Tag Archives: adoption

Adorable ‘Cats of Hazzard’ kittens put the special in special needs

A tiny twosome of kittens named Luke and Daisy and their older brother, Uncle Jesse, ended up in a Los Angeles shelter. All three cats have missing bones in their lower limbs, and have trouble getting around.

Or do they? As you can see in the video below, they don’t have the slightest idea there’s anything wrong with them. They’re just as cute as kittens with all their leg bones, and definitely just as deserving of care and a loving  home. Thanks to to San Francisco Bay Area rescue group Umbrella of Hope, they’re getting a chance at both.

Dubbed the “Cats of Hazzard,” the little family even “adopted” a new kitten brother, Bo, who came to the rescue group from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office Animal Care Division. He’s around 3 months old and has micropthalmia in his right eye, which has now been removed. The left eye has eyelid agenesis and entropion (missing eyelid and eyelashes that turn in and rub on his good eye). He also has an undiagnosed issue with his back legs.

All these dear little cats make up a differently-abled bunch with their own Instagram account, @catsofhazzard.

Umbrella of Hope is working to raise funds so they can see the leading specialists at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, to find out if there are any interventions that may enhance their quality of life. You can donate toward their care at www.paypal.me/UOH or https://www.gofundme.com/catsofhazzard.

Want to learn more or dicuss adoption? Email beourpet@gmail.com!

Warning: This dog will steal your heart!

Watch out, dog lovers: There’s a thief out there, and he’s coming for your heart and home!

His name is Bandit, and he’s a three year old, 47-pound mixed breed dog who just can’t catch a break — but I think his luck’s about to change.

Bandit came to Lucky Paws in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a severe eye injury that doesn’t bother him anymore, but left his cornea scarred. Some people just can’t see past that to the heart of gold within — despite the adorable one ear up, one ear down thing he has going on.

This little guy loves people, is easy to walk on a leash, affectionate, playful, snuggly, housetrained, medium-energy, and a real lap dog! He does need to be an only pet (another reason he really needs your help to find a home).

Bandit has a devoted advocate who asked me to help find his family wherever they may be hiding, and I have faith my readers will share his story on social media and we can get this cute guy home for the holidays!

If you want to know more or would like to meet him, please send me an email at petconnectionfbt@gmail.com with “Bandit” in the subject line.

Let’s do this!

Amazing Gracie settles in at Almost Heaven Ranch

Folks, I’m just so in love with my little Amazing Gracie I’m probably going to embarrass myself in this post. But I can’t help it.

In case you don’t remember, we adopted Gracie on Christmas Day from Second Chance Animal Adoption in our hometown of Bonners Ferry. Mikkel told the “love at first sight” story already, but I can tell you, it’s gone on to be a real “Love Story” for all of us — well, except maybe for Quora, but my theory is that she’ll come around soon.

I like to think I’m Gracie’s new best friend, and when she’s cuddling in my lap and wriggling and moaning as I give her a full body massage, I probably am. Her rear legs have some kind of deformity, and regular massage helps keep them limber.

But I have to admit, she might possibly love our Golden Retriever, Shakira, best of all. And playing, running and rough-housing with Shakira is probably the best therapy for her hind legs, too.

Quixote gets in on the action sometimes, but Shakira and Gracie can play for hours out in the snow on Almost Heaven Ranch.

Gracie spent her whole life since puppyhood in a shelter — they gave me this photo of her, taken on admission — so this is her first experience of being a beloved family pet. I’m so glad Shakira’s here to show her how it’s done!

But I’m sharing a lot of “firsts” with Gracie, too. Just today she tasted an apple I took up to the barn for the horse and went wild for its sweet flavor. She followed me up the steep stairs to the hay loft of the barn but after she made her passes around looking for kibble the cats have spilled, she walked over to the stairs and presented herself for me to pack down (I worry about her going down with those bad rear wheels) the to the ground.

Don’t tell the other dogs (or Teresa or Mikkel, for that matter), but when I give all the dogs a treat every morning, I give Gracie two. Okay, three. I figure she needs lots of spoiling if she’s ever going to catch up.

It snowed hard this weekend, and I got a real kick out of how she goes on her walks with her head down, lapping up snow — something I guess she never got to taste during her life in the shelter.

