Happy Tails - Recent Stories
2017-09-19 Chester and Stinky
Here’s a truly happy story, from my friend Tracy D:
“Last November, our cat, whom we had rescued in the blizzard of 2011, developed a droopy mouth. We took him to the vet expecting some normal dental work; only to find out he had mouth cancer. Two days before Christmas we had to euthanize him. While others suggested adopting another kitty, we felt too devastated to accept anyone new that soon. But, in the short weeks that followed, the emptiness was too much to bear, so we needed to look into saving another life in the hopes of re-fulfilling our own.
Since the cat we had just lost had actually rescued us, we decided to do the same for a couple of new guys. We turned to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, and through them we have adopted two new babies, Stinky (poor guy named himself, having intestinal issues as a baby), and Chester. Although we are reminded every day of our old buddy, we are forever grateful for our two new guys. They have filled our lives with so much love and laughter, and in the process have helped soften the blow from our loss.
“I have nothing but great things to say about KAR! As a devout animal lover I’m glad that they try not to turn away or put down any animal. If I had the resources, I would save and house every feline that I could (several dogs as well!). So I am grateful that these folks are doing what I can’t. I’ll always recommend them and, when the sad day comes when we are once again in the need of new family members, KAR will be the first place we look!”
Duke, a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix came from Kalamazoo County Animal Services as an owner surrender. Unfortunately, his family split up and neither side could keep him. While at animal services Duke lost weight, became dirty and had cage aggression, classic signs for dogs that under duress. Frequent visitors would turn away from Duke as he would greet them with a warning growl. Duke’s appearance and veiled attempts at being intimidating were no match for our veteran foster Rebecca P. Once she got Duke out of the cage, he was a different dog. He passed our rigorous temperament testing and was admitted into KAR.
Duke’s foster mom Kate F. reports, “Duke stole my heart immediately. All he wanted in life was to play fetch and to be loved. He had the best manners which included waiting for me to tell him it was okay to eat. If we were eating, he would walk out of the room and lie down! At night, as we relaxed in front of the TV, Duke would bring his ball to us and drop it. He would then walk a few steps away and wait for us to lob the ball to him. If we didn’t respond to the dropped ball, it was okay. He would patiently stare at us for up to ten minutes or more until we threw the ball to him! When it was bed time, he frequently tried to curl up into our chihuahua’s extra small bed! He was such a goof ball!”
Duke went to his forever home which has a new Mom, Dad and sister, Pepper. Duke now spends his days terrorizing toys, playing with his sister, running around the backyard and being loved on by his Mom and Dad.
His Mom recently shared, “Duke was a part of the family from day one, it seemed like he had always been there. Dad is his absolute FAVORITE person in the whole world, he wants to be right next to him all day long. We were thrilled at how well Duke and Pepper immediately got along, they quickly became best buds and partners in crime, Pepper now follows Duke’s lead on just about everything. Duke is a big lap dog; we are working on minding personal space (he has no boundaries!) but we also love the snuggles. Tennis balls are still his favorite, he also loves to protect his yard along the fence line with his sister, and for as good as he is at not begging at the dinner table he has a mischievous side and will take things off the counter when we are not at home (sneaky!). We can’t say enough about Duke, it’s hard to recall what life was like before he joined our family, and we are so honored that we get to provide him with a happy, forever home. Thanks to KAR and foster mom Kate for recognizing a great doggy when others didn’t and providing such awesome service during the adoption process.”
Portage Animal Hospital received this lovely update from some adopters who found their sweet Bella while she was being showcased there.
Lady Bella Chardonnay ... is very happily & peacefully adjusted, it is like she has lived here 30 Years! She loves to sit on the window sills & watch the birds at the feeders & the squirrels chasing. She has a hand made basket with 2 layers of lambs wool to sleep in, which sometimes she does, but also she sleeps on various chairs as well as in bed with us.
Bella plays with toys & paper scraps, etc. She licks our faces (with a very rough tongue!)
