In Memory
 
If you have an "In Memory" story you would like posted, please email story and photos to: webmaster@torontohumanesociety.com
 
 

December 2, 2013

It is with a sad & heavy heart that I am sharing this story with you.

In Early November 2013, I lost my best friend Trixie.  She became quite ill, very quickly, and there was nothing I could do but to let her run free, to be in pain no longer.

I adopted Trixie from the Toronto humane Society shortly after bill 132 (the "pit bull"ban) came into effect.  She was so spunky and sassy, and she quickly melted my heart by sticking her paws through the bars, giving kisses, and rolling over. I didn't even read her sheet to notice she was deaf, I only realized once the shelter staff started telling me about signs she knew, and some information about deaf dogs!

We got off to a rough start (learning the hard way how much she HATED cats! teaching her not to be so mouthy, how to walk properly, and learning how to best communicate with her!) But very quickly she became my very best friend, and loyal companion. I loved nothing more than to spend all of my time with her.  Trixie came with me to work several days (I worked with young offenders and children with developmental and behavioral issues) and she melted the staff and kids hearts, changing minds about her breed, one snuggle at a time. 

Over the years my living situation, relationships, and life circumstances changed, but Trixie remained the constant in my life. She was always there for me.  In February 2012, my husband and I welcomed twin boys into the family! Trixie could have cared less, she gave them a few sniffs, and snuggled them when they were laying on a blanket on the floor, but so long as she still got to curl up in her sunbeam in her chair, she didn't think anything was out of the ordinary. In February 2013 we welcomed our 3rd baby boy! At this point, I began struggling with having 1 year old twins, a newborn baby, Trixie, and another dog Rambo whom we took in.  I was pretty much on the verge of a mental breakdown, struggling on my own while my husband was at work, with 5 beings to take care of! I was so physically and emotionally drained, I began to think I couldn't care for Trixie any longer, I began searching for a place for her, and knew the safest place would be for her to go back to the Humane Society, so I e-mailed them about the situation.

They were understanding, and told me i could bring her back in for intake.  A few bumps along the road caused me not to be able to bring her back, so we set up a new date.  I told myself that she would be OK there, and that she would be safe, and get love from the staff.  Then one night I was curled up on the couch, exhausted and upset, Trixie came in, gave me some kisses and curled up so tight beside me.  It was in that moment that I realized, it was not Trixie I couldn't handle, It was the changes in general that I just needed to adjust to my new family life. Having three kids in 2 years take a toll on you emotionally, financially, and physically. But it had nothing to do with Trixie. She didn't change. I did, and she didn't deserve to be shipped away from the only life she had ever known just because I was in a bad emotional place. SHE was the one who helped me relax and relieve stress, not the cause of it!  So I e-mailed the staff back and told them "Her place is here with us and she is never ever going anywhere!"

Knowing what I know now, that she only had 6 months left here on earth with us, there was a reason I changed my mind.  She changed my mind and made me realize that she was staying here with me to help me through the hardest time of my life, and I would be there to help her through the hardest time of hers. I picked up my sprits and accepted the new life I was in, and loved Trixie probably more than I ever had! We snuggled together every day, I put the baby in the carrier and went out with her walking every day, we played around in the backyard, I took her to a rally at queens park to educate about Breed Specific Legislation, she became closer with the kids, and got to spend her last summer lounging on a blanket outside (her favorite thing!) 

A week before she passed away, She stopped eating her food, and right before the vet appointment, she stopped drinking as well.  During our trip to the vet it was determined she was quite ill, and there just realistically was not much we could do.  I had to make the hardest decision I have ever made to this day, and that was to say goodbye to my best friend, the one who helped me get through the hardest year of my life.  She snuggled into me, layed on my lap, and just looked up at me like "its OK, i love you".

I miss her terribly every single day, but I am so thankful that she picked me that day I walked in to THS, and I will never forget the most valuable lesson she taught me that an animal is a TRUE family member and will love you and help you though anything. They will be there for you through good times and bad, and expect nothing in return but love. And I loved the heck out of her!

 
 

November 21, 2013

Owen c.1999-2013
On September 7, 2013, our darling baby girl Owen died of congestive heart failure. She chose us when we came into the Humane Society in January 2003. We were so fortunate to have her in our lives for almost ten years. We miss her terribly.

 
 

October 12, 2013

My dear 12 year old dog Viva passed away on 29 August. It was a beautiful day, but so, so sad for my husband and I. It was so hard to decide to end her suffering, so much mixed emotions...