But our Gracie is an “all-seasons” kind of gal. She loves to lie out in the sun on the grassy area under a big pine tree. No matter how clean the shelter, or well-run, or how loving the people there, there’s nothing to compare with fresh air, sunshine, lots of exercise, and being part of a family!

Gracie’s been playing so much, in fact, that I’ve started her on Rimadyl. And despite the extra treats, I’m making sure she stays lean, to keep her rear legs from carrying any more weight than they have to. After we’ve gotten her loved up and muscled up, we’re going to take her to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine for a complete checkup, and to see if surgery might not be helpful to her.

So that’s it. I’m in love, and our Gracie’s a real part of the family now. I just couldn’t love her more, and encourage all my readers to consider giving a second chance to one of the amazing dogs in shelters everywhere — even if I did already get the best one!

Amazing Gracie captures a heart … and goes home for Christmas

Gracie is a black, two-year-old Lab/Pit bull mix with deformed knees who has spent almost her entire life at the Second Chance Animal Adoption shelter in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Gracie has a new address now — at Almost Heaven Ranch with my dad, Dr. Marty Becker and my mom, Teresa.

My dad and I, along with the staffs of North Idaho Animal Hospital in Sandpoint and Lakewood Animal Hospital in Coeur d’Alene, spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day visiting our local animal shelters and bringing toys, greats and other gifts to the homeless pets there. It was our way of trying to make these special pets have a happier day.

On the way from Panhandle Animal Shelter in Ponderay to Second Chance, my dad was talking to me in the car about how he wanted to get a new dog in the future. He said he wanted to wait for the right dog, one who really needed a home. Some of my work as a dog-trainer is at the local shelter, so I said that I’d be on the lookout for him.

When we got to Second Chance, we were busy handing out gifts. Dad posed for photos with a black mixed-breed dog named Gracie. Although she was far from lap-sized, she let him hold her in his arms, totally relaxed — almost collapsed.

At one point I looked around and realized my dad had vanished. I walked back to the kennels and found him sitting in Gracie’s run. She was cuddled up next to him, staring up at his face while he petted and held her. The treat-stuffed Kong toy we’d given her for Christmas did not mean nearly as much to her as it did just to sit next to my dad.

Although there were dozens of people in the area, it felt like there was no one else in there at all, like it was just the two of them. I was witnessing something amazing.

When I asked dad what he was doing, he answered me in a voice I’d never heard from him before. He sounded like a little kid excited to open his stocking on Christmas.

“She’s a special dog, Kel,” he said. “She’s just really touched me. I don’t know what to do, but she has really stolen my heart. I think she might be the one!”

I knew then and there we were bringing home a new dog for Christmas. She and dad had an immediate connection, as if they were soulmates.

As soon as dad, after a few minutes of deliberation, decided he was taking her home, the entire staff and volunteers were in tears. They said they had all spent many anxious nights worrying about Gracie and if she would ever get a home with her special needs. They figured she had a good chance of always being a shelter resident.

Instead, it turns out she had just been waiting there for the special person who was going to be her forever friend.

On the way home she was sitting in my lap, but kept inching closer and closer to my dad in the driver’s seat until half her body was lying in the center console so that she could have her head resting right by him.

When we got home to Almost Heaven Ranch, dad marched in with her, so much vigor and joy in his step. He reminded me of a little kid who just got his first pet, or even like a mom who just brought her new baby home from the hospital.

My dad speaks at veterinary meetings and conferences about the connection people have to our pets and how much we love them — he calls it “The Bond” — to help motivate veterinarians to improve their connection to pet owners as well as pets. I’ve always known how sincere he is about that, but this weekend I’ve seen it in action in a way I never have before.

I see dad looking at Gracie and seeing past her crippling ailments to the pure soul that lies underneath. I see him crying while he holds her in his lap, Gracie just staring up at him with such calmness, such a sure sense that he is going to protect her from now on.

This Christmas, we thought we would be giving out presents to pets  to make their day special. I never expected one pet would steal my dad’s heart at first sight and, as my mom said yesterday, turn out to be the greatest Christmas present he has ever had. I know each day with her will continue to be a gift.

Welcome home, Gracie!