVE him! And we want to keep him!!

We LOVE this boy! Thank you guys so very much! Here are a couple of pictures for your site! PLEASE keep our family in mind for any events through your rescue group, fundraising, etc. We would love to keep in touch with you guys!

Sincerely, Jennifer

Happy Tail: Picaboo

Picaboo is doing great already. She’s been on my lap or pillow all night.

She’s doing well! The eye is still discharging a little, but I’m cleaning it once or twice a day. She’s switching to a new food and seems to like it a lot. She’s on me almost 24/7. I don’t know what she’ll do when I start leaving the house more often to babysit and such. Lol. She seems very happy.

I’m just glad that we got her honestly. She’s a great little cat. 

Happy Tail: Gilbert

PFL, everything is great! Gilbert is a perfect dog. I love him, and so does everyone else who’s met him. He is very happy in his new home! 

My mom loves him, too. Turns out she has a soft spot for him! Gilbert loves his toy beaver and relaxin’. He goes for walks around the neighborhood. Gilbert and I have a very good bond already. He knows I’m his dad and we are very happy!

Thank you so much!

- Dave

Happy Tail: Sly

Shelly and Paws for Life,

Thanks ever so much for the medical reminder. I already have Sly (now Charles Thomas … or Charlie for short) set for his first appointment. He is going next week on September 15th. I am making copies of the records PFL sent to us to go in his file. 

He is the best decision we have made in a very long time. Now that he has settled down, he has become just the lover of our lives; however, I do get miffed when he seems to love my husband best. Ha ha. 

He has grown into a very long and somewhat large young man. He weighs 13 lbs. He is on a very good no-grain dry food (does not like canned nor people food with the exception of a bit of cooked chicken from time to time). He does not seem to be fat, but a hefty boy. 

He has adapted so well to walking on a lead. We have about three acres, and he has to oversee pretty much all of it from time to time. His favorite haunts are the 100-year-old apple tree (he can go a ways and likes to lay on a mossy limb and watch the little birds), the spring overflow where he likes to pretend he is gold mining in runoff), the woods (he can play tiger in the grass) and the garden (where the elusive little brown mouse lives). 

His newest buddy is a humming bird that comes to the bay window every day in search of his company. He’s having a good time and living a good life. 

Good to hear from you!!! 


Happy Tail: Checkers and Gucci

Dear Courtney and Paws for Life, 

What can I say … these girls are so cute and so sweet. But I must say, I’m not used to 50 lbs. of dog in my lap at one time.  They follow us everywhere and have even started barking a little. We did change their names to Lucy (brown one) and Ethel (black one) and they seem to be learning them. 

They love being outside and we started dog fence training yesterday. You can go ahead and finalize the adoption. We love them and want to keep them. They are doing fantastic. 

Both had their teeth cleaned, but unfortunately Lucy had five teeth pulled. The check-up by our vet was great. Lucy loves to be held in your lap, especially with Jim. Ethel is more of a momma’s girl.

We just love them and are having so much fun with them. Everyone who meets them thinks they are so cute.

Thanks again, Cheryl

Happy Tail: Lilly

Lilly is doing real good. She loves to go for her walks every day and she patrols the backyard. 

We love her very much. Do you know about when Lilly was born? Because we want to give her a Birthday Party.

She has just taken over the whole house and we love her very much! And, she now is talking to us, too. Thank you!


Happy Tail: Tobias

Dear Shelly and PFL,

I wanted to take a couple of minutes and tell you about Tobias. He is definitely still a VERY loving member of our family. We are so delighted to have him in our lives. He has become a constant companion to my son, Regan. They spend a lot of time playing together, snuggling together and Tobias even sleeps with him at night. Tobias is so sweet, so loyal and so loving and we can no longer imagine our lives without him.

I have to tell you a little story that leads up to when we first adopted Tobias. My son and I sat down and looked at pictures on the computer of all the dogs available for adoption. We then made an A list and a B list. Each dog then had a letter and number, so A1 was our first choice, etc. Tobias was the very bottom dog on the B list. He just did not look like the kind of dog we thought we would want. Well, obviously we were wrong! So, oftentimes we tell Tobias he went from the bottom of the B list to the top of our hearts!

