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Find a Home for Pawpaw: Man’s Dying Wish Is to Make Sure His Dog Has a Great Home

John didn’t want to live the rest of his life without a loving dog by his side. He needed a wheelchair to get around, but he knew that he was capable of finding a shelter dog and giving the dog a loving home. In 2017, at an animal rescue in California, he met his new best friend Pawpaw. Just like John, Pawpaw was considered a senior dog, so they instantly bonded and became a family.

The last two years, Jon and Pawpaw have lived of life full of love. John grew up and always had dogs, and Pawpaw is John’s 13th dog he has lived with throughout his life. He has said that he couldn’t imagine a more perfect companion than Pawpaw.

John suffers from ALS. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that can affect the spinal cord and the nerve cells in the brain. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease and the disease will eventually be fatal, since it will lead to the paralysis of the muscles that control breathing. As John’s condition worsens his heath has been declining and he is making plans for the future. His number one priority for the future is finding a home for Pawpaw so that the dog has a family after he passes away.

Many pets, even though they are beloved by their owners, end up homeless when their owners pass away, even if there are still other family members around. Other family members often don’t want to deal with the stress of an animal when dealing with other arrangements after a loved one’s death. John’s forward thinking is heartwarming, since he is trying to do everything in his power to make sure that Pawpaw won’t become homeless when he passes away. Many dogs will end up in local animal shelters, and for older dogs it can be deadly. Unfortunately, many animals have to be put down if there isn’t a home found fast enough. John is working with Muttville to find a new home for Pawpaw. Muttville gets a lot of different dogs from different backgrounds, but the founder of the shelter said that the ones that affect her most are the dogs that have a wonderful home but are brought there because their owner passed away or moved to a care facility and can’t take care of the animal anymore. Muttville has a program that is called Seniors for Seniors. The program helps seniors who have lost dogs and want a seasoned companion.

Pawpaw may be a senior dog, but at 13 years old he still acts like a puppy. He is constantly smiling and loves every human and other dog he meets. Pawpaw is easygoing and will likely fit well into a number of different situations. He could be the right fit for a family or even a single person. He does like to enjoy an active lifestyle, but also loves the indoors and sleeping with his owner. Pawpaw can also go on to help another person who is suffering from an illness. There are many benefits to people like John having a dog. When John adopted Pawpaw, he was told he only had six months to live but he’s still here.

Just like John, it’s not too early for pet owners to think about what will happen to their beloved pet when they pass. Animals are family and there should be instructions in writing and conversations with whomever will be your pet’s advocate. It can help save their lives. Many people are currently sharing John’s last wish for Pawpaw in hopes that he finds a new home soon. 

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Cat Accidentally Shipped 650 Miles in Amazon Box, Found Safe

Renee Yates

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Cats are known for their love of boxes, and Galena, a cat from Central Utah, is no exception. This adventurous feline found herself on an unplanned journey over 650 miles away in California after sneaking into an Amazon return package. Her owner, Carrie Stephens Clark from Lehi, Utah, realized Galena was missing on April 10 and immediately started a thorough search.

Clark shared on Facebook that after searching their home, the local area, and even the Jordan River Trail without any luck, they posted flyers and turned to social media. The situation looked bleak until an unexpected call changed everything a week later. A veterinarian in California contacted Clark to report that Galena had been found after her microchip was scanned near Riverside. The cat had unknowingly climbed into a shoebox that was being sent back to Amazon and ended up in a warehouse.

At the warehouse, an Amazon employee, Brandy Hunter, noticed Galena inside a sealed box among returned items. Despite being scared and a bit dehydrated, Galena was in good health, with no injuries apart from potential bruises. Hunter, moved by the cat’s condition, helped her receive veterinary care and coordinated with Clark for her return.

