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If you’ve been on the fence about adopting a four-legged addition to your family, you might find inspiration in some of the success stories we’re including here.

Laela Came Home

p11_Lori Hatton
Lori with Laela and two other rescues

After college, I was living in a single bedroom apartment, and missed having a pet. My parents had always had dogs while I was growing up, and I missed having a sweet face to come home to every night. I began to look for an adoptee visiting LHS almost weekly. After more than 3 months of visits, I had almost given up my search, but decided to go back one last time. I walked into the puppy area, and in the first kennel a small face peered up at me. As I leaned down to read the doggie info chart, I noticed that this precious black and white spotted baby was shaking. I asked the LHS worker why she seemed so scared and she said this was her first day available for adoption. My heart bled for her, so I asked if I could take her out of the kennel to get to know her. As I took her out and petted her, she immediately stopped shaking and I knew she was THE ONE for me. 6 years later, Laela is still a baby to me with her big brown eyes looking up at me. She has become a big sister to our two other rescues and taught them how to sucker Mom and Dad into extra treats and getting on the couch. She has graced our house with such love and constant loyalty and has been a true companion to me. I thank God every day I made that last trip to LHS.

– Submitted by Lori Hatton

Jupiter Love

Jupie and Paula
Jupie and Paula

We adopted Jupiter on August 8, 2012. After losing my Doberman and my kitty, I didn’t think I’d ever have room in my heart for another fur-baby. Boy was I wrong! Jupiter (‘Jupi’) stole my heart right there in the puppy room at LHS and I just had to take him home with me! He is so energetic and full of life and always wanting to play. Jupi has a big brother, Labrador retriever Jake, whom he just loves. Jupi’s favorite activity of all time is playing Frisbee! Thanks LHS for rescuing Jupi so he could come into our home!

– Submitted by Paula Squires and James McGee

Here Kitty

I adopted I-Chaya (the little black kitten, formerly Jaxx) from LHS a while ago. He was a little stray that weighed hardly anything. I was going back to work and wanted another cat so that my other cat, Piggy (the grey fuzzy one), would not be lonely. I brought I-Chaya home and Piggy was not happy. But now they are constantly chewing on each other and playing and running down the hallway like little horses. I-Chaya is now a whopping 7.5 pounds and will actually greet people instead of hiding in my room. I am so grateful that LHS found him and took care of him for me. I love both my kittens and am very happy – and I think they are too. They have my roommates and me trained! – Submitted by Robin Franklin.

Emmy the Genius

Carol and Emmy
Carol and Emmy

“Seventeen years ago, I brought my sweet Emmy home. On our last anniversary together in 2008, I wrapped and hid her new toys around the house while she was in the backyard. Very quietly and with no inflection, I said, “Happy Anniversary, Emmy.” Her head whipped around, eyes bright, smile bursting across her face. She raced toward the house, past me and into the living room, looking for those presents she knew had to be there. My genius dog. I miss her every single day. She made my life very, very special.” – Submitted by Carol Spence

Lilly and Willow

Cats rule and dogs drool…at least that’s how it works in Lilly and Willow’s house! Linda adopted these two gorgeous gals from the Woodford Humane Society when they were youngsters – over 13 years ago, now. They’ve been ruling their roost ever since, and have allowed a few adopted dogs to share their kingdom…and even share an occasional snuggle. They’re benevolent rulers, after all.

Sometimes pets inspire love in the most unlikely of places. These tabby girls did just that. When Linda’s husband met Lilly and Willow he was, well, a dog person. Not exactly a cat-hater, but a cat-disliker – or at best, a cat-ignorer. We have a theory here at Woodford Humane that a person who doesn’t like cats just hasn’t spent enough time with them, and Lilly and Willow know that’s right; they soon changed Linda’s husband’s mind. Linda says what surprised him most were their unique personalities – suddenly cats weren’t “just cats” anymore! Instead, they were quirky individuals and wonderful companions with lots of love to share. Meanwhile, back at the Adoption Center, we were quietly whispering “I told you so.”

Lilly and Willow are now pushing 14 years old, and have lived their whole, happy lives with Linda and her family. And, according to Linda, her husband may now be Willow’s favorite person. Cats rule, indeed.

