Change your life in a moment

Eleanor at 12 weeks old
Eleanor was only a couple of days old when she was found. No one thought she’d live but we took her home, bottle fed her, burped her, purred to her, and loved her anyway. This picture was taken when she was 12 weeks old. I’d just returned from a trip and was so happy to be home, snuggled up on the couch with my little girl.

I wasn’t going to post a blog today. Sometimes I just like to slowly go back through the comments and take them in, thanking each person (sometimes in writing, always in my heart), but as I was outside playing with Luke just now, I found that I was feeling a little down. The thought, “You could step into a very different world, right now, if you would change your thinking”, came into my mind and drew me back to Fran’s comment yesterday. She reminded me of how I felt when I realized that Noah knew my voice….knew me.

I loved that moment in time. I remember how I felt that day. Nothing else mattered in that moment but that he knew me and I was going to take him home. One thing that so many of us here on the White Feather Farm blog share is our love of animals, and we all have stories that make us grateful, bringing us back to that snapshot in time when we let our hearts guide us. We didn’t always know how we were going to do it: integrate this new animal into our households or find a home for them, we just knew we would.

I invite you today to share your stories….especially if you are feeling a little (or a lot) down. I invite you to go into your mind and  shine a spotlight on that miraculous moment when your life became inseparably intertwined with another’s and you were both changed for the better by the power of Love. Notice how you feel when you do this.

Change your thoughts today. Dig back in memory, get the gold, and step into a new world right now!

“I have felt cats rubbing their faces against mine and touching my cheek with claws carefully sheathed. These things to me are expressions of love“. James Herriot


44 thoughts on “Change your life in a moment”

  1. I am so glad you are referencing what Fran said yesterday. I was going to write to say that I did not know or remember the Noah story. Is it possible for you to share the Noah history (again)? I will be thinking about how my animal children came into my life and changed it. Thank you for helping us to look within.

    1. Thanks Mary…I had to dig back in the posts but I found it!

      I first noticed Noah, 9 years ago. It was the summer of 2002 and all I saw was a flash of orange and white darting across Rt. 29 (a very winding and fast road). I knew that it was a cat, but didn’t know anything about him except that he didn’t belong to our neighbors. I started putting bowls of cat food out, but when he saw me, he took off like a shot. Then one day in November, I noticed him going into a shed behind our house, so I began putting food and water out there. I made him a shelter (a cardboard box padded with towels and old sweaters) and could see after a few days that he was sleeping in it.

      One day in January, I was mentioning this to a woman (that I barely knew) and she said, “I have a trap (sort of like a have-a heart) that I will bring to you tomorrow. You need to get him help. This week it’s going to be below zero. I also have a friend who runs a shelter out of her home. I’ll call her and get everything set up for you to bring him in as soon as you catch him.” I was a little stunned but it felt so right that I just said “OK. Thank you.”

      The next day, I coaxed him into the carrier. By this time he trusted me enough to let me get close to him without running away…it even seemed like he was responding to my voice? We drove the hour to the shelter and I sat in the back seat and petted him through the grate. When we arrived, I looked at my hand and it was black with dirt. He hadn’t been able to groom himself, he was just barely staying alive. I felt a huge wave of guilt for not doing something with him earlier.

      The woman who took him in said, ” Wow, he’s in rough shape. I’ve never seen an un-neutered cat of this age that didn’t have_______ (some cat disease that I cannot remember the name of), I’ll get him tested before we neuter him, but I don’t have much hope. If he is OK, do you want to adopt him?”

      We said no, we didn’t…. that we already had 2 large dogs and an old cat (Chakra), none of whom liked cats, so we wanted to put him up for adoption. The truth was, I did want to adopt him, but couldn’t see how we would manage it, and Jack was even more skeptical. She said fine, that she would take his picture and put him on the internet if he was good to go. My heart ached a little at that…thinking about putting his picture out there for anyone to respond to, but I didn’t let myself think about it. Then she picked him up and said, “You are pretty dirty, but you are a handsome fellow!” I loved her for that.