I adopted Viva by the time she was a 5 month puppy. I was experiencing a deep depression after a separation and nothing could take me out of the house. Then, one day, my therapist suggested that I should get a puppy... For a moment I thought she might need therapy...I could hardly take care of myself...

She was so right! The moment I came home with my dog, the moment I realized that someone needed me 24 hours a day and I am responsible for her well being, things changed over night.

Literary "over night" because the next morning, by 5am, I was out and then again every few hours...
Step by step I started to meet people and other dogs. In a short while I had a group of "Doggy" friends. I wasn't alone anymore...

Every moment I had in mind; we need each other. She's waiting for me at home... She loves me just because I exist...

She gave me so much love and although she left a huge emptiness, we'll adopt an other dog the moment we'll feel ready. 

 
 

October 2, 2013

We adopted Hurricane on July 27th, 2011. We came down to get him specifically. He was 8 years old and had been in the Humane Society for a few months. We wanted to give this old boy a good final home to live out his days.

He was describe as a gentleman, and he truly was. Despite all his medical issues, his very protective nature and his willingness to eat anything not tied down he was truly an amazing dog.

Unfortunately we had to make the decision that it was Hurricane's time. The vet confirmed he was probably much older than he was thought to be.

On Monday September 30th, 2013 we took our friend, companion and family member for one last car ride.

He just wanted to be loved, dispite the past abuse he received and what ever other cruelties he had endured he was so sweet and smart. We justed wanted him to enjoy and be comfortable. He was so happy.

There will never be another Hurricane..(his name suited him so well). I loved my puppy and will miss him forever.

 
 

September 10, 2013

It is with an extremely heavy heart, infinite sadness and immense devastation, that on April 18, 2013, my incredible cat, Oscar, passed away, succumbing to kidney cancer. I wanted to share this terrible news sooner but I could not gather enough of my inner strength to do so.

On Sunday, June 27, 2004, I walked into The Toronto Humane Society to look at all the animals. Having a pet hamster at the time, I wanted another animal or two. When I arrived in a room with kittens to adopt or foster, I immediately melted. Being an avid animal lover and wishing I could have every animal under the sun while realizing I could not, I decided to foster knowing it would be satisfying to become a key contributor by making a difference by helping to get the animals better. With a strong warning that the animals had a possibility of not surviving, I knew with my can-do attitude, at least I could try. Not only was it my first experience with kittens, but it was also my first experience fostering animals and sick ones.

Because of the three kittens I fostered and later adopted, it turned out that fostering and adopting kittens, sick or not, were two of the most joyous and rewarding experiences I have ever had. I give all the credit to the kittens that made the impact and difference. Because I had difficulty deciding on what kittens to take home to foster, a Toronto Humane Society assistant chose three kittens that were each sick with Upper Respiratory Illness (URI). Since I did not want to hinder the health of the hamster and my husband and I, I was informed the URI was not contagious except within the kittens. Upon successfully completing the foster parent process, I brought home three littermate kittens, 4-6 weeks old, consisting of one male and two females, hence their names Oscar, Oprah and Panda. Oscar's nicknames were, "Handsome Hunk" and "Dogg." It is not the same without Oscar but I cherish being surrounded by his two sisters, Oprah and Panda.

I don't know how to convey this simply, but not only do I miss Oscar each and every day, he was, in the best, one-worded description, spectacular. As I slowly adjust to life without Oscar, words cannot describe my deep sorrow but in the least, I am left with fond, endless and enormous memories of nothing but his greatness. Oscar was a true definition of gone way too soon because he was only 8 years old. I will always remember him and everything about him. I know that I will forever have an angel on my shoulders for the rest of my life. You were, are and always will be affectionately and passionately remembered. You remain the world's best Tuxedo cat and will be greatly missed. Always dressed for the occasion eh "Dogg?"

Thank you Oscar!

Lovingly, fondly and tenderly yours "Handsome Hunk" and "Dogg,"
Jennifer

ps. Your sisters, Oprah and Panda, say, "meow" and miss you terribly too.

pps. A very special and notable thank you to all the world-class individuals including my sisters, Sarah and Rebecca, Mom, Mother-In-Law, my husband and friend Mary who made an unforgettable difference and from the bottom of my heart, thank you to each of you for helping me with your impactful individual contributions.

 
 

August 13, 2013

It is with the greatest sadness that on May 7, 2013 my beloved Sampson passed away due to complications with cancer surgery. 