She purrs & loves to be held & brushed & combed.
She has her litter changed every morning, & 2 x daily fresh water & food, plus treats.
She is comfortable wearing her temporary collar, & her tag with name, phone, chip ID etc is being engraved & will be ready in a couple days. Our previous cat, Mia, was born in August, so she wore a lovely necklace of faceted peridots & cubic zirconia, & this is being remade to fit for Bella, and it will have her ID tag attached. We love Bella very much & she is a wonderful joy in our home & family!
KAR volunteers work to rescue cats and dogs from numerous difficult situations. A TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Release) cat is assessed for friendly or feral behavior. A friendly kitty will be prepared for adoption; a feral cat will be treated and released in a safe area. Which would it be for Oscar?
Oscar was a frightened mess. Our foster showed up at the vet carrying him in a live trap and wearing welding gloves. However, a few days later another volunteer found she could pet his back a bit – a good sign! Need for further medicating confirmed that Oscar was just frightened, not angry, so there was hope.
When Oscar was fostered in the office, he received attention twice daily. Volunteers found they could pet him, as he began to purr and ask for belly rubs. To help him along, his original volunteer took him home. At first he hid, but after a few days he stayed out and eventually wandered around the house – on his way to being ready for adoption.
His adoptive parents love him, he loves them, and they adopted Puma, also from the rescue, to be with Oscar. Oscar and Puma are thoroughly loved and treated like kings in their castle. Oscar is now a daddy’s boy; he follows his adoptive dad around the house and prefers to sleep with dad. But he also loves his mom and waits by the door for her to get home from work so that his whole family can be together.
Duke, a pitbull/terrier mix, came to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue from the local animal shelter. According to Susan C., a KAR volunteer, “He was the best foster.”
After spending some time with Susan, Duke found two wonderful adopters in Alice and Sandra. Alice says: “We adopted Duke last year from KAR, and he has been a wonderful addition to our family! The first few months after Duke (now called Panda) came home, he was very well-behaved but also reserved. It has been a joy to watch him come out of his shell as he has become more comfortable with us. Now he’s a big goof ball!
We had so much fun with Kalamazoo Dog Training Club’s obedience class that we signed up for Beginner Nosework. This was a really fun class where he learned how to find a specific odor that was hidden in various objects. Panda got the hang of it very quickly. We have continued to practice and hope to enter a competition one of these days. Recently we have taught him hide and seek – for now he only knows how to seek! He takes his job very seriously, marching around looking in all the closets and under the beds! It’s hard not to laugh and give away your position!
We couldn’t have asked for a better dog and we are so thankful to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, in particular his foster mom, Susan, for all their help and support.”
By Erica Holbert
My husband, Jimmy, and I have always talked about getting a dog but wanted to wait until renovations on our home were nearing an end. We also knew we needed to make sure we found a puppy that would mix well with our two rescued cats, Salem and Bella, and our niece and nephew, who come over frequently.
Before her adoption, Luna and her foster mom, Susan, came to my home for a visit to be sure that she would be comfortable with my home, my cats, and me. I was already in love with her after meeting her at an adoption event but I must say I was quite nervous if she would be as enamored with me as I was with her. Midway through the home visit, after looking around the house and developing a quick mutual respect with my cats, she sat on the couch with Susan and me. Before I knew it she was lying on my lap and falling asleep. It was amazing to know that my gut feeling about our future together might be mutual. Susan even commented that she’d never seen Luna do that with anyone. She lay on me while Susan and I talked until it was time for the two of them to go home.
Click here to read the rest of Luna’s happy ever after.
Rusty is a lovely pale orange boy who became a KAR rescue kitty when his owner developed a severe and debilitating allergy and reluctantly surrendered this beloved feline to find a new home. The sweet and personable little guy was obviously loved when he came into the KAR office Kitty Kamp accompanied by a special blanket, toys, a food dish, and other items that are given to a cherished pet by a loving owner. Unfortunately, poor Rusty also had a food sensitivity that had to be addressed with a special diet and he suffered from some health issues until he was provided with the correct special food while he was in KAR care. Happily, Rusty’s gastrointestinal problems were addressed and he was able to recover his health and show off his “catitude”.