      Several days past and she called and said that he did not have that disease but that he had a very bad infection in his ears, worms, the whole nine yards. She said he would not have lived through the winter. She also said that after his medication was finished, he would be ready for adoption, and asked me to pick up the carrier/trap that I left there. I was planning on giving her a donation anyway, so I drove to her home with a bit of a heavy heart. I knocked on the back door and when she didn’t answer, I stuck my head in and said, “Hi____, It’s me, Mary Muncil”….a few seconds later she came to the door and said, “I was out with the cats and as soon as Noah heard your voice, he picked up his head!”

      That was it. Those few words. He knew my voice. Every day for weeks, I had been calling to him, as I set out his food, I talked to him when I didn’t see him, never really knowing if I was making much of a connection. I didn’t know where we were going to put him to recover, how I was going to tell Jack, (who was sure that one of the dogs in particular was going to be a problem), how we were going to integrate him with our other animals, but none of that mattered….he knew my voice, and I knew that it was going to be OK.

      “Lots of people talk to animals…. Not very many listen, though…. That’s the problem”. Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

      1. Thank you so much for the doing the digging to find the previous posting. It really helped me to focus in on a time that was so meaningful. And, yes today is a bit of a down day, so it is meaningful to look back at that special time of bonding and somehow knowing that something was right about a new relationship even though we had no idea the how, when or why of it. I thank for for helping me to remember a time of faith in the unknown (see my post below).

  2. Goodness, Mary, you don’t know how timely your thoughts are today and how I spent yesterday in what I call my ‘bottom of the bird cage days’ because of a troubled relationship with my former stepddaughter which has impacted on me in both many negative and positive ways over the past forty years. A widow of two years, I married her father and after ten years elected to disengage from the marriage thirty years ago. Still, the impact on my life, as I’ve tried to maintain a relationship with her and include her in my family, has placed me in compromising and stressful situations from because of her critical nature and need to stir up trouble between people. This past November, after an emotionally stressful year with her, I elected to end our relationship as it was, hopeful that, like a phoenix, it might rise again in a healthier form. It is now my son with whom she remains in touch from a distance and I’m so very worried that her critical comments of me will affect my relationship with him as it has my daughter. When I got up this morning, I told myself that this was enough bird-cage residing and to get on with things, let it go, let God take over my worries, love her in my mind but my heart still feels betrayed. As much and all as I try, there are days when this still comes back to roost. This morning, I’m quilting, I’m having herbal tea, I’m snuggling with my two Aussie girls, I’m listening to my Bose, enjoying the peaceful surroundings and then, in came your posting. How did you know I was down in the dumps, yesterday. Energy, perhaps.
    SandyP in Canada

  3. Hi Mary

    Your post touched a cord today – well it almost always does – I took on a young dog from our local RSPCA shelter. We had recently lost our beloved sheltie and I missed having dog so much. She was the dog they tell you NOT to have – she cringed in the back of the run and wouldn’t come out to see me, until my niece rattled her contact lens case – she was so curious to see what this strange noise could be We could tell that she was the most scared young girl that I’d ever seen. She was stick thin and her coat was awful and she had just been spayed a couple of days earlier and for some reason they had shaved most of her undersides. We only know that she had been signed over to the RSPCA (probably a cruelty, neglect case) by her previous owners. She had no training or social skills and was an absolute nightmare to live with. She was so terrified and everything seemed to make her want to run away from us or to try to bite us (well she did a couple of times) and every time we took her out we came home vowing to take her back the next day. My husband would come home from work and be so disappointed that she was still at home – I just couldn’t do it. Who else would take on such an ugly character that we would have to say might bite them. To cut a very long story short – it was the worst time of our marriage as it caused such a lot of trouble to keep her With a lot of love and patience she calmed down a lot and about 18 months later I was able to hug her for the first time without her going ballistic – I had that moment – she was finally MINE and has been such a loyal and loving girl ever since!! She’s now well trained and I can take her anywhere – into anyone’s home and she loves nothing more that a cuddle on my lap – even tho’ she’s a bit large for that!! I must credit Jon Katz for my keeping at it – as I read his blog daily too and he was chronicling his battle to tame Frieda at the time and I kept thinking if he can do it with her I know I can do it too – and I DID!!! The power of blogs I’m so glad that you and others write your blogs and I love reading them.