On July 26, 2005 I adopted Sampson from the Toronto Humane Society, he was approximately 18 months old. He was the best friend companion anyone could ever have asked for.  He had a love of life and anything in it, he was a gentle Ben, loved all animals and people, he loved to give everyone hugs and kisses.  Sampson was an adventurist and he loved the great outdoors loved to swim, canoe, boat, he loved riding on the atv, dirt bike, snowmobile and even the riding lawn mower.  He was my great protector and my bestfriend. 

Thank you to the Toronto Human Society for allowing me to adopt such a wonderful companion, I never thought of Sampson as a dog but as a child. 

I miss you my baby, love you mommy.

 
 

June 27, 2013

I had long wanted a dog in my life, and around Feb 2011 I decided to go into THS to look at the dogs available. As I walked around, I was looking for a dog with the right energy and was just keeping an open mind.

Just as I was about to leave, I noticed a sweet looking dog (that looked a bit like a wolf) curled up in her cage by the window. She was so quiet and unassuming. I turned around and went back to say hello, and she immediately came to say hello and leaned against the cage. It was as if she just wanted to be close to someone.

That night I went home, and I wasn't able to stop thinking about her. The next day I went to visit her again, and ask about fostering her. She was currently only available for fostering because she was quite underweight, but I mentioned I was also interested in adopting her in the long term. Soon enough, I filled out the paperwork and was bringing her home as a foster animal.

Over the next few months, I got to know this lovely dog and she started to meld into my life. I loved the companionship, I loved our walks, and I did my best to try to help her gain weight, and made sure she made all her THS appointments. She had been a bit anxious at first but over time she started to settle down, get calmer, and even began to get better with other dogs (she had always been picky about her canine friends) and put on some weight.

Of course, my love for her grew and despite the fact she was estimated to be about 10 years old, I knew I had to adopt her. She had been a stray beforehand so I knew little of her history. Despite her age, she was still a spunky and spirited girl, and many people even thought she was still a puppy when I took her out for walks. I knew that my time with her would be limited, but I felt that despite whatever rough life she may have had before, she desired a good retirement. And so, I arranged to adopt her fully, a decision I am so happy and grateful for.

I renamed her Maya. Maya and I had just over two wonderful years together. She was an amazing dog who was full of love. She was so gentle, especially around kids who loved to pet her soft fur. She was so loving, so patient, and so loyal. She always wanted to follow me wherever I went, even just in my apartment. When I slept, I felt like I had a little guardian by my side, watching over me. We grew to have a special bond and I really feel we had a unique connection.

She was also always so friendly, wanting to say hi to everyone. When we went for walks in the neighbourhood, people always loved her. In the last few weeks, two strangers on the street who saw me with her said they saw a lot of love coming out of her, and that we made a great pair.

As of May 2013, the vet was unable to diagnose exactly what sickness what ailing her despite tests and X-rays, but she had lost weight again and it was clear she was weakening with old age. This was difficult news, but I am so grateful she gave me an extra six weeks to spend with her, after I learned I might not have much more time with her. She hung in there and I nicknamed her Little Trooper for these last few weeks. Even as her back legs started to fail her, she still insisted on following me around in my apartment. Her spirits were still good and she was still as loving as ever. I did my absolute best to give her the best care and love and spend as much time as I could with her in these last weeks.

I am so grateful to have had her in my life. And I am thankful I could be by her side as she passed, the way she was always by mine. She has affected me in ways I never imagined possible. Even though I had always known my time with her would be limited, saying goodbye was still very difficult.

Thank you to everyone who gave her love and attention, whether friends or strangers. Thank you the the THS staff for taking her in so that I could find her and adopt her. Thank you to everyone who held the door for us as I carried her outside these last few weeks. I know she was grateful too to have you in her life.

Rest in peace, my beautiful girl. I hope to see you on the other side some day. I will never forget you.

 
 

June 13, 2013

June 4th, 2013, we lost our dog Stark. He wasn't just a dog; he was our child, our boy, a true blessing in disguise. He had a special place in our hearts and touched our souls. He was barely over one year old.

For those who did not have the opportunity of meeting him, it might be hard to understand.

I would like to say we found him, but that is not the truth. He found us; we were lead to discover him. Stark was abandoned, several times over. We adopted him December 3rd, 2012 and was blessed every day with his witty charm, silly tricks, positive attitude and most of all his love. He was gentle, passive, smart, crazy, and only wanted to please us.

No one gave him a chance, no one saw him for what he had to offer and how much love and joy he had to give, but we saw him. We had to quickly learn how to manage every day with little sleep; he was not well when he first arrived at his new, safe loving home. We had to teach him how to behave around other people and dogs, how to walk on a leash because no one took the time to teach him.