Jake and Squirt

Cue the Odd Couple theme, because you’re about to meet one of the oddest: Jake and Squirt, a senior border collie and a sassy Chihuahua. Jake and Squirt arrived at the Woodford Humane Society together after their previous family moved and couldn’t take them along – a story that is all too common. It’s less common to find a pair of dogs as strongly bonded as Jake and Squirt, though; Jake was miserable if he was separated from Squirt for even a short period of time, and we knew they had to go home together.

Sherry and her husband were a little skeptical about taking home both dogs; they live on a farm, and weren’t sure that was the right place for Squirt. Who ever heard of a farm Chihuahua? But they knew how important it was to keep these two together, so they gave it a shot. As it turns out, the adoption was a perfect fit for everyone, on two legs or four: Jake and Squirt love exploring and playing on the farm, and Sherry and her husband love sharing their lives with their mismatched canine companions.

Sherry says, “We couldn’t have found a better fit for us! We love these boys with all our hearts, and they love us right back.” Squirt loves them so much, he even lets them have a little space on the bed now and then.

DORITO AND DRAKE

Dorito and Drake weren’t what Hannah and her boyfriend Michael were looking for when they walked into the Woodford Humane Society. They had recently lost a beloved kitten adopted from another rescue to illness; it was sudden and unexpected, and as much as they wanted to adopt again, they just couldn’t risk the heartbreak all over again. They were looking for a sturdy, adult cat – definitely not a kitten.

So, naturally, they wound up taking two four-month-old kittens home.

Love at first sight is real – or at least it was when Hannah and Michael met Dorito and Drake, two orange tabby brothers in a litter of four. Describing them as “little purr machines [who] couldn’t be silenced,” Hannah and Michael took a chance, and took the kittens home. After a clean bill of health from their vet, they knew they had found their new best friends.

Six months later, Dorito and Drake are perfect little social butterflies: they greet guests, shadow their adoptive parents, and snuggle at the drop of a hat. They get into their fair share of trouble, too – what self-respecting 10 month old kitten doesn’t? – but that doesn’t bother Hannah any. She says, “We can’t imagine life without them – or with just one of them.”   And they lived happily ever after.

Clarabelle

Ahh, puppy love – that’s what found Clarabelle a home, and Nicole a best friend to grow up with. Nicole had been begging her parents for a dog for years (a story that will no doubt sound familiar to a lot of kids and a lot of parents), and they had finally agreed; the next step was to find that perfect pooch. They spent a lot of time looking, and visited a number of adoption centers and rescues, but Nicole just couldn’t find the One – until they arrived at Woodford Humane, that is.

She spotted Clarabelle from a distance: a black and white puppy – part akita, part border collie, with too-big ears – playing in one of the exercise yards. After a few minutes of playtime with the bouncy puppy, Nicole knew her search was over. She had found her new best friend, and Clarabelle was coming home.

Eight years later, Clarabelle is still the perfect dog (and she’s even grown into her ears). She is still Nicole’s best friend, and she will be for many years to come. That’s what puppy love is really all about – building a love that lasts a lifetime, long after the puppy has grown up.

Bianca and Aubie

One farm, two kittens, and a family of cat-lovers: those are the ingredients for Bianca and Aubie’s happy adoption story! Bianca, a petite tortoiseshell girl, and Aubie, a fluffy Maine coon mix boy, were the perfect fit for each other and for their adopter, Melanie, and her family. Like many kittens in Central Kentucky, they were born to feral mothers on a farm; and although they may have started off on the wild side, by the time Melanie met them these kittens were anything but. All they wanted was a little love, and they got it in spades – from the moment they met, Bianca and Aubie have been inseparable, and have been head-over-heels for their new human family, too!

Aubie quickly outpaced Bianca as they grew up – he now weighs 14lbs and she has just passed 6lb – but they’re still the best of pals. Melanie calls them two peas in a pod. And she and her two cat-loving daughters have so enjoyed adopting a pair of homeless kittens that they even have a little extra love to share; so they stop by the Adoption Center from time to time and give it to the cats and kittens still waiting for their homes.

This article appears on page 11 of the February 2015 print edition of HJ.

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