We had a few hitches when we first brought him home. He was learning how to understand us and we were learning how to understand him. But it only took a few months for everyone to settle in and he brings us happiness and laughter on a daily basis.

So I wanted to say a huge thank you to Paws for Life because we would not have a dog so wonderful without all of the time and effort the volunteers put into the group. Thanks again for all that PFL does to save these wonderful companions and for connecting families with the love of a pet!

- Sarah and Regan

Happy Tail: Trixie

Wanted to let you all know that Trixie is doing very well! As I type, she is laying beside me all curled up, happy as a clam.

Thanks again!

- Rebecca

Happy Tail: Archie

PFL, it has been going great! He has settled in to his new home. I took him for a hike in the woods in Holly last week, and have been giving him his daily walk, at least one walk a day (normally two), except for yesterday, but I made up for it with a morning car ride and walk with him this morning.


He and I have bonded better than I could have ever imagined in such a short time. We have been working on him pulling on his walks, and he has shown some signs of improvement. They were definitely telling the truth when they said he will eat Kleenex. Before I leave the house, I have to do a quick sweep through and make sure there is none within his reach. Haha.

Here are some pictures of us on walks and cuddled up.

Talk to you soon!

Namaste, Justin

Happy Tail: Lily

Just thought you’d like an updated picture of Lily! She loves her rescue brother, too. They are both extremely spoiled!  

Happy Tail: Patch

Just wanted to say thank you for saving Patch and his littermates when you did. Ever since I adopted him in September, he has been a joy to our family!!!! I took this picture today (his birthday), so you can see how big (70 lbs) he has gotten! I love him and he is the best! Thank you for all that you do, PFL!


Take care, Ann Mare

Happy Tail: Ceasar

Ceasar is doing great and is a great addition to our family. Your company and volunteers are angels. Thank you!

Here’s one more photo. It’s with a kitten we rescued from a company called Whiskers in the Window. We are all done with pets now. One cat and one dog is good. Lol. Take care!

- Carol

Happy Tail: Cabrera

It’s been about six months now and I thought you might like some current pictures of Cabby. We love him so very much! He’s such a snuggler and is so very good with my kids. He’s definitely a lap kitty, but he’s mischievous too and is constantly cracking us up. We can’t thank you enough for taking his mom and siblings in and raising what I now think is “the best kitty ever.”

Thank you again for bringing him into our lives. He brings us so much joy! I hope you enjoy the pictures!

- Stacy

Happy Tail: Brando

Dear friends at Paws for Life,

I have attached a picture of my spoiled boy. Thanks to PFL for rescuing Brando so that my family could love him.

Happy Tail: Kiwi and Pebbles

They are doing well! Kiwi (now goes by Stella) is quite a bit bigger than Pebbles (now Brady), though it is not obvious from photos. 


They love to snuggle. We moved into my husband’s house after the wedding in the Fall. The cats have adjusted to the move. We actually waited to move until after the wedding because of them! We didn’t want to leave them in a strange new house while we were on our honeymoon.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!


Happy Tail: Chip and Lady

Dear Paws for Life, 

Chip (chihuahua) is doing amazingly well and is already a valued member of the family. He just loves Lady (she is my first rescue from your organization, a cocker spaniel) and they play together pretty well despite the size difference. He certainly can hold his own in a toy tug-of-war and a backyard chase! 

He has figured out that Brandy the bichon doesn’t really want to be bothered with him so they pretty much just ignore each other, which is fine; it took Brandy about three months to warm up to Lady, so I’m sure by Christmas she and Chip will be good friends. He has his own doggy bed and food and water bowls and toys and a new collar with a name tag and two new sweaters. He’s so tiny, he gets cold outside in the mornings and evenings, and he has his own little crate to stay in when no humans are home (which is not too often), and of course he hangs out on the sofa with me in the evenings. I think if you asked him, he’d tell you he’s very happy in his new home, and we are very happy to have him with us. 