    Thank you


    P.S. my marriage survived too

  4. We were at a City pound looking for another Golden Retriever when I heard this insistent barking coming from a huge cage and inside there was this scruffy little dirty matted dog. It was like she was saying ME ME TAKE ME…and I did and named her MIMI….I loved that dog like none other…she was my dog…and she was with our family for quite a few years although sadly not enough for me….when she got ill and the Vet suggested she be put down…I couldnt bear it…and took her back home but seeing her pitiful gaze I knew in all fairness to her I had to comply with what our Vet had suggested. I stayed with her the whole time stroking her head and telling her how much I loved her and it was okay for her to leave now…I still have her tags and collar hanging on the mirror in my car where I placed them that day after leaving the Vets office. I miss her still and always will….

  5. Our neighbor children rang our doorbell one day and there in the arms of one young girl was the smallest kitten. At that time we lived with a Siamese cat named Samantha. Samantha ruled the house and although I had wanted to adopt several stray cats over the years, she would never allow it. She would hiss and stalk them until I had to find other placements for them. So my thought with this new kitten that my neighbor friends wanted me to keep, was that I’d keep him long enough to find him a home. Well to make a long story (he, Davey, was with us 12 years) short, the Siamese actually liked this new kitten and my husband and I fell in love with him. He added so much to our household and he became my favorite of the two. My husband’s favorite was Samantha so it worked out perfectly. Giving the poor little thing (he had some medical issues as well as being homeless) a good home ment so much to us. Everyone who met Davey fell in love with him because he had such a winning personality. I think he was always grateful for us taking him in. The Siamese lived to be just shy of 20 years! I now devote my time and love to a pitbull mix we got as an 8 week old puppy one year ago. She is a wonderful companion and when I read the quote by Maya Angelou yesterday posted by one of your readers I though of our pets (in addition to people) and how they make us feel so good. It must be why some people are animal lovers. I wonder how anyone could live without a pet, missing out on all those good vibes.

  6. I didn’t get my first dog, Barkley, a 10-week old Welsh Terrier, until I was 45. I wasn’t sure I would know how to take good care of him. I had two moments with him that your post reminds me of:

    I enrolled him in puppy kindergarten. We were in a class with a bunch of super-obedient golden retriever and lab puppies, and I had what the instructor called “a Welsh terrier-ist”. I remember getting home one night after class and sinking to the kitchen floor and sobbing “I don’t care if you’re the worst puppy in the world, I love you!” And he came over and crawled in my lap and smothered me with kisses.

    Fast forward three months, and my then-76 year old mother was hospitalized with heart failure and underwent a quadruple bypass. I packed up the puppy and went down to Florida to stay with her for a month or so. One afternoon, five or six of us were sitting around the living room when Barkley cam tearing in from the back porch and made a beeline for me and jumped onto my lap. Someone said “I guess we know who’s dog he is” and I thought, yes, yes we do.

  7. Mommy said she was in a ‘down spot’ in her life. She saw a picture of me and fell in love. The first time I saw her and she held me, I fell in love too and was hers. We’ve been a team every since.
    I love your story! XOXO – Bacon

  8. I remember when I went to get my beloved Chelsea at the MSPCA 13 years ago and the traffic backup on 495 in Massachusetts as we drove home. She edged her way over from her passenger seat so she could rest her chin on my leg and looked at me as if to say ~ “I’m fine, all is well, I know I’m going home.” As many here know I lost Chelsea in December and I grieve her loss every day. But I do have a new puppy to fill my life with laughter and fun. The other day I came downstairs to find Tess in her crate, sitting on her tail and wagging just the tip of it as she saw me. This was an especially endearing trait of Chelsea’s and I was amazed to see it in Tess. I believe it was a message, again, that all is well.

  9. a beautiful story, mary.

    some five plus weeks ago i got a nasty flu going around which landed me in bed trying to sleep, but coughing my lungs up from having pneumonia. no matter, my faithful finners cat has stayed by my side and refused to give up on me. what a spirit warrior he has been during this ordeal of recovery. i rescued him nearly seven years ago; what a boy…….so grateful

  10. I have shared my beginnings with my wonderful cat Diva many times and in many ways. So I thought sharing it again would be redundant.

