Cassidy, Roscoe, Jenny & Claire

Cassidy, Roscoe, Jenny & Claire

I just wanted to give you an update about our furry family from the Humane Society.  It has been 2 1/2 years since we first adopted.

Jenny and Claire, our two black kittens were adopted in January 2011.  We had lost our 21 year old cat, Kitty in November. One day in December we decided to stop at the Humane Society. We had never been there. There was an overload of cats. Some were in wire cages in the aisle. A volunteer stopped us to see if she could help with anything.  As I spoke to her, I felt something touch my arm.  It was one of two black kittens in a cage wanting my attention.  There was no way we could leave Jenny there.

Once we got her home, I felt bad about separating her from her sister Claire.  I had unexpectedly lost my sister and brother in law that year, and I think I was overly sensitive.  When we picked Claire up, she had just been spayed.  Her breathing didn’t sound right when we took her home.

Our son said she was like a statue.  I took her back the next day.  She had pneumonia.  The Humane Society went to extraordinary lengths to save her. She stayed there for two weeks.  When we brought her home the vet said she was 60% healthy.

Claire made the other 40% recovery and is a healthy, robust kitty today.  She is gentle, loves her food, her treats, her cat tower and sitting on laps and in window ledges.  Jenny is the queen bee.  She is mischievous, incredibly active, and gets into places that you would never expect to find a cat.  She is our little ninja.  If there is trouble, she will find it. The two are always together.

Our black lab Annie died of old age in the spring of 2012.  Once again, I stopped at the Humane Society – just to look.  I missed the sound of a dog in my home.  The next day I brought Joe back. There was a black lab mix with no info on the glass.  We were told she was on her way to rescue.

Her name was Cassidy. She had been adopted twice and returned twice during the four months she spent at the Humane Society.  We met with her in the courtyard and decided to take her home.  She was so friendly, what could possibly be wrong with her.

What a shock when we got her home.  Someone had taught her to play rough.  The mouthing was out of control, her separation anxiety alarmed the neighbors, her toileting was questionable and we did wonder what we got ourselves into that first week.  In the first month she shredded a love seat, ate several area and throw rugs, baseboards, throw pillows and comforters.  She excavated the yard.  But she was loving and happy.

With the help of a behaviorist at the Humane Society and our own determination, she has turned into a loving, affectionate dog that knows her boundaries (most of the time).  She has emotionally connected with us. The mouthing has stopped and she rarely chews anything she shouldn’t.  The separation anxiety is nonexistent. She loves to snuggle with us, sleep with a pillow under her head and she melts when we tell her she is a good girl.

Car rides, walks, play, and MacDonald’s ice cream cones are also big on her list.  She loves everyone that she sees, but with more control. If we reprimand her, she cannot give us enough paws.  She is 90% perfect.  The other 10% we attribute to her being a young dog.

We felt Cassie would benefit from a canine companion.  Once again, in November 2012 I started visiting the shelter looking for a young puppy companion.  But the dog that captured my imagination was Roscoe.  He was 9 years old, overweight and had an elevated thyroid count.  He sat with his back to the glass as if he had given up.  My family thought I was crazy, but when Joe and our sons went to visit him, they fell in love too.

We sent his medical records to two vets.  The first one told us to run.  We were concerned that he wouldn’t be able to navigate the stairs in our home, but we took him home.  When we brought him in the house, he walked from room to room, sniffed Cassie’s empty food dish, and went outside and buried one of Cassie’s doggie bones.  He came in and he was home.  No transition period at all. As for the stairs, he barrels up and down them like a young puppy.  He is a wonderful dog.

A week before we finalized Roscoe’s adoption, we learned that Joe needed open heart surgery.  He had no previous history of heart problems.

Two days before the adoption we were in London for Joe’s pre-admission.  We were in shock when we finalized Roscoe’s adoption, but we did not want to give him up.  Our son stayed at the house with the animals for the 8 days that we were in London.  Roscoe and Cassie stayed close to Joe’s side during the months that he was at home recovering.  We were his official caregivers.

They were his watch dog caregivers. Today, they know when Joe is on his way home before he even turns onto our street.  I think they developed an incredibly close bond during the months that they watched over him.

Roscoe has lost some weight, remains on diet dog food and LOVES his walks and car rides.  He sleeps on his Kong bed, usually with a toy that he has pilfered from Cassie. He is healthy and he is happy.  During the winter, he would come in the house with big chunks of ice. He has a high pitched whimper when he wants something. It is comical considering what a large dog he is. We feel he may have had small children in his life at one time.  When he hears a young child he stops to look for them. When he meets one, he rolls over on his back so they can rub his belly. Cassie has been very respectful of Roscoe and she has willingly shared her home and family with him.  They are the best of friends.

We are so grateful that the Humane Society exists.  It is sad that there are so many discarded animals, but it is also wonderful that you shelter them and give them hope until they can find a new home. Our son Andrew and daughter in law Nicky have also adopted two dogs and an 8 year old cat in the last two years (Mars, Sasha and Cree).  We will never “purchase” another animal.  When people stop and tell us how beautiful our dogs are, we tell them that they are from the Humane Society.  We tell them their stories and hopefully this will encourage others to adopt.

People tell us what a wonderful thing we have done – adopting four black animals.  What they don’t realize is that although we helped our pets during a difficult period in their lives, they have helped us far more during some very difficult periods of our lives.  There is not a day that they do not bring a smile to our faces or make us laugh.

Thank you for doing what you do.

Martha and Joe David