At the Animal Aid Rescue in the room where I met Ivy, there were three other cats. One was a black male cat that kept running in circles.

They told me that he has a neurological problem. He thinks he’s walking straight, but he’s actually running around in circles.

Will someone adopt the cat with special needs?

Red cupboard vignette

And then there are the not so lucky animals that are living in alleys and waiting for scraps of food to appear. They hover behind dumpsters and in every nook and cranny for warmth.

There will never be enough good people to adopt these animals.

And then there are the senior pets waiting for homes. People are often unwilling to adopt them. Sometimes they have special needs, which makes finding someone to adopt them an even harder task.

White coneflower

There was this 7 year old little black dog where I volunteered at an animal shelter years ago. His name was Pepper. The noise of all the dogs in the back frightened him.

Pepper was so well behaved, but so very afraid. I kept him near me when I was there. I took him around to hospitals to visit patients to show off his sweet nature, but no one was interested in adopting him.

It broke my heart to leave him at night, knowing he would probably hunker down in his cage and try to block out the noise. So of course I adopted him, even though I already had four pets at home.

Living room chair and table

I was raised around lots of animals. Dogs and cats and chickens. I remember we had one cat named Smokey who didn’t have all of one ear. I grew up around outcasts that probably no one else wanted.

I understood that feeling.

It is tough to thrive in a world when you know you are at the mercy of people who may feel sorry for you and take you in, though it is not an optimal choice for them to make.

You grow up always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It isn’t just animals or unwanted children. There are the disenfranchised. The people you see on the exits of highways holding a sign that says they are hungry and have no place to go.

How is it in this wealthy country that so many people sleep in doorways? That the veterans who fought for this country have fallen through the cracks of the system, are often suffering from PTSD, and end up living on the street?

It is often a very sad world, isn’t it?

Ivy on the couch arm

My sister Marietta, who I still have yet to meet, is disabled with MS. She’s on a very fixed income, but has a big heart when it comes to animals.

She too knows what it is to feel unwanted.

If you are unfamiliar with our story, you can read it about it here and here  and here. You can read how we found one another here.

Marietta often picks up dogs or cats and takes them to be neutered so they will not produce even more puppies or kittens that will not have a home.

My sister never married or had children. And I can’t blame her after the convoluted background we came from.

She was taken from our mother and adopted, but not to good people. That’s another story altogether that you can read about here.

So these unwanted pets are her family. Oh, and me now, though we’ve never laid eyes on one another.

Charlie and Ivy on the couch

Well, here are my babies today. Unless something happens to me, they will always have a life of comfort and love.

Ivy with her head in a blanket

I don’t know why Ivy has her head hidden. I guess she likes the softness of the fabric.

Ivy in the bathtub

Here is Ivy in the bathtub looking like she’s dreaming up trouble to get into. Just look at those eyes. They are full of mischief.

Charlie

Charlie perches on the arm of the couch and watches Ivy’s boundless energy. He is getting a little friskier watching her play, and that is so good to see.

Ivy with gourd stem in her mouth

Here is Ivy with the gourd or pumpkin stem she found last week. It is one of her treasures. She bats it around my vinyl floors like she’s playing hockey.

Ivy on the floor

Here’s Ivy on the living room floor. I am certain that she is contemplating another scheme or escapade.

She is a blur of movement until she finally gets tired and takes a nap.

I know all of you are pet lovers. Many of you have pets and take very good care of them. And it makes my heart fill with gratitude knowing that.

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29 Comments

  1. Brenda, I love your posts and the comments as well! Your blog is one of three that I read. My darling chiweenie was rescued 2 years ago when I was doing social work home visits. I told all my clients that I would take their pets if they were unable to care for them. This was after I had heard a number of horror stories of what had happened to some of them including getting thrown out windows, abandoned in the woods, used for target practice, etc. I am not a dog person but took home the 8 week pup with a severe over bite – the worst ever seen by the vet. A family with young children could not manage him. I believe that Dash was meant to join my family and turn a cat lover into a dog lover as well. This little dog has enriched my life beyond measure and I adore him! He has some eating difficulties but has a pet mommy willing to assist him so it is easier for him (holding his bones so he can chew them and having a platform made to raise his bowl up). I appreciate being able to connect with fellow animal lovers who consider their fur babies to be precious family members! Thank you Brenda for sharing your darlings with us. Your blog inspires me and gives me hope.

  2. My heart breaks thinking of all those sweet angels out there in need of a good home….if I had the budget, I’d adopt even more babies, but three dogs is rather expensive as it is, so that’s not an option, unfortunately.

  3. It makes me so sad about all the unwanted pets….and the unwanted people. I don’t know how our society can just cast off those that they feel don’t meet their standards…animals or people! I’m glad you have a relationship with your sister, even though you haven’t met. And thank you for adopting Ivy…she has a wonderful home and is lucky to have you and Charlie! Love and hugs!