    However, you then quoted one of my very favorite vets and authors James Herriot. As I was going through one of life’s transitions I went to the local library looking for comfort (tried other places that did have humans but did not find the guidance my heart was seeking). I read all his books and was so touched by his ability to love all those around him (both human as well as animal). Anyway, a few months back my Diva’s left eye had a film come over it – think it is referred to as third eye. I really didn’t know what to do so decided a visit to my local vet was in order.

    He said he had never seen anything like what Diva had so he went off to quickly check his reference books and called all of his employees in to take a look at Diva’s eye as he was sure they would never see this particular ailment again. A prescription was written and he did say he wasn’t sure if it would help, but to keep coming back and we would try other things.

    Off to the library again to check on exactly what he had given me. Did not like the side effects so just destroyed the medicine. Then as I was sitting having my morning mediation with Diva atop me remembered that James Herriot had once treated a cat for a similar problem. He did not mention what he had given the cat but I had the impression a change in Diva’s diet was in order.

    Long story short – the change in diet worked. The “third eye” went back from where it had come and she is now bright eyed and bushy tailed (another story).

    My love for James Herriot’s stories, the love Diva has given me over the years as I have faced life’s opportunities goes beyond words – or maybe not because it was because of James Herriot’s character, unconditional love for all those he helped as well as his words that helped me ease the discomfort of my wonderful Diva.

    I am personally still working on perfecting my unconditional love for humans but with so many great teachers out there know I will find the way.

  11. “We didn’t always know how we were going to do it: integrate this new animal into our households or find a home for them, we just knew we would.” This is exactly how I felt bringing home Jade. I didn’t have a plan, or a clue, of how to create a life around a little mutt dog from Ohio, but driving to see her I knew she would be coming home with me, and that was enough. This morning I slept in and woke up to her sweet face curled up, sleeping with her head on the next pillow over. Her face was squished on her pillow like mine was on my own and we slowly woke up together, squinting away the morning sun and reluctant to move from our comfortable spots. Watching her every day experience her life, our life together, has become a constant grounding point for me, where I can remind myself to be as present as she is always, and to share love unconditionally.

  12. I love these stories, everyone! Thanks so much Mary for suggesting we share our special moments of connection. My most recent and poignant memory of being “claimed” is not by a pet, but by a human, my step-grandson (though now that he’s ‘mine’, I never call him anything but my grandson!) – Last May, my son married his Mom in Sedona, Arizona. This little boy’s birth dad had only been part of his life for his first year and a half and then faded away, once in awhile, showing up but more times than not, breaking his promises. My son has become his ‘real’ Dad in every sense of the word, and the little boy is loved by all of us. The moment I treasure took place the day before the wedding at the rehearsal. The bride had the two families gathered together, with a favorite uncle of my grandson in attendance from Minnesota. We were maybe twelve gathered in the clubhouse, in a large circle. Before the bride began giving us instructions, my grandson piped up (sitting on my lap), “Grandma Susie loves me everyone, Grandma Susie loves me!” I just about melted – Cupid’s arrow struck me deep in my heart. I sensed what this moment was meaning to this little boy. He saw his loved ones all around him, and was realizing that his family circle was enlarging, and that he belonged there, safe in my lap, loved by all, and with his Mom about to marry my son, and make it all official. I really can’t think of a moment that has touched me more. The morning after the wedding (we were all lodged in a lovely bed and breakfast resort) I heard a little knock on my door bright and early at 6 a.m. I opened the door and there was Jacob, still in his little tux which he slept in!, saying his Uncle was still asleep but he knew Grandma Susie would open her door. While everyone was still sleeping we went on a nature walk before breakfast. Those moments of being claimed by an innocent child, – I won’t forget the sight of him in his rumpled tux or those words, “Grandma Susie loves me!”

      1. Yes! Thanks for sharing! This is a beautiful connection that has special meaning for those of us who are grandparents.
        From Fran

  13. Dear Mary, thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share our stories. When I first met my new horse Remington, I wasn’t absolutely sure about him. I knew there was something special…but I had looked at so many horses over the previous 8 months, my heart was skeptical and cautious.

    That day after our ride, I stepped towards him as he stood quietly in the cross-ties, scratched his neck along his mane, rubbing with vigorous affection and asked him if he wanted to be my horse. I didn’t get an immediate reply, so I asked him to just think about it until he came to the stables for a trial visit. A week late when he arrived, he didn’t see me when he got off the trailer, but a few minutes later when I went to get him out of his stall, he popped his head up, bright-eyed and looked at me “You’re that lady that scratched my neck! I remember you. I like you. I want to be with you!”

