We loved reading all your pet stories! They were funny and heartwarming and it's very clear how much you love your pets. We can only have one winner for each prize, however, so I'm here to announce our winners. If you're a winner, please send your mailing address to facebook @ cfgo . com and we will mail you your gift!
For the little dog basket, our winner is Lynda Dugan with this story about Alvin:
"We acquired out little 'Alvin' who is a Chihuahua/Brussels Griffon mix 2 1/2 years ago, joining a family of 5 cats. He filled a void in our lives 6 years after losing a son in a car accident. We forgot how to laugh & play until we let Alvin's joyful spirit fill our hearts. It was during puppy obedience classes that we learned how really intelligent he was, learning sign language and understanding words by our simply spelling them and connecting to a "click and treat" method of rewarding him. His daily routine always includes "singing" for his Pupperoni stick which are his absolute favorite. I always stock up on bags or tins of them when I find them available at the Grocery Outlet. He is smaller than all of his feline brothers & sisters, weighing in at 6 pounds, so winning the little dog gift basket would be perfect!"
For the big dog basket
, our winner is Annett Krantz
, with this story about Holly
"A few years ago, I was looking for a dog and found an ad from people who basically said "Adopt Holly today or she will be euthanized" They were moving and couldn't keep her. Holly, a 12 yr old Dalmation wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but the ad kept buzzing in my head, so I picked up the phone and went to see Holly. Holly was just the sweetest girl. I couldn't see how people who had her since she was a pup would even think about putting her down. I took her home.
She at first was very shy and spent 3 days under the kitchen table, growling and snarling. I was very worried - I had a child in the home. But I knew it could have been just the change that had her upset. After all, all the sudden her family of 12 years was gone. But I kept working with her, letting her know we were her friends.
It took about a week but she came around and was very loving and became protective of my daughter. She would pace the hallways at night if she couldn't sleep on the floor next to my daughters bed. One thing I couldn't figure out was she kept barking at my then-husband every time he came home. Until a couple months later...I figured it out. He was having an affair. I kicked him out, and after some counseling I realized how mentally abusive my relationship was. I had no idea - it was just the way things are to me - but Holly knew something was wrong with him. Holly was one of the best dogs I ever had. She knew when I wasn't well and would curl up on the bed next to me. She protected me from my ex every time he came over :) and she was just a joy to have. She only lived with me for 1 1/2 years but I gave her the best 1.5 years I could....and in return she opened my eyes and helped me move myself and my daughter into a better life. She will always be special to me. She will always be missed.
I have adopted another dog, Dana. She is older as well. She's had a stroke but is strong and happy 90% of the time. She is a German Shepherd and she is proving to be again, one of the best dogs I have ever had. She ran off once and was found by Jason, my new fiance as luck would have it. I like to think she is Holly in a German Shep Costume :) She has been just as great. I'd love to be entered to win the big dog basket as it would be a great treat for her."
The winner of the cat basket
, with her story about Willetta
I'm disabled and rarely left the house, so I was surprised at a knock on my door one evening. My neighbor stood there, looking exhausted and close to tears.
"Here," he said, handing me a tiny white puffball. "Would you hold her until she dies. I just can't take any more."
The kitten looked at me with blurry blue eyes that seemed pretty bright for a sick baby. "Sure I will, but what makes you think she's going to die?"
"The rest of the litter all have in the last ten hours. She's the runt and she's the only one left. Her mother won't have anything to do with them."
I turned her over and tickled her tummy. Yup, just as I thought, more fleas than kitten. "She's not going to die, she just has fleas."
"My vet says nothing can be done on nursing cats and kittens"
I won't go into the rest of it. There I was, with a tiny two and a half week old kitten. I hadn't had a animal to nurse since I had moved in a year ago, and my stuff wasn't unpacked, my formula long gone. She hadn't eaten since the day before and she was sucking on my hand, letting me know she was HUNGRY!
I live in a small town, no over night stores, and he had come just as everything closed. Although I rarely left the house unescorted, I didn't even stop to think. I had the kitten tucked up warm next to my heart and I hit the convenience stores. All two of them. Niether had plain yogurt, which I needed for the formula. One kind young man suggested McDonalds was still open and they had yogurt desserts. At midnight, I talked two sweet young girls into selling me just the yogurt.
The next day I hit the stores again, buying supplies for the kitten. My neighbor couldn't believe kitty was still alive and doing fine. I fed her every four hours at first, and she got a bath in Dawn dishwashing soap every day. Word spread. After her baths I took her outside to dry off in the warm sun. Children massed around, most have kittens related to her by her grandmother. I got to know their parents. At 4 weeks, she was acting as a therapy kitten for my neighbor. At six weeks, she was harness trained. Tiniest harness you ever saw! She still weighed only 2 lbs and an ounce, but she was the most fearless, lovable kitten you ever met. HUGE personality inside that itsy bitsy little fluff of fur. And it was odd fur. Curly. Somehow, I ended up with a natural occurring La Perm!
She's been my almost constant companion for 5 months now. She sits nicely in the basket as I do my shopping. Nothing fazes her. So far, the only grocery store I have taken her into is the Grocery Outlet, because it's quiet and friendly, I've seen other service animals in there too. No one rushes you and if you need help, they go out of their way for you. Some of the store clerks already knew about her from my buying food and of course, toys for her, so they finally got to meet her.
And me? I know all the neighbors in my part of the complex, and most of the rest of them know me by sight. I go out almost every day now, I take Willetta for walks. The little ones argue over who's turn it is to hold her. Because there were around seventy cats here during breeding season, I got involved with getting them all fixed and finding homes. My landlady loves me!
Everyone remarks on how much I've changed. Most days I can actually go for walks without a cane. Willetta loves going in the car, because she knows that means we are going public and she gets lots of attention. She has her daddy's markings now, shes a lilac tabby point with midlength wavy fur, very thick and fine and incredibly soft. Her eyes change from gold, to green, to blue. She's met my big cat, an African serval, who she immediately adored. He thinks she's the most amazing thing in the world, within hours she was chasing him and she wasn't any bigger than his head! The rest of my cats tolerate her, a little jealous still, since she gets to be with me all the time. I'm hoping to start a website, she'll be the spokes-kitten for spay/neuter, rescue animals, service cats, and pet food donations for the disabled and poor. Even non cat lovers take one look at her and want to cuddle!
The wonderful lady who helps me rescue the cats also got a rescue lhasa apso for my friend in a wheelchair, so I'd like the cat basket of course, but the nail trimmers would come in handy for her dog and several other cats too.
I may have saved her life, but she gave me back mine.
And thank you all very, very much for sharing your stories. We love your pets—and all their owners too!