We were told to think about taking him back, give him away, but that was never an option. We would never give up on him; never, not for a second would we do that to him like others before us.

Stark was unique, not only to us, but to other people that came into his life, he was special to everyone that he touched. He taught us more then just patience, he taught us there was more in life to live for. How to not take everything so seriously, have fun every day, look at things through positive eyes, love everyone who is in your life and those you might not know at first but to say hello, we are all here together and life is too short.

Stark will be greatly missed and never forgotten, he has a part of hearts and a piece of our souls and will always be loved. He had a short life but mad a huge impact on everyone around him.

 
 

May 25, 2013

My cat Mew passed away on Monday May 6th, 2013 at 4:55 p.m. He had a cancerous tumor in his lung. Mew was a diabetic cat that was 12 years old.

He was a beautiful white cat that I fostered in January for 7 weeks and then adopted. For the time that he was in my home, he was happy . He was very vocal especially when he wanted his food. He liked to lay by the balcony door, sleep on the couch, floor, or just find a pet bed to relax. He also came up onto my bed at night and let me know when he was hungry.

I was not able to get him into diabetic remission, but he certainly was an incredible cat. I miss him so much but know that he is in a better place. I want to thank veterinarians Dr. Shalini Ramsubeik and Dr.Linda Jacobson for their great care of Mew during his time at THS. I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts during this very difficult time.

I am glad I could give him a loving home for him to spend the remainder of his days.

 
 

May 16, 2013

It is with both sadness and joy that I announce the passing of my dearest furry friend, Spyke the Kat, ten days past his 20th birthday. He passed peacefully in my arms. He gave me the best 20 years I could have imagined. He is finally outdoors where he always wanted to be.

Spyke had chronic kidney failure and his quality of life and kitty dignity were greatly reduced towards the end. I always feared that day, but the love from him and to him kept us both going through many hard and joyous times. Friends said that I would know when he was tired of his earthly bonds, and he looked me directly in the eye and I knew he was finished. A most caring vet, who had never met him before that day, helped us at home where he felt comforted and safe. To Dr. Sandhu, I'm sorry your meeting was the first and last, but you're the most caring vet I've met. Thank you.

Spyke was a true city indoor cat. As a kitten only a few days old in April 1993, he and his brother and sister were taken to THS after being found on Eastern Avenue not far from the Hell's Angels club house. Hence the name Spyke! After fostering, the kittens enjoyed a morning at a kindergarten. In the afternoon, his siblings were exhausted from the children and slept. Spyke, on the other hand, bounced around his cage. That was the cat for me.

He moved from an apartment to a condo to an old Riverdale house with stairs. Boy, did it take him a few days to figure out how to get up and down, then they became a raceway for his craziness. He also caught and delivered over 40 mice in his times. Not bad for a city cat. Of course, he killed none (ok, one died in his mouth of an apparent heart attack from the knowledge it was in a cat's mouth). But Spyke always caught and released (a lifelong member of PETA - Pet's for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Patrick will never forget the first mouse being delivered at 4am to the bed. Proud cat and prey, terrified Dad.

I miss the patter of his paws and his howling at night and his gentle meow. He never missed a sunrise. The first minutes in the morning and upon my return from work were our special time. We had a great run together, 20 years is a long time to share our lives. I regret not a minute of it. I continue to be a monthly contributor to THS in his honour.

Good-bye my friend. I will always love you. You were the most loyal of friends and I am glad you are free!

Brian

 
 

April 25, 2013

It was less than a year ago that I walked into the humane society and saw the animal that was soon to give my faith a test run and revive my connection to God. I went into the humane society one hazy day in May and saw this super plump cat in her cage who just wanted to be loved. When I saw that no one was monitoring, I opened her cage and gave her the sweetest belly rubs. Her eyes lit up and she loved it. Intuitively, I knew this cat would not only receive my love but return it to me and give me so much more.
 
I had to adopt her. After filling out the paperwork, I learned that Toby was much more than a chubby and affectionate, docile cat. She had health issues which included emotional eating because of neglect, constipation and problems using the litter box. Toby would urinate and defecate all over my house. My living room smelled like cat pee, I was told to get rid of her three weeks after adopting her. This wrenched my heart. I got this vision of Toby being left abandoned in a box at a bus shelter and I couldn't bear the thought of losing her, though I hadn't even had her for that long.
 