    It’s only been 2 months since the day he stepped into my life and my heart, but our bond is deep…the kind of familiar connection that feels like we’ve known each other for centuries. Which of course we have. He is my spirit/soul mate and I am blessed beyond measure to have found him.

  14. Dear Mary,
    Thank you so very much for reposting Noah’s story. Now I have it printed for future rereading.
    Whenever I’m feeling low I bring up the picture of Noah raising his head in response to your voice and I instantly feel cheered! It’s the loving kindness and caring connections that keep us going through our lives.
    Love again,
    From Fran

  15. So many change my life moments…..Peter, when our spirits first connected, and when we were parted 41 yrs later, Hilaries birth, Nates adoption , “homey cat “, our stray that found US, and lived to be 22. Noah, my fellowship” grand child” who has opened my heart and mind in ways I could never imagine, and who’s favorite pastime at 5 and 6 was to walk the beach with me in search of treasures or sea glass. Ella, Jack and Chloe, grand babies …..I felt an electric spark through my body when I first held Ella she is eight, and we are kindered spirits. We giggle and laugh, and go to yoga together!!!! And in between these life changing moments, were life changing friends…….who come and go but when we come together again, it’s as if no time has past, and their look, or their touch or their words, rock my world. Mary, thanks for reminding me to step back into gratitude for the humans and animals that have enriched my life. I have been blessed.

  16. Seven years ago we brought home two welsh terrier puppies (litter mates) and I named them Savannah and Sage. A few months later Savannah became very ill. Trips to the vet and the specialists revealed that she had suffered a major seizure and suffered brain damage. Every vet suggested the kindest thing was to “put her down”. I refused. Thus began an odessey to find a way to reach past the fog and find Savannah. Through a combination of therapies (accupunture, massage, behavioral games) she came back to us. Our goal was always to see her happy and interacting with others. Four years later we were headed to Carmel for vacation and had stopped in Eugene OR overnight. We were staying next to a beautiful pasture filled with ewes and lambs (it was early spring). On our early morning walk Savannah slipped her leash and ran beneath the pasture’s electric fence. She began to interact with the lambs – play bowing and running. It was a picture that will stay with me always because in those moments Savannah was a dog again – the loving joyful pup we brought home. We raced around to the farm to gain entrance as no amount of recall would return her to us. She was joyous in her enticements to the lambs to play with her. The pasture was huge and my husband circled round the other way hoping that he could approach her from behind. Unbeknownst to us – the pasture made a sharp turn and on the other side of the fence lay I-5 the major north-south freeway. In a split second Savannah ran past me, under the fence and in front of a truck. Mercifully the end was quick. The next few hours, days are a blur I dont’ remember much. The picture of her finally being a dog, her joyous interaction with those lambs and then the scream of tires. I think of those minutes of her in the pasture as a gift – seeing her fullfill what we had worked so hard with her to gain back. Savannah lives on in my heart and her litter mate – Sage lies on my feet as I type this. She touched our hearts with her struggles to get past the brain injury and her last gift to us was showing us she had.

    1. Eileen, I read in awe of Savannah’s life with you. Your nurture, love, patience and abiding devotion allowed her a life she would have never known had someone else abided by your vet’s recommendation. And you saw her soar!, and live her last day in utter joy. What more could any one of us want? Bless you for all your care and loving.

  17. That is such a cute picture of you Mary and Eleanor. Animals give us such love and peace and make us feel needed.
    Thank you for your blog.