Clark and her husband flew to California to reunite with Galena, and the reunion was described as magical. The family then drove 1,400 miles back to Utah to bring Galena home. Clark expressed her gratitude for the microchip that helped locate Galena quickly and stressed the importance of microchipping pets. She also humorously advised pet owners to double-check their boxes before returning them to avoid similar surprises.

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Second Chance at Old Friends: Woman Finds Healing Among Senior Dogs

Renee Yates

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Kerry Gluck’s story is one of resilience and finding purpose in unexpected places. It’s a tale marked by anniversaries – a devastating tornado four years ago, overcoming long-haul COVID two years back, and now, celebrating two years working at a place that’s become her sanctuary: Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary.

Life wasn’t always easy for Kerry. A tornado ripped through her Mt. Juliet neighborhood four years ago, leaving their home in ruins. Then came a battle with COVID that left her barely able to walk. These challenges forced her to retire from her 27-year nursing career.

But hope arrived two years ago when Kerry started working at Old Friends. Funded by donations, the sanctuary provides a loving home for senior dogs with medical needs.

“The elderly dogs hold a big place in my heart,” Kerry says. “Every day is filled with activities for the dogs, both here and those fostered in homes.”

Kerry feels a deep connection with the dogs, having experienced her own struggles. “I know what it’s like to need help,” she confides. “I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for this job.”

The sanctuary recently celebrated its 12th anniversary with a unique event – a “Geezer Gala” dog prom! Dressed in their finest attire, the senior pups enjoyed the company of guests and each other.

“It’s a wholesome environment,” Kerry beams. “It just fills your heart with joy.”

Kerry reflects on her journey, acknowledging the hardships and the unexpected blessings. “My life is completely different now,” she says. “I celebrate with hundreds of friends, some with two feet and some with four.”

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A Heartwarming Tale of Kindness: Gaia the Dog and Her New Life

Kevin Wells

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In a touching story of kindness and companionship, a dog named Gaia and her owner, Lisa Kanarek, are spreading joy and comfort to those in need. The story began when Gaia’s original owner, Sandra, was hospitalized, leaving Gaia confined to a small backyard. Concerned for the husky’s well-being, next-door neighbor Lisa Kanarek offered to walk her.

“I walked in, and then Gaia came up to me very slowly,” Kanarek recalled. “And then I said, ‘Oh, hi.'” What started as a kind gesture turned into a regular routine, with Kanarek walking Gaia while Sandra’s health continued to decline.

In a twist of fate, two weeks before Sandra passed away, she asked Kanarek if she would like to take care of Gaia permanently. Kanarek’s response was an enthusiastic “Sure. I would love to.” After Sandra’s death, Kanarek officially welcomed Gaia into her home, providing her with more walks and attention.

Noticing Gaia’s gentle nature with neighborhood children, Kanarek enrolled her in a pet therapy program, which she passed with flying colors. “I can tell, when I put on her vest, she’s ready to go,” Kanarek said. Their first assignment was at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where Gaia brought comfort and joy to sick children.

Kanarek, who was finishing her training to be an end-of-life doula at the time, realized that Gaia was perfect for hospice therapy as well. Together, they now minister to the terminally ill, bringing solace and happiness in difficult times.

Asked whether she was doing this for Gaia’s benefit or for herself, Kanarek replied, “I think I’m doing this for both of us. I think it benefits both of us.” Gaia’s new life has brought her into the hearts of many, from the kids down the street to patients in hospitals. She provides laughter and levity, all with her tail wagging.

For Kanarek, life has also changed. Meeting dozens of people during their visits has brought out her extroverted tendencies, lost during the pandemic. “Before I knock on each patient’s door, I breathe in, then greet families with confidence,” she said.

As they walk through the halls of the children’s hospital, Kanarek thinks of Sandra and hopes she’s smiling, knowing how much joy Gaia brings to everyone she meets. “I’m trying not to cry,” Kanarek said, reflecting on her new life with Gaia. “It makes me happy; it makes me sad, because I wish I had known Sandra better, but I think this is the way that I’m helping keep her memory alive.”

