Rescue Journal

did you ever wonder....

Alison  ·  Oct. 8, 2006

about what exactly it is that makes us all tick as far as the animals are concerned? for me i know it was my childhood and i think that is why i still adore them so much, with them the wonder of my childhood friendships returns. how about you guys?



Dogs are the only creatures on earth that I trust implicitly. Dogs don't lie. They don't have ulterior motives. They don't ask for anything more than love and acceptance. They are not cruel for cruelty's sake, they are guided by instinct, and they make no apologies.

We, as a society, have perverted the perfection that is a canine. I'm guilty of anthropomorphising, projecting and making my dogs the centre of my universe, which is a huge burden to them, I'm sure, but they forgive me.

Three dogs have shaped my life. Bruin, a Newfoundland who was my constant companion as a child. He saved my brother from drowning, twice, and he soaked up all the strangled sobs and whispered prayers to a God that didn't seem to be listening to an abused and terrified little kid. He kept us warm, he kept us from being alone, he was our hero, our friend.

Silky was a black Labrador. She came to us after retiring from her career as a Hearing Ear Dog. I loved her more than words can possibly express. Silky died for me, and she took a huge part of my soul with her when she left.

And Kirby. My boy, my beautiful, brave(ish), bouncing, bodacious, brown boy. He is our little prince, our can-do-no-wrong boy. My feelings for Kirby are so intense that they cause me nightmares. He has come so far, our sweet boy, and he has proven to me that pure love exists, and it can move mountains.


My love of animals has been with me since I was born, I was the last of 5 children , so perhaps I needed to care for something. I always felt a connection with the other species we share this world with. It didn't matter if it was tadpoles, frogs, turtles or grasshoppers I loved them all & felt a need or want to care for them & make there lives better... I look back & of course wonder if those little critters really did prefer the homemade contraptions I built & called it their home.

My mother loves cats, so we always had a cat in the family , my parents are great & allowed me to have , hamsters, mice, gerbils, budgies, a dog, a pony & a horse, I think it was a good upbringing.

TJ ( aka TBone ) was my first cat as an adult, I got her when I was 19 & we shared each others company for 23 years, she taught me a lot & I still miss her a lot.

I've never really be able to understand people who don't feel any type of connection to the animals they come across in their life. They say to be understood, you must seek to understand... so I'm still trying to understand those people , so then perhaps they can understand me .


I think I love animals so much because they love unconditionally, and that is also why I think they need to be protected. They trust and love and don't ask for anything in return.
My parents fought really badly when I was growing up, and our dog Angus would come into my room with his tail tucked between his legs, because it affected him the same way it did me, and then he would see me crying and decided I needed comforting more than him and he would come and cuddle right up to me and lick my face, its really hard to cry when a shetland sheepdog is licking your face, and then we would just sit together until it all died down.
My parents don't fight anymore, but Angus was still my shoulder until the cancer took him.


I have always had pets of some kind in my life, usually a dog or cat. We got this beautiful puppy when I was 5 he was part collie/cocker spaniel the most gentle temperment. He would walk me to the bus stop in the morning and be waiting for me there after school. I slept in single bed, it was small but there was room enough for both of us if we cuddled relly close. Sometimes when I was in Elementary School he would show up on the playground so happy to see me and I would have to walk him all the way home. I know he only came because he missed me during the day but to be truthful I wasn't quite as happy to see him as he was to have found me. We had these 7 huge Maple trees in our front yard and it was my job to rake them into piles in the Fall. I would accumulate this huge pile and then dig a hole in it and hide. I could call for Scamp and he would come a running but wouldn't be able to find me. He'd dig through the leaves until we met face to face and he'd wash my face clean. He was a wonderful friend. When I was 21 and attending College Scamp got very sick and we had to have him put to sleep. My Dad, My sister and I carried Scamp up the mountain to the cliffs where we used to go hiking with him and we buried him there. I still think of him often , he helped me grow up!!!


We had a collie-lab cross growing up. Her name was Bimbo. We got her when we lived on Vancouver Island and she moved with us from there to Saskatchewan to Quebec and then to Great Falls, Montana. She was 12 when she passed. My dad was in the military for 33 years so we moved often. If I wasn't moving, my friends were. The only thing constant in my life was my family... and that included Bimbo who was followed by Brandi about 6 years later. My parents raised us to value our pets and that they were family in every sense of the word.