Once Rusty’s health was on the mend, he became a great favorite of all his KAR caregivers. He would happily greet each person who attended his needs. My Friday morning cat care time was brightened by Rusty’s cheerful chirps of greeting and enthusiastic appetite for his special food. Once feeding was taken care of, Rusty begged for attention and did his “pattycake” routine, kneading the arm or leg of the person stroking his soft fur. Such a perfectly sweet gentleman cat was sure to find a loving home and he soon did.
Click here to read the rest of Rusty's happy tail.
2016-12-21 Charlotte and Rose
By Ariel Berry
Charlotte and Rose (previously Snowflake and Snowball) joined our family a couple of months ago. We have been wanting a cat for years, but due to living in apartments it never worked out. Over the summer we bought a house and finally started looking for a cat.
When we met Charlotte and Rose we fell in love even though they were shy at first. Although we were originally planning to get one cat, when we saw these two we knew we couldn’t separate them. Almost as soon as we got them home they overcame their shyness and now charm us every day with their big personalities. They love our fish and our turtle, and are even learning to get along with our dog.
Charlotte insists on grooming us (and Rose!) every day to make sure we look our best and she loves to play. Lately her favorite game is playing fetch with her toys in the bathtub. When we throw a toy in she jumps in and brings it back to us!
One of Rose’s favorite activities is looking at herself in the mirror. We think she knows how pretty she is! Rose also loves to sit in our laps. When she wants attention she makes a squeaky little meow that always wins us over.
They are both looking forward to their first holiday season and the many presents we have for them. Charlotte and Rose are fantastic cats and we are lucky to be their parents. We are grateful for their amazing foster family and the people at Kalamazoo Animal Rescue who helped us find each other.
This last year was really rough. I think I was nice, but since I nearly lost my life and didn’t feel like myself, I’m not sure if maybe I might have been naughty.
Still, I guess I must have been nice, because I ended up at Animal Services and then with Dusty from Kalamazoo Animal Rescue. She took me to Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic, where they kept me for eight days until I began to recover from pneumonia and act like a dog again. Knowing that Dusty is a KAR volunteer and that the rescue has limited funds, the vet clinic provided their services at a great discount. Once I made it back to Dusty, she was amazed that I was so perky and playful. They tell me that I was so bad off at the shelter that I appeared to be seven or eight years old, but the vet discovered that I am only one or two.
While I was so sick, I wished for these things:
- A fur-ever home where I can stay and not have to hunt for shelter.
- A couple of regular meals each day, and maybe snacks sometimes.
- Another dog or two that I can play with and learn from.
- A human who likes to play with me and let me dance.
- A bed to sleep in. It doesn’t have to be a human bed, but a warm bed where I am safe and loved while I sleep.
- A window seat to nap in and watch the people walking by.
- Someone to take me to the vet if I feel bad again.
- Someone who will forgive me if I have an accident while learning the ropes.
- Someone to give me snuggles, hugs and kisses.
- A family to call my own.
For Christmas, maybe you could just bring mom Julia, sisters Annabelle and Sandie, Dusty, KAR, and that nice vet something so they know how much I appreciate them for saving my life. I have everything I could ever want!
2016-11-27 Luka and Zeb
I wanted to give you an update on how my beautiful little kitties are doing!
I adopted Zeb and Luka back in June when they were only two months old. Now they are about 7.5 months old and growing like crazy. I can't believe how big they are getting.
They love to play all the time, but even more they love snuggling. The majority of my days we spend cuddling together and if I'm not there, I return to them snuggling each other. There is so much love in my house. I always tear up when I look at them. They are my life!
I am so grateful I was able to adopt them. I love my babies with all of my heart!!!