  4. What a beautiful post, Brenda – and sad for the realities. If only everyone were just a good human being. Charlie and Ivy are lucky – your sister, what a gem. You both are, despite what life threw at you early on. Bravo –

  5. Brenda, I love animals ,too and love seeing pictures of your fur babies. I feed several feral cat colonies every night. The cats are all neutered and have had shots. Friends and I have provided hidden shelters for them and they are loved and monitored daily. Some even become not so feral and demand to be petted. Some just watch from afar and that’s ok too. Thanks for all your posts. You give us all pause and encourage us to think about what we can do for others. You have the most loving heart.

  6. It would be so hard to volunteer at an animal shelter and not want to bring all of them home! Wouldn’t it be cool to have enough money and land where you could have a big bunch of rescued animals? That would be so cool. Oh well, we all do what we can…I have my three kitties and that is all we can manage (in every way, especially financially) right now. I grew up with lots of animals, too. We always had a dog and cats and then when I was a teen and living in KY for a few years, we also had rabbits and a horse and a pony. Wonderful times…so many good memories of living with all those pets. And then when Brian and I got married, we adopted a cat from a shelter pretty much right away. So I’ve had pets my entire life.

  7. Brenda, just reading your words about all the animals that don’t have homes and the ones that have special needs that won’t be adopted makes me so sad for all of them. If I were wealthy, that is one thing I would help with. I would build a shelter-home for them all and hire other animal lovers to help take care of them. Crazy, right? I just feel so sad for them. Almost more sad than I do for human children who are unadoptable. Isn’t that a terrible thing to say? Maybe it’s not that I feel less concern for all the children without forever homes, but that I feel less able to help them than I do to help the animals. Raising a child is such a huge commitment for such a long time; it’s way beyond my capabilities at my age. At one time, when I was in my forties and still married, I wanted to adopt a son since our second child–a boy– was stillborn. But my husband was against it, saying it would take too much away from our relationship, so we didn’t do it. I still have regrets but since he left the relationship not a lot later, it probably was for the best. Anyway, I share your concern for all those animals and for all the children, too, who are homeless and unloved. I will never adopt an animal from a breeder, either. I think it is almost criminal to breed more dogs or cats or whatever, when there are already so many that need homes and love.

    I just enjoy seeing your photos of Charlie and Ivy so much. They are such great personalities and entertainers. I wish I could see Ivy in person with her pumpkin stem. She and Charlie are helping you stay healthy by providing you with amusement and making you laugh, right? A good thing.

    And you are right to wonder why in a wealthy country like ours there are so many animals and people that have so little. When you look at the way our government panders to the rich you see a lot of the reason. There are many wealthy people who give freely of their wealth, but it doesn’t change the fact that the the wealthy are treated preferentially by the laws passed and the greed and biases that exist among those in power. I think it is shameful.

    1. Yes, thank goodness we have a president now that is trying to change some of those problems you mentioned . For too long we have had too many politicians pandering to special interest groups to fill their pocketbooks..

  8. Hi Brenda,
    I am so happy you have Ivy now in your family. There are so many animals that need good homes and not enough people to take them on. So sad. I am glad we took the plunge again and adopted little Buddy. He is so adorable and we love him so much. I want to take on another pet too. I am hoping maybe next summer when Buddy is not a puppy anymore we can adopt another dog. The love they give is us so amazing. As long as I can do it I will take another one on. I look forward to that day. Buddy is getting so much love here and is settling in with us so nicely. I wish every animal out there could find homes like our Brenda. While a lot do there are still so many that need love and a good home.
    Have a good start to the new week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

  9. I think pets are better than humans. One cat we got from a couple having a baby and were scared the cat would hurt the baby. The first night we had him, my daughter cried in the night and he came with me to her bedroom and immediately curled up around her back. (She has scoliosis and is mentally retarded.) When she quieted down I got up to go and motioned him to come. He raised his head and seemed to say “I’m staying here”. Over the years he would go into her room and play a game with her. She would aim a finger at his mouth and he would snap at it, always missing, which made her laugh. He did this on purpose. Took me years to realize he knew what he was doing. A few years later I had a baby and he never came close to hurting the baby. He lived to be 16 and never hurt a child or a bird. But he did protect me from big dogs!!

  10. Our two dogs are rescued from a shelter and like you, I just want them to live out their years now in a safe place filled with love and attention. Our little Pepe just trembled in her cage trying not to be frightened by all the big dogs barking and it is what made me pick him up and bring him home as I could not stop thinking about him so scared. He was left with a truckload of breeder dogs in Miami at a shelter there and our NY shelter drove down and rescued some. It was the best thing for our other rescued terrier mix, like your Ivy is for Charlie. Buddies forever. Our daughter in law who is a special ed teacher just rescued a Pomeranian with a cleft palate. The dog will be fine as long as she doesn’t give it cheese or anything that could stick to the roof of his mouth. So here we believe like you Brenda, to give love to those who need it.

  11. I would love to rescue another German Shepherd. Centa and Baron are rescues. Each of them with physical issues. Baron only has one front leg. Centa when she was alive had physical and mental issues. It has just become so expensive to care for them and I am quite frugal. Being on my own and a fixed income makes it a challenge otherwise I dream of having a whole crew. Love the pictures!