  18. Time for me to reflect upon my relationship with my dog Ginger. She lived with me from 1991 or 1992 until August of 2007. When I began looking for a pet, I was having a difficult emotional time and my therapist at the time kept saying “get a dog, get a dog.” My therapist was not an animal person at all, but she kept repeating that to me. I began attempts to follow her suggestions. At the time, I could barely lift my head off the pillow – not functioning too well and frightened of anything and everything. I started to check around for a possible adoption and came upon a dog that I decided to check into. She was being held by a college student who had found her. I decided to adopt the dog – not having any idea what I was doing or why. Ginger came to live with me and it took about a week until the comfort and bonding began. I remember being in such a fog and not reaching out to her. Our relationship began to solidify, when lo and behold the college student wanted Ginger back!!! I did not know what to do. The student was having a bad time; I was having a bad time. I’m very used to giving people whatever they wanted. Somehow or other I had enough courage to keep Ginger. She passed away in 2007. She was truly the love of my life. She adored me and likewise I adored her. I had no idea the gift she was when we first met, but boy oh boy do I treasure every moment we shared. She especially loved to get under the covers with me or had her head on the pillow next to me and followed me all over the house. On our walks, she always chose the route. As she got older, and I would return home, I had to go to greet her rather than her being there waiting for me at the back door. We always understood and cared for and about each other.

    1. Mary Solomon, these stories we are sharing today, thanks to Mary M, make me feel closer every day to you, and all who contribute here. I am so glad you had your sweet Ginger. And Ginger was one special lucky girl to have you for her Mom!

  19. Hi Mary, Thank you so much for sharing your profound insight with your readers! For some reason your posts almost always seem to hit home with what is going on in my own life. After reading your words I am then able to turn my thoughts around and feel good again. It is comforting to know that the emotions I may be feeling are completely normal and a part of life. Keep on sharing with all of us. Many blessings to you!

  20. Oh I have a great story. 🙂 I lost a dog a few years back and was very sad. My daughter wanted me to adopt another one right away. I just couldn’t. She kept trying to take me to shelters but I just wasn’t ready. I did visit a few but could hardly bring myself to even make eye contact with the dogs. Finally she ended up at a pet adoption outside a local pet store. The guy had lots of basset hounds and an odd assortment of other dogs. She called me and finally convinced me to drive over. I was very skeptical. I quickly discounted the bassets (too big!)but way back in the corner was this tiny underweight lemon and white beagle, shivering and shaking. She was all eyes – skin and bones.

    My daughter kept asking me if I wanted the man to take a dog out for me. No. Did I like any? No. But my heart couldn’t stop thinking about the tiny beagle. I told my daughter I kinda liked her but no I didn’t want to get her out. I left as quickly as I could. When I got home I still couldn’t get her out of my mind. I called the man and asked if he still had her. Yes, and she’s been ours for 5 years. I couldn’t imagine life without that sweet little soul.It was a whole month before she made a noise. But you should hear her howl! A master. 🙂 I remember being so surprised when she picked up her ears. I thought they were permanently plastered to her head. My heart was taken from the first moment I saw her. Glad I listened 🙂

  21. About 10 1/2 years ago I took my cat Kitzli to the vet and he escaped from the carrier and, in spite of 1000 flyers handed out and miles of walking and searching, I never saw him again. The pain was awful. A kind woman on the search route thought she was seeing him. I’m not sure if it actually was him, but a neighbor of hers had died suddenly leaving a bunch of cats who were left outside to fend for themselves. That’s how Tootsie came to me, and I believe she led me to her. I have this sweet memory of Tootsie putting her paws on my face, looking deeply into my eyes and I could clearly hear “thank you.” Tootsie is frail and fragile now, weighs about 1/4th of what she did then and has a number of medical issues, but she is the cat of my heart. The other cats found homes too.

    Nine months after Kitzli vanished, I saw a found ad in the paper with a description fitting Kitzli and it was in that locale. It wasn’t Kitzli though they look a lot alike, and that’s how Herbie came to live here. He is the dearest, sweetest guy and I believe Kitzli sent him, and I believe Kitzli is where he is supposed to be also.

  22. I lived in Mexico for a number of years and raised birds, goats, donkeys. I tell you this so you understand that I had to go to the pet store every week to buy feed. They had a cage out front with a number of puppies in it which I always reminded the young boy to fill their water. I spotted a beautiful little white dog that was always so glad to see me. I always told myself, some lovely person is going to buy that little dog someday. The other puppies came and went and she began to outgrow the cage. She was 200.00 an impossible amount of money to pay for a dog in Mexico. Long story short, a lovely person did buy that lovely white dog. I broke every rule they ever made for buying a dog. But she was just born good. She was waiting for me and she is here in Canada with me as I write this. The moment came when I took her out of the cage and put her on the floor and she wriggled with joy and kissed my face. Margie, defied all odds, she is the best girl ever!