Overtime, I dealt with her issues as I saw them as merely temporary. I took her to the vet several times so they could alleviate her constipation. I grew more patient with time and showed this kitty how to use the litter box all over again just so I would no longer have to find random turds in the corners of my house.  I was willing to do all of this because I realized how sweet and lovable this animal was. She deserved all of me and it was up to me to bring out the best in this cat. She had lost a lot of weight in this period. When I first adopted her she was close to 26lbs and today she is 12lbs. She got diagnosed with jaundice about 2 months ago. When we took her to the vet, they suggested we put her down or pay thousands to have her hooked up to and IV. They told me I had to opt for one of these choices otherwise there would be no way of her surviving this sickness. What the medical professionals told me was deterring and again, the thought of losing Toby broke my heart. I had this cat for less than a year and wasn't ready to say goodbye.
 
I prayed for the best, I tried my best to keep my faith alive but I also hoped that I would be ready to accept unfavorable circumstances for whatever would happen. For the past few months, Toby totally lost her appetite and I'd have to force feed her and give her water with a syringe and I still continue to do this today. She grew immobile and lethargic and would hardly walk. I still tried to kindle her affection and she still gave me warm nose buds with subtle purrs that still gave me pleasure and sparked my optimism. I carried her to the litter and sat her in front of the sun. I fed her soul by loving her and prayed to God for her health all because I wanted this cat to live a life she deserved.
 
I saw Toby transforming into a graceful and grateful cat. I'd study her, sit in front of her, tell her she had pretty eyelashes and gaze into her eyes as if they were stars in a planetary system. She understood that I loved her because she came from a life where she was neglected. I am thankful we crossed paths as she is the true definition of a companion. She roused a part of my spirit that was left unawakened and uninhibited.
 
Toby's liver failed and she would hardly walk anymore, she began losing hair in large patches due to the lack of moisture in her body. I had to put her down a month ago and it broke my heart. I had Toby for less than a year, I had never come across a more loving cat in my life. She was a beautiful creature who taught me so much about selflessness and how important it is to be a kind person in this life.
 
 I think about you every day Toby,
 
Love,
Nas

 
 

April 21, 2013

It is with sadness that I must announce my dear cat Sadie passed away on April 18th of kidney failure, over 16 years since she stole my heart as a kitten at the Toronto Humane Society. 

She adopted me: as I gazed at an orange tabby kitten snoozing in the front of the cage, little Sadie came to the front and very vocally demanded I get her out of there.

Sadie has been my trusting and gentle companion since 1997. For such a small cat, she ruled a big part of my heart. 

As an artist she was my muse and a natural beauty for the camera. I made up little songs for her, and cultivated a balcony every summer that I liked to call "Sadie's Garden". 

I was working on this year's balcony garden and couldn't wait to set it up for my Sadie, who seemed to be getting more sleepy than usual. Since last weekend she didn't eat. 

But an icy spring held off until that day's warm air she felt by an open window at the vet's as we decided to say goodbye. 

For the first time, I stayed for euthanasia to hold my dying companion. It came after an hour where we sat alone and I told her everything I could think to say. I hugged her and brushed her. I sang to her.

Thank you Sadie for almost 17 years of incomparable friendship, you will live long in the hearts of me and your family. 

Thanks to the Toronto Humane Society for helping bring us together, and to the excellent and compassionate staff at Bay Cat Hospital.

 
 

April 19, 2013

Last January, my then-boyfriend and I came into THS late in the day to try to see some dogs. Unfortunately, we arrived to late and you'd already started closing everything down for the night.

On our way back to our car, we passed the outside play area, where a dog was playing fetch with a volunteer. As we walked past the gate, he ran right up to the fence, begging to meet us. I immediately recognized his ears from the pictures online - it was Diego! He was smaller than I'd expected, but was so full of love that I knew I just had to meet him.

We came back the next day, and found him in his kennel right away. He looked agitated by the noise of the other dogs, but when I came into the hall and sat by his door, he immediately walked over and lay down next to me so that I could pet him.

When Jenny, his favourite caretaker, got us into the meeting room with him, it was definitely love at first sniff. She even helped us make sure he would be okay with our cats, by sitting him in front of the cat room door and seeing how he'd react to a cat on the other side. He was nervous, and hid behind our legs! It turns out that, in the end, he got along just fine with our feline brood.