When I got my first 2 cats as an adult on my own, I had put at least 2 years of thought into getting a cat. I then looked for several months before I met "the one," which actually turned out to be two. T'ai was at the mall where the local SPCA brought cats into the mall for exposure. I looked every weekend at them. She was this super-skinny cat that had had a litter far too young and then fostered a litter of orphaned kittens. She was on anti-biotics because 2 of her teats were infected. I held her and that was it. I knew right then she was mine. Then I put her in her cage and they asked me to hold this other young cat because her fur was the softest they's ever felt. Haida took hold of my heart instantly. I ended up with two instead of one. I suspect Haida had been abused at some time because she was terrified of me. She got used to me after a while but she would bolt whenever I wore my uniform with navy pants. I had to take them off in order for her to come to me. Now I can do just about anything with her, she trusts me with everything in her. She is my baby.

I have since included Ziggy, another SPCA cat; and Cosmo and Kramer, two wild kittens my boyfriend and I trapped at an apartment complex we used to live in. In fact, we borrowed the trap from Carol. Thank you Carol. We also adopted Nibs, our "free to a good home" minpin who has the best home in the world. She gets to go to gramma and grampa's when I go to work.

I love them all so much. To hug them and press my face into their fur brings me as close to heaven as I can ever be. They don't judge me in any way, they just love me. What more can a person ask for?

Chris Thomas

I got my first dog, Tippy (a maltese/shihtzu cross) when I was 24 and I had just started university. She was my first dog as an adult. We had dogs growing up. Once I started university I also started counselling to deal with the many and varied issues of abuse in my childhood. That dog was quite literally my lifeline. We were so connected. She knew when I was upset before I knew. She knew how to comfort me and how to make me feel better. With her I knew I was alright. All through my undergrad Tippy came to work with at the group home I worked at. She made the trek to Queen's for my MA. She came to Newfoundland with me that summer to finish my thesis and help a friend. She eventually moved to Vancouver with us. SHe was my very first heart dog and I was hers and she let everyone know it!! Especially Deb who was not allowed to move in the bed at night or she would get growled at.

Tip was also my first rescue after a fashion. She came from a friend who took her for another friend. THe other friend owned Tip's mother but the mother was turning on her all the time. Tip was not house broken and had some serious dominance issues. My friend could not handle her and she smoked like a fiend. Tip had some respiratory issues and major reverse sneezing incidents.

So, I offered to take her for a weekend and I went to my parent's house in Radium and we bonded. Tip loved to play kong. Not with a little do kong though - she wanted the big honking one. SHe weighed 7 pounds on a good day and she loved to fly through the air holding on to the kong while I tugged. Then she would fetch it and the game would start all over again.

It was a match made in heaven for me. I had grown up with maltese dogs so I was very familiar with them. Tip had bonded with me so thoroughly that weekend that she never went back to Gale.

Tip and I were together for 10 years. She passed away a couple of weeks after a dental. She did had a hard time recovering from the anasthetic.

I can still see her spinning in circles whenever anyone came home. She was definately our alpha dog and she was not a benevolent dicatator. She was Tippy the Tiny Terrorist with her Tiny Terrorist attache case that held her Tiny Terrorist garotte.

Through Tippy I learned how to love and to be loved.


I don't know the answer to this one. I didn't grow up with many pets - my parents wouldn't let me have cats or dogs, though we had a bird and I had a turtle or two. During my adult life I've always had one or two dogs. But for me my connection - the heart connection - didn't really begin until I met my Emma, and then it just deepened and grew into something even richer and more spiritual and wonderful once I began to work at SAINTS. Maybe it was always there, but I just didn't discover it until I was at the right place in my life to do so. Now I can't imagine life without the animals and the sense of wonder and amazement and bubbling-up-inside-me-laughter I get just being around them.


interesting question to ponder...I identify with cats, worship them. I always have and always will. It's a very spiritual thing for me when it comes to cats. As for dogs, well they have just always been a part of my life.