  23. A friendly, happy cat came into my life as a foster to rehabilitate for the vet before he could be adopted. He was recovering from an amputated left front leg due to a gunshot. I knew it was only to be a temporary arrangement so tried to help him relearn ambulation, eating, and litterbox skills without becoming overly attached. Soon it was time for him to go to a forever home but I kept finding problems with all the homes the vet hospital staff found-not safe enough, too many dogs, too many small children, etc., etc. None of these valid reasons probably. He has been here 5 years now and this turned out to be the forever home! I am a better person for having Sunny in my life as he is brave, smart, and never sees himself as being “different”. Some things that seem impossible or unrealistic at first can often be overcome. The fact that we already had a full plate of cats hasn’t been a problem!

  24. I love your story of Noah Mary. We all have really soft spots in our hearts for our pets. A few years ago an elderly couple living across the road from us passed away and left their seven cats. We found out the person that bought the home had a large dog and said he would kill the cats as he wasn’t a cat person (obviously). My husband and I went to the house before he moved in and got all the cats, which were all barn cats, in cages and took them to our house. My husband had built a small shed which we called the “cat house” and thought we would put the cats in this house for the time being since we did have dogs. We took all the cats to out vet and was told one of them had a disease which was contagious. Well, my husband put this cat in the cat house to keep him away from the others until his medications kicked in. The first night the cat was in the shed, so was I. My husband looked and called for me but found me wrapped up in blankets with this cat. It was so cold, even the water in the bowl was frozen. Since then all the cats were in the house and all lived out their long lives tucked into down blankets and given love they had never seen before. That has been over twenty-five years ago and the oldest one of the group lived to be almost 20. There is such power in love for animals.

  25. Whew! This post brought tears to my eyes. First of all because of what I wrote about today on my own blog ant Frankie’s spirit having shifted lately. It’s all good, but was a bit so sad at first. But then reading your post made me think of the first time I held Joie in my arms almost four months ago. I thought my heart would never feel that love again like I had with Frankie. But, again, I am head over heels in love. I feel so very blessed.

  26. A mug shot on Craig’s List
    An email to alert me
    My resistance worn down
    Now enters— Zoey.

    She stood at the window
    For hours when they left
    Alone together we sat
    Her heart completely bereft.

    But slowly she warmed
    And stole away my heart
    Home forever right here
    Right from the start.

    (Part two: Enters Meg…)

  27. Dear Mary and All Other fellow Commenters of today’s post,
    I’ve been very inspired and validated by all the responses to this Change Your Life in a Moment Post.
    During the 21 days in December when my beloved Simon (little black cat) was missing in the woods of Vermont and I was devastated and bereft, I kept telling myself, “he’s just a cat, “he’s just a cat”, get on with life you have so many other positives to enjoy. That was all true but it did not take away the missing and searching for Simon. Then Newtown happened and I couldn’t even begin to take in all the pain that was generating. Then miraculously when my Simon was found and returned to me mostly unscathed except for extreme weight loss my entire world was changed for the better. I truly felt as if a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. My world was right side up again all because of a little black cat and the kindness of others.
    i learned so much about myself and other people during the time he was missing. So many people were very kind and encouraging and sent happy messages when he was found that I learned the world has much kindness to offer in spite of all the bad things that happen and because of my new understandings I can relate betterto others who are experiencing loss. I can now more truly understand what others are feeling. Something I could say in the past but not truly understand.
    So Mary this column was a great gift for me.
    Thank you and all WFFF commenters.
    Love from Fran

  28. My husband and I have had many cats over our 38 years together. He travels often and there are times when I feel a little down. Toby came to us as a kitten, so small I could hold him in the palm of my hand. He was full of mischief but was not a lap cat or overly affectionate.
    One night, while my husband was gone, I went to bed feeling particularly down. When I awoke the next morning, Toby was sitting on my chest, looking down and staring at my face, with his paw touching my face. I will never forget the morning I opened my eyes to look into a mischievous cat’s face. After that, whenever I felt sad, I thought of the morning awakening. Toby lived for a good many years.