Here’s a photo of Lady, too! I haven’t managed to get pics of Brandy, Lady and Chip together yet. Chippy is very zippy when he’s running around with Lady, who is very rambunctious and Speedy-Gonzalez-like herself and, of course, Brandy is all “talk-to-the-paw”-ish with Chippy as of yet, but I do hope to get pics of all three of them together as soon as possible.

Thanks so much for checking up on little Chippy. I also call him Chipper and Little Dudesie, so he even has a few new nicknames! He is sweet and smart and cute and has made himself very much at home, so it’s all good.

Thanks, Janet

Happy Tail: Ed and Banzai

You guys are awesome to send medical reminders out like this. The good news is that they were brought up-to-date on shots a couple weeks ago. These two are doing great and have taken over the house. 

Right after moving in, Ed and Banzai have actually become Ed and Oliver. My Mom thought he was more of an Oliver … I lost the debate, what can I say? 

I’d love to send Paws for Life a donation, does it go to the 318 John R Rd #244 address? I think the work the rescue does is amazing!

Best Regards, Chris 

Happy Tail: Cooper

Hi, Cooper is getting along with and likes the boys. The boys like him and enjoy when he chases and runs around with them. 

He lost a little weight and is on a strict diet. The boys put some candy wrappers in the bathroom garbage can, he found them and drug them all over. Other than that, he is well trained, never went in the house (so far), and gets along with most everyone.

Attached are some pictures the boys took of Cooper. Thanks for the help and for bringing us our new family member.

Best regards, Thomas

Happy Tail: Allie

Hi PFL, Allie is doing really well. She is such a sweetie and so affectionate! We’ve had a great year together. 

We walk twice a day, and boy can she run, and she loves sleeping in our king-size bed.

Attached are some photos of Allie over the past year. I hope she likes her new home! 

Thank you for bringing her to us,

Mary Jane & David

Happy Tail: Harvest and Nessie

Hello! Since i wrote you last, both Harvest and Nessie and my other kitties have been doing wonderfully together. It surprised me that they all got on so well so quickly. I’m used to a longer adjustment time when introducing new cats into the family, but they seemed to blend right in.

Harvest was a little anxious for a few days, as if he wasn’t sure what was going on, but he is as settled as can be now (note his sleeping style with his toys). He has his favorite spots to watch the outdoor life and he loves sleeping with us. He is such a good boy. I love how he “talks” to me all the time. He loves to be in the bathroom with us, too.

Nessie was a little more confident coming in and seemed to settle in right away. She explored every inch of everything and she loves to play with toys and to snuggle up to sleep next to us for short cat naps before bursting into play again. She is such a sweet girl. She loves to play with my 4-year-old cats and Harvest, too.

We love them both so much.

Thanks, Laurie

Happy Tail: Starry Night and Gauge

I will never forget the first time I saw both Starry and Gauge. We fell in love with both of them right away. We met Starry Night first at her wonderful foster mom’s house. She was apprehensive at first and running back and forth with her head down. She had one of her playmates there and we could see that she loved the other dog, but she just wasn’t sure about us. The volunteers explained Starry’s horrible start in life and all of the medical issues she had, but as soon as we looked into those dark drawn eyes, we just couldn’t leave her side! There was a sense of hope in her eyes that I will never forget. We knew that someone had to take care of her and take her to the next step in her life, and we were ready for that challenge! 

We then met Gauge a few weeks later. Starry needed another dog to help her along and we wanted a second dog as well. We had tried another dog prior that Starry just didn’t mesh well with, but when Gauge came over for a visit, we saw that they were a perfect match! I will always remember Gauge as he walked up the sidewalk, with his big head held high and his happy face on! But he also came with all of his battle scars. His foster parents told us about his horrible attack by three other dogs and his unfortunate start in life. But despite his rough start, he was so loving and full of life, and we just fell in love with him! 

