We had a great time reading all the wonderful submissions for our Pet Adoption Tales Contest. It was so difficult to pick the four winners, because all of the stories were so heartwarming.
The truth is, every single one of the adoption tales we received is a winner, because they celebrate pets finding their furever homes. The stories spoke of the love between people and their pet(s), and it was clear that adopting them was the best thing for both the humans and the animals.
Nevertheless, we had to pick our favorites to award the awesome prizes – CANIDAE dog food and FELIDAE cat food. We thought you’d enjoy reading the winning tales too, so here they are:
Best DOG Adoption Tale: Kara Michalec
This starts a little sad because my 3 dogs had passed away within 2 weeks time. Milton (an American Bulldog/Pit mix), passed away January 31st, then Ale Capone (American Bully Pitbull) and Bedtime (retired Greyhound) passed away February 13th. I was completely LOST and devastated. I also lost my 9 year old retired Greyhound, Marla, in November. My pups have been my therapy and kept me from falling into depression these past 4½ years since I have become disabled and lost my career as a Fire Fighter/EMT of 12 years.
The night I walked into the Chicago Wolves game on Saturday February 16th, I was unaware it was an adopt-a-dog night. As soon as I saw the dogs, my eyes welled up with tears and I advised my niece that we had to "run" through the area and not to stop and look at any of the dogs. She understood and as we made our way through, I felt a nudge at my feet and it was Rocky.
Yes, I stopped and as I squatted down near the floor; the dog leaned on me, put his head on my chest and I started bawling... the man who was holding Rocky asked me if I was ok and I explained my story to him. He was heartbroken.
My niece and I went to our seats and I couldn't stop thinking about Rocky and how he more or less "stopped" me. When the 1st period started, I couldn't wait and risk someone else adopting him, I went to fill out paperwork and made him my "Rock!" The man who was holding Rocky said he was SO happy we came back for him because he really felt a bond between us.
Needless to say, it's been 4 weeks now and Rocky and I have been inseparable! He's really helped me through all my losses and while he most certainly isn't a replacement for my pups who have crossed over the rainbow bridge, he definitely has filled the large paw prints left behind in my home. I have even started him in classes to become my certified therapy dog!
A HUGE Thank You to Darren Haydar #20, Right Wing Hockey Player, of the Chicago Wolves for partnering w/CACC (Chicago Animal Care & Control)... without his partnership I would not have found my "Rock."
Best CAT Adoption Tale: Jennifer De Cangi
We went around the building to see if there was a drive-through; there wasn’t... BUT there was this beautiful grey and white cat prancing around some tables and a dumpster. My husband went to see if he was okay. Before I knew it, I saw him walking towards the car, carrying the cat! When he got into the car, we both looked at each other knowing what each other’s thoughts were: "Now what?"
We quickly got him some food, which he ate right down, as if he hadn’t eaten in years. He was purring non-stop and didn’t seem to mind the car AT ALL. We called the police and then animal control to see if he was a missing cat. We were told that he was probably dumped after his past owners left the shore area for the winter. So, we decided to cut our night short (our FREE night) and drive home with our new friend.
After arriving home and he was settled in, we took him for some shots and tests and later found out that he had a "strong positive" for FIV. I was devastated with the news at first, but slowly learned to just cope with it and move on. Today, "Rio" lives a happy life sleeping on his windowsill and teasing our three dogs. He walked into our lives just at the right moment and time. A few weeks later, Rio Grande was badly hit by hurricane Sandy. I don't want to even imagine what could have happened to him then.
Our story just proves that things really do happen for a reason. Fate gave us that one free night's stay, and our crazy late-night drive looking for ice cream brought us to find him. We love him, and he loves us!
Most Humorous Adoption Tale: Bruin Weiner
I remember it well because it took a long time for us to get home, but it wasn't a bad trip because my humans were well-behaved and didn't utter a peep other than to ooh and aah at how very handsome and regal looking I was. Far be it from me to sound immodest, but it was nothing that I hadn't heard in all my 5-1/2 years. Pawdon me, but to say I'm a stud is putting it mildly if that gives you any indication. I even came with papers (not the kind that some of my less intellectual pals do their business on) but that didn't faze my humans because they got me for love not show.
Long story short, what they found most enthralling was when they brought me into the house and I spotted the doggie door their deceased dog, Sandi, had used. As previously mentioned concerning my extreme intelligence, I immediately knew that "thing" was my window/door to the outside world or at least a great backyard, and I proceeded to go through.
Imagine my surprise when I tore the sliding door off its hinges! Though they had an extra large sized door because (not meaning any disparagement to the deceased) Sandi was a pleasantly plump Yellow Lab, I, however, was a 137 lb. extra tall Ridgeback. Notice I said "was" because in the year with my humans, they (I, of course, had no role) have managed to add 20 lbs. to my football player-like physique. Thank goodness for CANIDAE Platinum to help me get rid of the additional bulk so I don't get arthritis (I think that's what my humans call it). Although 137 lbs. was considered very big for my "kind," the vet (I'm not a fan) said because I was so tall I was not overweight then. Everybody thinks they're being so clever when they tell my humans to put a saddle on me!
Can you tell how happy we are to have found each other? Please excuse typos because though I'm loathe to admit it, I am, after all, a dog! Love, Bruin
Most Unusual Adoption Tale: Ron Hoerth
About a week later, we read about a nearby German Shepherd Rescue event. My wife and I agreed that we would go there just to satisfy our German Shepherd craving, but that it was too soon to replace our beloved Maddie.
The rescue had roughly 25 dogs, mostly purebred German Shepherds, of all ages, sizes and colors. The dogs were all pacing in their kennels and barking at each other. We came across one dog that was just lying in her kennel with her front paws crossed. She wasn't barking at all, but when she looked at my wife and I, her tail began a soft flop, flop, flop.
I looked at the name tag on the kennel and it stated this dog’s name was “Maddie.” My wife made an audible “gasp” as we looked at each other in disbelief. I asked her handler if he could pull Maddie out of the kennel. This particular Maddie was taller and longer with much more red than our previous girl, but she was just as friendly.
I asked the handler for more details about Maddie. He explained that Maddie was found wandering the streets and her owner could not be located. After several weeks at the animal shelter, she was facing euthanasia the following day. That’s when the German Shepherd Rescue of Sacramento Valley stepped in. Maddie must have been a very particular eater on the streets, as she was down to a mere 49 pounds.
My wife and I instantly fell in love with this skinny, lovable girl. We filled out the paperwork and paid the adoption fee to take her home with us that same day.
One year later, “Heidi” as we now call her, has filled out to a very fit 68 pounds eating a steady diet of CANIDAE pureSEA. Although we could never expect her to fully replace our Maddie, she has filled the house with so much love and laughter that our loss has become more bearable.
Every time Heidi lies down next to me and rests her head on my leg, it makes me wonder, who saved whom.