Through their acts of kindness, Gaia and Kanarek are not only keeping Sandra’s memory alive but also making a positive impact on the lives of many.

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Frannie’s Remarkable Journey: From Overweight to Overjoyed

Kelly Taylor

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In a heartwarming story of transformation, a golden retriever named Frannie has captured the hearts of many. Once an overweight dog living a neglected life outdoors, Frannie’s journey to a healthier and happier life has inspired people around the world.

Frannie’s life took a turn for the better when Annika Bram, a 24-year-old second-year student at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, decided to foster her. Annika had recently lost her rescue dog, Georgia, who was also severely overweight when adopted. When Annika saw a video of Frannie, she immediately felt a connection.

“I think Georgia sent her to me,” Annika said, recalling how Frannie reminded her of Georgia. “Georgia is telling me I need to help this dog.”

Frannie weighed 125 pounds when she came into Annika’s care, which is about 65 pounds heavier than the average female golden retriever. Her weight was a result of a sedentary life, being fed table scraps, and untreated hypothyroidism. She never had proper vet care and was even found drinking out of a paint bucket.

The rescue operation was challenging, as it took four people to get Frannie into the back of a minivan. “She’s really been put through the wringer, and I think we got her just in time,” said Sydney Maleman, the president of the rescue group Rover’s Retreat.

Frannie was medically unstable when rescued, suffering from pneumonia and unable to hold her head up on her own. However, under Annika’s care, she has made remarkable progress. In less than three months, Frannie has lost 31 pounds, thanks to a strict weight-loss diet, thyroid medication, and increased exercise.

“Every day, her personality comes out more,” Annika said. “All that personality has been hidden away for so long.” Frannie now enjoys a bubbly nature and a sassy side, and Annika’s goal is to get her down to around 70 pounds.

The best part of Frannie’s transformation is seeing her enjoy life as a normal dog, with more autonomy and independence. Annika has now decided to adopt Frannie, giving her a forever home. “She’s not going anywhere,” Annika declared.

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Worcester Library’s Unique Approach to Solving Library Fees: March Meow

Renee Yates

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In Worcester, Massachusetts, the local library has come up with a creative and fun way to address the issue of lost or damaged books. The program, known as “March Meow,” allows library guests to reactivate their accounts by simply showing a picture of a cat. This innovative initiative is open to anyone who has misplaced or damaged a borrowed book and runs through the end of March.

Participants in the March Meow program can bring in any form of cat imagery, whether it’s a photo, a drawing, or a magazine clipping, to get their library card reactivated. The library has even set up a cat wall in the main building to display the various cat pictures and drawings contributed by patrons. This lighthearted approach has been a hit, with hundreds of returns already and numerous postings of random cat photos.

The local NPR affiliate, WBUR, described the initiative as a “never be-fur tried initiative,” encouraging patrons to “act meow.” Jason Homer, the executive director of the Worcester Library, is feeling “feline good” about the response. “We take a lot of honorary cats,” he said, referring to the diverse range of cat representations being accepted.

Even those without a cat can participate. One example is a 7-year-old boy who had not returned a “Captain Underpants” book. He had his library card reactivated after the staff provided him with paper and crayons to sketch a cat. “It spiraled in a good way from there,” Mr. Homer noted. “We were just trying to figure out the lowest barrier possible.”

The library’s message is clear: “It’s OK, we forgive you. Just show us a picture of a cat.” This approach not only addresses the issue of lost or damaged books but also helps to soften the stereotype of the stern librarian. “We don’t really have the high buns and ‘shush’ people anymore,” Mr. Homer said. “We are still book lovers, cardigan lovers, and cat lovers.”

Overall, the March Meow program is a unique and effective way for the Worcester Library to promote accountability and forgiveness among its patrons, all while celebrating the community’s love for cats.

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