Both Starry and Gauge are doing amazing and they love each other very much. They play together outside and they cuddle at nap time. They also get along pretty well with our cat Rascal and they all lay around the house together. Starry is doing so much better with all of her medical issues and there are no signs of Gauge’s battle wounds any more. We just love all three of our fur babies and we couldn’t imagine life without them! I am so happy that Paws for Life gave us the opportunity to save these wonderful babies!! Life has never been the same and has never been better. We are one big happy family!!! 

Thanks, Patty

Happy Tail: Grace

Grace’s original owners surrendered her to the Bloomfield Township Animal Control because they had just given birth to a baby. Paws for Life rescued and placed Grace with a new family. The new family took her to the vet to be checked. The blood work came back positive for feline leukemia and their vet recommended she be euthanized. Instead, PFL took Grace back into the rescue. Once we received Grace’s prior medical records, we noticed she was vaccinated for feline leukemia, which was why she tested positive. She in fact doesn’t have feline leukemia at all! She got a clean bill of health and Paws for Life adopted her to another family. But she was returned yet again, because she was “too fat.” Instead of helping her lose the weight, she was returned. Then Debbie, one of our volunteers, fell in love with Grace while fostering her and decided to adopt her! 

Here is Grace’s Happy Tail from her adopter Debbie:

Grace came to me as a foster cat in July 2011. When I got her, I was told she was “returned” to the rescue because she was deemed “too fat to fit into the litter box”! Anyway, after two rounds of antibiotics for an intestinal problem, a special diet for three months at max, she was deemed in good health.

I adopted her because I couldn’t bear to part with her. She had adjusted to my home and my dog Lucca (another rescue) and was settling in.

Grace is very funny, I believe she identifies with dogs because she wags her tail like a dog and comes when I call her. She and Lucca cuddle on the couch sometimes with their heads together. He gives her big doggy kisses and she lets him! It’s hysterical.

Her health is great; she has lost a little weight and has found many places in the house that are “hers” to sleep on or under. The most endearing story I have is that Lucca, who is petrified of going to the vet and usually cries the entire time, was calm and collected when I took the two of them together for checkups this spring, and in fact, he layed on the floor next to her the entire time. The only time he got upset was when she kicked up a fuss about being taken out of her carrier. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her. 

Thank you, Debbie

Happy Tail: Bonnie
ALLEGAN, MICH. “ In April 2012, thousands of people read about the rescue of more than 350 dogs from an Allegan breeder’s, Pomeranians, Yorkshire terriers and mixed breeds condemned to a life of suffering at the hands of breeders turned hoarders. Bonnie was among the dogs in the overcrowded puppy mill, living in filthy conditions and neglected by people.


The dogs were surrendered to authorities and volunteers from rescue organizations across the state, including Paws for Life, rolled up their sleeves and went to work. The dogs were vetted, bathed, groomed and parceled out to get ready for new homes. It was a shining moment of human kindness and collaboration.
When Bonnie’s foster mom Angela, a Paws for Life volunteer, took Bonnie home, she had a challenge ahead of her. Bonnie was scared to come out of her crate because she had never even seen or experienced the feeling of grass under her paws. She didn’t know what it was like to go for a walk or a car ride, to get belly rubs or a clean, quiet place to sleep. It didn’t take long before Bonnie started to let go and come out of her shell, enjoying each new experience with the innocence of a child. She soon adjusted to her new environment and was adopted shortly after.

Here is her Happy Tail from Bonnie’s adopter Caryn:

When we got her, she was all of 9.5 pounds. I had to take her into our backyard on a leash because she was too afraid to venture out into the grass. Now she runs out of the house into the backyard with no problem. I haven’t put her in a crate since we got her, but I did keep her and Lucky together in the kitchen with baby gates.


Now the funny thing is that as soon as she got some strength, she started scaling the baby gate to get out. It got to the point where the baby gates just didn’t work anymore because she would climb over them like a cat. And, interestingly enough, when she saw Lucky go into the crate, she would follow him in there. I don’t close the crate door, but the fact that she willingly goes in says a lot about her being comfortable in our house. She’s adjusted very well to our schedule at home.


