DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Apr 29 2011

A Tug at the Heart

by Amanda L

I have a history of adopting stray and shelter cats and dogs my entire life. In fact, so far I have had six cats and two dogs.  In my experience, shelter animals are so appreciative of the time and love that you give them. Each comes with their own personality and baggage.

A little over a year ago, we had two visitors at my house.  These guys would just watch from afar as the family came and went. As the weeks went by, the smallest of the two began to creep closer and closer. We decided to feed these two stray cats (actually feral). They have since become ours. The three cats often will sleep with their older “brother” dog to keep him company.

I love to read stories about the experiences of others.  I  am always looking for that book to help me and my companions’ experience to be more positive.

The library has a variety of books to help with both of  these needs.

Here are some stories about shelter animals:

The dogs who found me: what I’ve learned from the pets who were left behind by Ken Foster

Lost and found: dogs, cats, and everyday heroes at a county animal shelter by Elizabeth Hess

You had me at woof: how dogs taught me the secrets of happiness by Julie Klam

Try some of these books for a better experience for you and your adopted companion:

The adopted dog bible by Kim Sanders

Choosing and caring for a shelter dog: a complete guide to help you rescue  & rehome a dog by Bob Christiansen

Cat culture: the social world of a shelter cat by Janet M. Agler

When your pet outlives you: protecting animal companions after you die by David Congalton


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken April 29, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Nice post. I love that picture. I love my adopted shelter cats, and I’m glad you were able to handle caring for those strays.

On a related note, there’s a nice children’s book in our collection called “Before You Were Mine”, by Maribeth Boelts. It’s kind of a tug at the heart for folks who love rescued animals.

Veronica W April 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Having just adopted a shelter cat ( Quizzy) less than a month ago, I definitely understand the “tug.” I have had store bought , stray and shelter friends and the love flowed from all of them. An interesting observation, however, is that sometimes the strays and shelters, once inside the house, show little inclination to run back outside; I had one cat who ran in the opposite direction when the door opened. She had found a home and there she was going to stay. Thanks Amanda. A lovely post.

Ken April 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Congratulations on your new kitty! Cute name, too. I’m guessing she’s inquizzytive. You’re absolutely right about strays and shelters wanting to stay in. That was true of my previous, long loved stray, Buddy, as well as my two fairly recent shelters. I feel better about that choice, since there are so many things that can happen to a cat while exploring the outdoors.

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