Last December, I was just finishing a trip to Wisconsin to visit my boyfriend, when my mom texted me that Diego had some strange swelling and looked like he wasn't doing well. I rushed home and found him suddenly very ill. We tried first antibiotics, then steroids when it was determined not to be bacterial, but unfortunately he continued to decline. On December 20th, I had to make the terrible decision that his time had come. He looked at me with eyes full of fear as he struggled to breathe, but also full of trust, knowing that I would help him be comfortable and safe.

I only got 11 months with Diego, but he was truly my Wonder Dog. He was what got me out of bed when my depression was telling me to stay there all day. He got me out of the house and meeting new people - since he really loved going to the dog park and playing fetch with the other dogs (yes, really!). He was my constant companion as I dealt with leaving a toxic relationship, finding a renewed sense of self, and moving on. Everyone who met him, loved him.

Last summer, he got a chance to come with me to my grandparent's home on the north shore of Lake Huron/Georgian Bay. I've attached some pictures taken during that trip (after what I think was his very first boat ride - he took so well to it that he slept the whole way!) as well as other shots from the last year.

Thank you for taking such great care of this amazing dog. Thank you for not giving up on him. Thank you for letting me have him in my life.

Most gratefully,
Jenn

ps. The cat on the couch with him is my female, Nala. The cat in the crate with him is Freya, who belongs to my mom and is one of Nala's kittens.
 
 

April 16, 2013

We adopted Maggie, our Maltese in August of 2009. She stole our hearts from the moment we brought her home. Maggie wanted only to be loved, and gave incredible amounts of love and affection in return. She especially loved small children in the neighbourhood, much to their delight.

Maggie and I bonded totally. There were times when she took the role of guard dog, and tried to be ferocious with my husband...but always gave in to a tummy rub. She loved her walks through the park, and enjoyed endless attention, always rewarding her new friends with licks and kisses, and the opportunity to stroke her tummy.

Maggie was a traveller. The word "trip" would send her flying into her sherpa bag, ready for the next adventure. She enjoyed 13 round trips flight to Florida, always basking in the winter warmth, frollicking in our condo complex. Maggie would spend entire days with us, enjoying being pushed around in her doggy stroller when her legs became tired. She flew to visit my mother in law in Kansas, making the aquaintance of Rudy, her black lab.

One evening we returned home to find Rudy and Maggie snuggled on the sofa. Maggie had assured Rudy, previously trained never to go on the furniture, that it would be OK. Indeed it was.

We were not surprised when Maggie's DNA revealed that she had some Scottish terrier in her. She had a willfullness and mind of her own that made her all the more endearing. Ultimately she only wanted approval. 

Maggie made car trips to Montreal to visit family, and most recently, a final car trip to Florida, to complete her "bucket list". 

Our darling Maggie was diagnosed with lymphoma in early January of this year. She began a course of prednisone, to keep the symptoms at bay. Respiratory distress finally got the better of Maggie. She gave her final kisses last Saturday morning before being gently put to sleep.

Her passing after only two years and eight months has left a tremendous hole in our hearts. We are comforted by all the wonderful memories of a little dog who was never perfectly behaved, but always absolutely loving and loved. You have left indelible pawprints on the hearts of all who knew you.

Much love Margaret

 
 

April 13, 2013

Napoleon came into our lives unexpectedly one early December morning. I had woken up really early one morning and joined my parents in their room to watch CP24. The OSPCA was featured on the early morning news that day and thats where we spotted him and his 7 brothers and sisters jumping all over the news reporter. They were 7 week old Shar Pei Beagle mix puppies that were saved from a puppy mill. I had wanted a dog for so long and to my surprise I convinced my parents to make the 1 hour drive to Newmarket to at least let me see them. My mom had repeated to me that we were only going to see not bring any of them home. Good thing it was a snow day and my parents had stayed home that day. We arrived early so we waited at a near by coffee shop. We returned and they took us straight to the room where my Napoleon and his siblings were. His brother was crazy excited and just every where but Napoleon was shy and a little nervous. My parents and I fell in love. My dad and mom decided to let me bring one home. I was so excited my first decision was to take the crazy one but my mom pointed out to Napoleon through the glass window. I smiled and decided he was the one too. We went back the next day to pick him up and he was a nervous wreck. He wouldn't stop shaking. I felt so bad for taking him away from his siblings but I knew he would be okay once he saw how much we loved him already. He was a surprise to my brothers. When they walked in and saw him they were so excited and like us fell in love instantly. The days went on and he got more and more comfortable. He played and he barked for the first time 2 weeks later at an electrical cord hanging off the coffee table. Something he continued to do till this day when he saw things he's never seen before. His bark was so loud and bold for such a quiet dog. He was easy to house train having only 3 accidents and he was so gentle with babies and kids. I became extremely frustrated when he wouldn't sleep at night and began chewing everything. Shoes, furniture, stairs, and walls. That I even contemplated bringing him back but then quickly realizing I would not give up on him. That would be like giving up on your new born baby. So I stuck it out and taught him simple rules that he adapted too as he got older. No sleeping on beds or couches, no going upstairs to bedrooms, and staying in his Casa (crate) when nobody was home.