She can really chow down on the food! I would feed her and Lucky at the same time and whatever Lucky didn’t finish, she would eat (hence how she gained the weight so fast). She’s also sleeping through the night! It’s pretty amazing. Her life now is pretty good. She has a brother by the name of Lucky and the two are about the same age.


She’s now roughly 12 pounds and eating very well, she’s barking more than when she first came to us and plays quite a bit with her brother and by herself. She’s very, very affectionate toward me and my husband, so much that Lucky has now become extra affectionate.


She’s been a perfect addition to our family.
Thank you for saving her and for entrusting us with her life, Caryn

Happy Tail: Luke
A woman named Dawn bought Luke off of Craig’s List just to save him from the terrible life he was living. The former owner stated that Luke lived in a crate 23 hours a day, seven days a week – no life for a dog. Dawn then contacted Paws for Life Rescue for help.
Luke had been abused and was fearful of strange men. He came to the rescue with a broken rib and he was heartworm positive. He had a large lump on his back from living in a crate that was too small for him and he hadn’t yet been neutered. Paws for Life treated Luke for heartworm and had to keep him calm through the four-month process, so that his heart could rest. Next, he was neutered and the lump removed. All the while, the Rescue worked on his fear issues and, as time went, Luke began to trust strange men more and more. The TLC and devotion that people showed to Luke got him through it and lifted his spirits to new heights. He was adopted by someone who could give him the love that he deserves.

Here is Luke’s Happy Tail from adopter Chris:
I wanted to thank you at the organization Paws for Life for giving me the opportunity to initially meet Luke and to finally bring him home to be part of my family. From hearing Luke’s story and finally meeting him, it was apparent that the only thing he wanted was to share the love that he had in his heart with people.
For four months now, he has been an amazing companion, loyal friend to me and my family, and a blessing each day. When I come home from work each day, he greets me by lying down on his back, begging for belly rubs and staring at me when I stop because he knows that I will capitulate and give him a few more.
When I am home, his favorite activity is cuddling with me on the couch or in bed. I’m convinced it’s because he wants to keep ME warm. On warm days, he can usually be found in the backyard relaxing on the patio furniture, basking in the sun, watching people and their pets walk by, which coincidentally, is one of his favorite things, he loves it. We go for long walks around the neighborhood and he absolutely revels in smelling everything from the trees to the leaves and meeting other people.
Luke has been a godsend for me and I wholly appreciate the opportunity that Paws for Life gave to me. They took their time in selecting what they thought would be the best match for me and my life and I am so grateful that they matched Luke to me. We will be partners for many years and I am so happy to provide him with the life that he deserves.

Luke and Bobby
Sincerely, Bobby

Happy Tail: Rango
Dear PFL, we just love Rango and are so happy we have him. He is such a lovable dog and he is very happy, too. I will be setting up his appointment with my vet for his next set of shots and check-up. Thank you so much for your reminder. You have a wonderful organization!
Love, Vickie and Rango

Happy Tail: Lucy
Dear PFL, we renamed Lucy and she is now Megha. She has become ‘top dog’ in our house. She claimed the dog’s bed yesterday evening. Dog didn’t know what to do. I noticed in the middle of the night that Megha was still on the dog’s bed, so the dog jumped up on the couch.
Megha Lounging
Thank you for rescuing her!
- Stephanie

Happy Tail: Lemoni
Thank you, PFL! Lemoni is doing very well. She is very loving and a wonderful addition to our family!
She fit right in. She is very good with our 18 month old and very gentle. Thank you so much!

Happy Tail: Jazzy
Just thought we would send you a great picture of my Sissy (formerly named Jazzy), loving her new home. She smiles likes this all the time and she brings smiles to our faces, too. We love her so much.
Thanks again,
The Sassanelli Family

Happy Tail: Bruno
Bruno is a great match for our family. He loves everyone and is the perfect blend of playful and love.