Sharing one's life with a pet can be an immensely rewarding experience. Whether we live with others in a busy household or we live alone, the presence of a pet can enhance our lives immeasurably. Here are some stories told to us by people living in Moscow about the animals who share their lives.
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Teddy, Tiger & Spotty
Friends of ours, Kate and Brent, noticed a Mother cat who tried to hide her 7 kittens in a car. They decided to leave a note for the driver not to move his car before he had called them to pick up all the kittens. The sad truth is that he couldn't be bothered... and took off without giving notice to our friends . On his return, our friends rescued the remaining three kittens together with their mother and gave them shelter in their home - where there were already 4 cats and a dog waiting (all of them as well rescued animals from all over the the world, including Russia).
Almost at the same time Kate and Brent were unexpectedly and on a short notice transposted to Germany. This is how we ended up with four more cats; the mother cat (Mum) and the kittens who were about 3 - 4 weeks old when we got them. Mum, wild as she is, was not too happy to stay indoors but still she was an excellent mother. As we shut our own two cats in our bedroom at night (as well rescued cats from Moscows streets), Mum had some space and could stroll around in the appartment, jump up and down the staircases and inspect the terrace. After vacccination we had agreed to bring Mum to Kate and Brent in Germany. The winter before, they had rescued the brother of Mum because he always showed up when they were walking their dog and tried to play with this dog. Interestingly, when Mum arrived at her new home, Brother seemed to recall his sister after a year of separation and carressed and groomed her non-stop for about 20 minutes. Thus a happy ending in its own.
In the meantime and thanks to publication at my husbands office and on the website Moscowanimals.com, the kittens found new loving homes one after the other. Teddy, a fluffy black boy with a very short tail - 2 cm - as it was sizzled in the car, found a family with a young girl and is making progress. Tiger, his brother left us a week later to a lovely couple who enjoy him, spoil him and make his life heaven on earth. So our cats where just too happy to take care of the remaining girl, Spotty. She was totally spoiled by our cats, and we had great fun watching how they shared their "new job" by training, grooming and playing together.
The three had really good fun and we had already decided to keep her when we received an email asking specially for Spotty. Our cats were pretty sad to see Spotty go to this charming couple who had previously adopted a stray red kitten of same age 3 days before. From what we have heard the two have became great buddies and Spotty is teaching her new brother some of the tricks she learnt from her previous big cat family.
All these families keep us regularly informed by photos and mail about the well-being of these new additions to their families.
Our flat became quite silent after the kittens left. It was great pleasure to see them being brought up by Mum and finally finding loving and caring new homes. Our cats seem to be a bit bored, but they don't know that there is a little 5 - 6 months old tabby in our backyard which we are feeding since a couple of months together with some grown ups who might require some shelter for the winter ..
Robby and Jon Peterson with their new best friend "Murochka" (adopted through Moscow Animals).
Save Ferris by Liz Dolan
(Taken from the "Satellite Sisters" Newsletter)
I have been meaning to thank you.
Early this summer, when I asked for your help on the radio show choosing the perfect dog for me, we got lots of helpful calls and emails. Get a dachshund. Akitas are king. Nothing beats a mutt. The suggestions poured in. I have never had a dog before, so I wanted to get it right. Our favorite pet expert, columnist and author Deborah Wood, reassured me that there just are no bad dogs. All dogs are good as long as they are with the right owner.
One thing that struck me is how much you all love your dogs, no matter what the pedigree. Everyone believes their own dog is the best dog in the world.
Well, sorry. I hate to disappoint you, but my new dog Ferris is the best dog in the world. Go to our homepage ( http://satellitesisters.com ) and look at that face. How could I resist? I describe him as "Wheatenesque". He obviously has some Wheaten Terrier in him as well as some Big Expressive Ear Terrier and Luxurious Fluffy Tail Terrier. Those may not be official AKC designations, but you get the picture.
I met him at a dog adoption fair. There were already several attractive suitors milling around Ferris when I arrived but he picked me. Really. Anita was there first and even came ready with treats and toys, but Ferris came and sat in MY lap. In a single month, he has taken complete control of my life and my living room couch. On our walks, he also seems hell-bent on a complete inventory of every squirrel in Santa Monica.
Lucky dog, but most of all, lucky me. For this, I have to thank you for your suggestions. Even more, I want to thank dog rescuers everywhere.
The dog fair where I found Ferris was organized by the Bill Foundation ( http://www.billfoundation.org/index.html ). This is a very committed group of dog lovers. They pull their dogs from Los Angeles' high-kill city shelters. Did you know that 8 - 10 million dogs enter the U.S. shelter system ever year? I didn't either. In Los Angeles,
only 30% of lost dogs are reclaimed by their owners, the other 70% only have a 20% chance of finding a new home. Most are euthanized, some the very first day they are found abandoned on the streets. In most cities, there is simply no place for these dogs to go, which is why groups like the Bill Foundation exist.
Here's the rub. They're broke. Jo Forman runs the Bill Foundation, which is named after her first rescue dog, Bill, the golden retriever/lab mix her family found sick and abandoned at ten months. Bill lived a good life for a decade with her family, and when he died, they decided to work on saving more dogs. They've been at it for four years. Jo called me the other day to ask for help. I wasn't home. She got my voicemail. On the message, she kept it together for 30 seconds or so, then just broke down. They are not sure how they can go on unless they get some cash. "We've got
everything we need", she said. "We've got the desire and the will and the volunteers and the time and even the foolishness. We just don't have the money."
Is that a Satellite Sister or what? That's why we are naming Jo Forman and all the other volunteers at the Bill Foundation our Satellite Sisters of the Week. We'll be playing her phone message in the final half hour of the show this weekend just so you can hear her voice and her need.
Rescue organizations are not money-makers. Most of the dogs they save need serious vet care to get them healthy again and they need to be cared for until they are adopted. If you want to help Jo and the Bill Foundation, they take donations online. Go to our homepage, which has more information
and a link to their website. While you're there, look at all those faces. How can you resist?
Santa Monica, California, USALiz Dolan is the sister of Julie Dolan Smith (yes, you guessed it, also one of the five Satellite Sisters) who is currently residing in Moscow, Russia.