  12. Yes, if only will could save them all. All of my pets have come from the Humane Society and my Molly, was rescued from a backyard breeder and I know she had at least one liter. What type of people can do this to this to animals, I don’t understand it. It took me four months after bringing her home before I could touch her and even after having her now for nine years, she only allows five people to touch her and I’m included in that five. She is not a trusting soul, but I love her dearly and she gives me unconditional love and wonderful friendship. To everyone that “rescues” animals, thank you.
    Carol and Molly
    xoxoxo

    1. I am lucky. Ivy is very loving and has to my knowledge never been mistreated. She is a bit reticent around males and my grandson, but if Andrew could ever stop chasing after her she might settle down and let him pet her.

  13. I really enjoy reading the day to day stories of Ivy and Charlie………it is so wonderful that the two of them get along so well.
    I wish there was enough love for all these unwanted pets. As a Mom to 5 precious Shih Tzu’s I could probably understand why someone gives up a pet and should for the right reasons but will never understand why they have to abuse them. I started out fostering and over time made a forever home to 7 Shih Tzu’s . Two has since passed but I know in my heart that they had a happy life before passing. It is such a reward for me to see my paw family bloom into happy paws without a care in the world. It takes time to build a lasting trust and one of the sad thing is much like us humans that did not start out in life with a good start they too never forget the bad times they experienced. My paw family will never want for anything as long as I am here to care for them.

      1. I so agree, Brenda! And spend all that money which could go to helping all the lost and unwanted animals. It’s something that really bothers me. I have noticed that some of those folks who buy animals don’t always have the income to do so. Sad, sad, sad! Pets as status symbols!

  14. OMG Brenda! I just read all the stories about ur sisters and I literally feel sick to my stomach right now! No-one (including you) should have to go through all that esp being young and innocent! I’m giving you a virtual hug right now! Hopefully ur other 3 siblings have had a better childhood and still aren’t suffering!
    So happy for you that you have a sister you can talk too now! Your family is growing and not just ur fur family. Yay!
    Have a great week coming up!

    1. I think I had it easier than the others. There were six siblings in all that I know of. And the ones I’ve talked to have horrific stories to tell.

  15. It really is nice to ‘meet’ fellow animal lovers here. it really pulls me down into a dark place when I hear about abuse. I always ask myself what is wrong with people who would harm animals? I am sure they have problems of there own but then don’t we all?
    Ivy has certainly found a wonderful home where I know she is loved and it looks as if Charlie is liking her too.
    I had forgotten how kittens can be and what they get up to. I don’t know if I could cope with one now, anyway Dexter would not put up with another animal in the house I am sure of that.

    1. People who abuse animals are the worst kind of people in my opinion. Animals are so vulnerable and at our mercy. And then there are the potentially future serial killers out there, children who enjoy torturing pets who will grow up to torture people.

  16. Yes, there is enough love to go around and I do believe that. My furry crew consists of 2 dogs and 1 cat (although I am hoping that a kitten I am feeding in the carport will let me add him to the mix soon). These are all rescue animals. Lucky is a 70 pound mutt who was dropped off (or actually thrown out of a moving van) in our neighborhood; he has a deformed ear, balance problems and dry skin issues. Gemi is a 75 pound mutt my husband found cowered down in a thunderstorm in a national forest. He was infested with worms and fleas, extremely thin, and scared to death. My daughter brought me the cat when he was just a kitten; she found him (skinny, dirty, and hungry) on the side of a dirt road. The cat is now 14 years old and still as awesome as when he was a kitten (still full of pranks and loads of energy).
    We have also had an older lab who had underdeveloped hips (and who spent much time at the University of Florida in their superb physical therapy program). We rescued her from an abandoned trailer; she was tied up and left behind with no food/water. I know that when we consider additional animals (and I know that we will never be without a furry crew), we will seek out rescue animals. It has been our privilege and a joy to call these animals family. Love your post today because it reminds us all of those animals and humans who need love and care.

    And the photos of your home, Ivy, and Charlie are wonderful (as always). Take care and have a wonderful day with your furry crew.

    1. Golly, wonderful and truly warm hearted stories Debbie. Hello again Brenda. Your post is so very touching. Inspiring also. I gave up a completely different life rescuing pets. It’s very important not to get overwhelmed. Easy to do. At one time we had 4 rescue (many others throughout the years also) poochies, and 3 katties. Was a lot of responsibility. Just by accident, several rescued older poochies were either deaf, or hearing impaired. Didn’t matter to us. They all need care and lots of love. For sure, each ❤ animal gives it all back! I would keep adopting & rescuing forever if possible. Getting old now myself. Our younger generation must do it. Please. You will not be sorry. Just ☺ happy with the championship of pets.

    2. Thank goodness there are people like you who clean up the mess others make by being selfish and thoughtless when it comes to pets. What would we do without you?

  17. Brenda your heart is so big with love! I too wish I could save more cats but can’t since my daughter is allergic . I can have one and she can still visit as long as she takes allergy pill but with two, would be too much. So I just love love love on my one Annie Girl. Hugs!

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