After a couple of months he calmed down and Napoleon was the sweetest dog ever. He traveled with us when we went camping, to the cottage, and he even rock climbed down the Grotto in Tobermory. He was full of energy and life and he was always making us laugh. We all loved him and he was part of our family. We never understood the love for a dog before Napoleon and he taught us how really important animals are and should be to us humans. 

Sadly on March 30, 2013 Napoleon went missing in King City visiting a family member. We always brought him there because of the big land of space for him to run. He had been there many times even spending 7 days there last March when my family and I went on vacation. After a night of hope we sadly found him the next day on the road. He had died from a car impact. Which I later received an e-mail response from a missing post I had posted. The women who hit him sent her apologies for what had happened and how sad and heart broken she was for hitting him the previous day around 5:30. Having her very own dog made it difficult on her. She also apologized for taking him. Which I assumed she hit him took him and brought him back the next day. I don't hold a grudge against her though and don't blame her. 

My dad buried him in my Aunts back yard and we said good bye to our beloved companion. I will forever miss my baby. The way he said hello when I walked in the door, his wet kisses, kissing him on his wet nose, telling him how much I loved him, my mom telling me how much he would cry when I wasn't home, walking out of my room and seeing him sit at the door, his funny dance when he knew he was going for a walk, sneaking him upstairs to my room to cuddle, finding him sleeping on the stair steps, catching him sleeping on the couch when he thought no one was home, our trips to the dog park, and long hikes. I could go on and on. I am sad I never got to hold him and tell him I loved him one last time or tell him how important he was to not only me but to all of us. I cried till I couldn't cry anymore for days. Two weeks have passed now and I'm finding my strength to continue with my life. Never forgetting him but accepting it. Napoleon taught us how important we are to each other and we should always tell each other how much we love each other. His death made us closer and stronger. He taught me patience and unconditional love. I know he is with me in spirit and we will see each other again one day. Where ever he may be I know he's happy and running free. Something he loved to do. Run. He will forever live in my heart. Mommy loves you Napoleon thank you for giving me the best year of my life.

RIP Napoleon 09/28/2011-04/30/2013

 
 

March 25, 2013

Lexington (Lex)

June 9, 2003 - March 20, 2013

We are very sad and having difficulty accepting the fact we will never see or touch you again. You gave so much love to us and we will never forget your beautiful eyes, wagging tail and how you pulled us to the water on our walks by the lake. Could not bear to watch you suffer so rest now my sweet angel!!

All of a sudden you could not walk anymore and your eyes looked sad but lightened up when you saw us before you had to go to your brothers and sisters in heaven. Lex, you reminded me how to love a lot without having to talk - your presence filled us with calm, laughter and unconditional love. We feel you every day even though we can't see you.

Love Helen, Keith and Tony

 
 

March 24, 2013

In loving Memory - Forever

Sparky Young (Husky, Collie mix)

Born May 3, 1997 Conn, Ontario
Died January 23, 2013 Toronto, Ontario

The sun Rose and Set 5781 times in your precious life. You were the best, most playful and faithful friend.

We had you as a puppy, a young dog, a mature dog, and finally a senior and fading star. Active to the last days until you could no longer stand, walk, drink or eat.

We loved you until the bitter end. May your spirit rest in peace where ever it takes you?

We miss you so much, we will never forget you. You will always be in our hearts and mind.

David, Doris, and Sparky forever together standing in the shining Sun that gives us light, warmth, and life.

Thank you, God, for our special friend.


 
 

March 14, 2013

In May 2004 my husband and I lost our ferret Gabriel. Gabriel was our first pet together and losing him was a devastating loss for us both. I cried for days and still do when I think of his precious face and happy ferret prance across the apartment floor.

To help with our grief at the time, my husband suggested we visit the THS and bring home a cat really needing love (we had so much to give) and a permanent home. As much as this new cat would need us, we needed he or she just as much to help mend our own hurting hearts.

