Finding Love Through Animal Rescue
By Karen Ballum on October 19, 2011
While I'm probably more of a cat person than a dog person, I found much to appreciate in Julie Klam's Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself. Giving rescued animals a forever home is something that is near and dear to me. While not all the animals in my life have come from a shelter, they've all been rescues.
My family never bought an animal in a pet store. We got our cat from the local animal shelter. We lived in the country and we "rescued" a lot of animals who lived in barns. There are animals that can have very happy lives as farm companions. These were not the animals we rescued. I remember one day my family saw an ad in a community paper about a farmer that had a litter of puppies they didn't want. When we arrived there was just one pup left -- a small yellow dog that was friendly but a rather frightened. And she stank to high heaven of cow manure. We took her home with us that afternoon. If you've ever wondered, the smell of cow manure can linger quite a while -- even after multiple baths and romps in the rain.
My current pet is a cat I've had for 12 years. She came to me when the superintendent in my apartment building told me someone on the first floor of the building had a litter of kittens that needed homes, indicating that the kittens would not come to a good end if they were not claimed. I knew that if I looked at them I'd take one, and I resisted for awhile. My student budget was tight and there wasn't a lot of wiggle room for human emergencies, let alone feline ones. But one day the super dragged me to see them. I held a little fluffball of fur in my hand and claimed her. When it was time for me to take her home she quickly got named "Piper," though on the Internet she's more commonly known as the "Fake Cat."
Prior to living with me, my husband had never owned a pet. His grandparents had a dog on their farm but him? Not even so much as a goldfish. (I am not counting his sea-monkeys ... ) He didn't really get why people had pets, especially cats. Piper is also a rather particular cat. I am her human. She had no use for any others unless it was feeding time, and then she'd love you until the food was on her dish. Sure, she'd tolerate people, but that was about it. Over the last few years, it's been rewarding to watch the two of them bond. Piper has learned to trust another human, and my husband has learned that pet ownership can be pretty darned rewarding.
Have you rescued an animal? Has a rescued animal made an impact in your life?
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