  29. Fran, I love your story. I’m so glad you found Simon. I have no specific tale, just a tribute to the 3 wonderful dogs who have inserted themselves into our family: T. Rowe, a beautiful and serene collie mix who was like God with an eating disorder; Darwin, a blond beagle who lived to be 17 and was love trapped in a dog’s body; and Dahlia, our shepherd-Rottweiller mix whose determined exuberance and love of live is exhilarating (and exhausting). I have learned from each of them.

  30. I have been gone for a bit and have been catching up on reading the entries here. This Is what I love about Your blog Mary, one can pick up anywhere and feel this instant connection. I remember the story of Noah and really enjoyed everyone’s stories of their beloved furry companions. Today’s blog makes me reflect back over the years and all the animals I’ve been fortunate to love. My sweet 13 year old lab, Maggie is slowing down, but still greets me at the door with tail thumps and her ever present lab smile. I consider myself blessed to have shared my life with 8 dogs ( and a pair of cats, until we discovered my severe allergy). Life would not be as sweet without their companionship.

  31. I just watched a small video of a lady my age or maybe more! She was dancing in her yard to “run around sue” She made me want to dance! Happiness comes at the most unexpected times. That song will be with me the rest of the day! (I’ll be dancing in my kitchen). Lillian

  32. No matter how down I may get about life’s unpleasantness at times, Sophie, my six year old adopted Pomeranian, is always there to calm me, kiss me, lick me, make me laugh with her shenanigans and remind me that she and I are a team. Thank you for reminding me!

  33. My good friend Marji got a pug after her beloved dog Paco died. I liked the look of him so much that I bought one too. We often let them play together and they became friends and enjoyed each other’s company., When my friend was diagnosed with cancer, she casually asked if I would take Diego when she had chemo and didn’t feel like going up and down the stairs to her apartment. Of course, I said yes.Then,there came the day when Marji could no longer care for her pug and he came to live with me, “temporarily.” Diego and my pug Churchill became even closer and I grew to really love him although sometimes he was aloof and seemed very worried about lots of things. The last time I took Diego to visit Marji she told me not to bring him any more. It was just too much for her to bear. At that moment, I realized that Diego was now my boy, my other pug. My good and beautiful friend Marji passed away a few years ago. I miss her so very much and think of he beautiful face almost every day. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was so much fun to be around. I know she must be happy that I have Diego and he is part of a close and loving pug pair.Diego has relaxed since his mistress’ death, but he still has the saddest eyes in the world.

  34. Wow !!!!! I love reading all these animal stories
    Mary I don’t post often but read your blog daily and it
    means SO much to me

    I adopted a Golden Retriever ( much like Linda’s story )
    He was 18 months old and came from a home with 3 boys all under the age of 7 ..this beautiful golden boy was an escape artist LOL
    I did take him to obedience class but for the 1st several months we tried to find him a home on a farm
    He turned out of course to be my best buddy

    I have a cat story which is actually my daughters constant buddy now
    My husband would fill up his work truck at a gas stn every ngt after work and in Jan ..we live in NC but it still gets cold at ngt in Jan
    this skinny little cat would be rubbing thru his legs meowing
    we have “never” owned a cat just dogs ..but are big animal lovers
    This poor little thing was living up inside a metal oil dispensing machine….finally I said..bring her home we will find her a forever home
    Took her to our vet and had her checked out and said we were looking for a home for her..she just smiled
    She follows my daughter around the house ..comes when she is
    called..walks down the driveway with her to get the mail and sleeps on her head every ngt LOL
    I think she is so greatful to have been rescued
    Our vet calls her the has stn kitty

  35. Three years ago I lost my best friend an Australian Shepherd, Border Collie cross- he helped me raise my kids and was a great teacher to me. I found out one Friday that he had Lung cancer and by the next Friday I had to put him down. So as I began to slowly heal, my next dog I knew I wanted to be something different. Maybe a dog that I only would dream about. My favorite movie is Out of Africa and in it Isek Dineson has dogs called Scottish Deerhounds. I researched the breeds and things started to fall into place like dominos. Almost too much so, but I just decided to trust it. I did not know how I would ever afford such a dog anyway. But the dominos kept falling and I sold some old gold jewelry I had laying around and now I have a beautiful Deerhound named Cian (hard C) – whenever I feel down or forget the power of the universe I go to my Cian – I call him my miracle man!!

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