When we arrived at the shelter we met so many deserving faces, but there was one cat who seemed a bit shy, quiet. He needed a bit more coaxing to introduce himself. He was new to the floor, as he had been battling a series of colds and other ailments for the last 6 months and had to be kept in the back. There was something about him that compelled us to want to hold him. When he was handed to us he snuggled right into our arms. He seemed so comfortable and happy to see us.

Without saying much, we all knew Charlie would be coming home with us that day.

We brought him home and he slept between us that night. We had clearly all found each other that afternoon. He was where he was meant to be - at home with us.

When Charlie was about 2 years old he was diagnosed with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). At the time we weren't sure what to make of the news. It was the first time we had ever heard of such a diagnosis. We feared this beautiful boy who had once saved us from grief, would be leaving us all too soon as well. But if there was one thing to know about Charlie, he was a fighter! And he proved to us, year after year, that his FIV diagnosis was nothing but a note in his chart.

He was a happy, playful, hungry boy with such a sweet and curious disposition. He wanted us to believe he was fiercely independent, but we knew better. We moved to Vancouver in 2006 and he gleefully spent his days watching the endless parade of birds, squirrels and garbage trucks traveling by our 2nd floor apartment windows. He brought us so much joy with his purrs, his affection and his weirdly entertaining habits. We watched this boy flourish and truly live a life filled with comfort and an abundance of love.

In November 2011 he developed a mystery bug or ailment. This last year and couple months has been a series of ups and downs, just trying to manage his health and pray our team of vets could come up with an answer. Despite knowing there was something internal plaguing him, all the while weakening his immune system, we had so many happy, healthy days. Most of the time you wouldn't have guessed he was as sick as he was. Eventually though, whatever was plaguing him returned late January 2013. His poor body had become too tired to fight anymore and in his final days we had to make the decision to relieve him of his pain.   

We are extremely sad to say goodbye to our handsome boy, but we are eternally thankful this sweet orange tabby was fated to find us that afternoon in 2004. We had 9 incredible years together.

He was our favourite friend and an irreplaceable family member we will forever cherish. We were able to give Charlie a very good life, but he gave us so much more.

We love you Charlie. Charles. My bébé.

Love your parents, Mélanie & Kevin

 
 

March 6, 2013

It all started on Nov 20, 1999. My two daughters and I decided to stop at the Toronto Humane Society to make a donation.  In the past, my daughters were scared to walk through the dog cages, as the barking really scared them.  On that day, we had made a plan to go to the Petsmart store and look on their adoption board for a family dog that might be available.  Our old English Bully had died the summer before and we were looking for a new dog.  

While at the THS, my daughters asked if we could walk through and look at the dogs.  I was thrilled that they were wanting to do this.  As we walked through, we came upon a cage with two puppies in it.  One little white girl and a brown shaggy guy.  They were fast asleep with their arms around each other.  There was another couple standing there looking.  My daughters said out loud about the dogs, "they are Romeo and Juliet". We all looked at each other and knew that the little brown shaggy boy was part of our family. The couple before us took the little girl and told the THS staff member that they hoped we would get "Romeo".   And, so Romeo it was. 

For 12 years Romeo was a best friend to every member of our family.  He was the epitome of kindness, and love.  He welcomed both our cats (also from the THS) with tenderness and patience beyond belief.  Not a day went by that I didn't think about how lucky and blessed I was that Romeo was part of my family.  He gave me so much peace.  I always considered him my partner in crime.

 As Romeo got older, he developed arthritis in his lower back and hips.  His eyesight also started to go.  Romeo would wait for me everyday on the back porch to get home from work.  As I would start walking up from the garage he would start getting up, squinting to see if it was really me.  I would start talking to him as soon as I got out of the car or off my bike so that he would know it was me.  He would come down the stairs (which was a challenge) and I would give him his special greeting and a big kiss on his head. 

Romeo passed away at the end of Aug 2012, 1 month shy of his 13th birthday.  I miss him every day. 

Thank you THS, for takling such good care of Romeo and his brothers and sisters when they were surrendered to you so many years ago.

 
 

February 28, 2013

This is Bruce Wayne. He died September 21, 2012. He was my first puppy. I got him January of that same year. He is a blueheeler mix between an australian sheppard. He was an impulse buy. I was on the computer one day and decided to look at little puppies online, when I came across this handsome pup!

He was only 8 weeks at the time and he was more beautiful then ever. the first night I had him he refused to sleep in his bed and went under my bed directly under where I slept, and that was his bed from then on. over the months his personality became more and more interesting. from eating cat food to loving water. He was my bestfriend, he also was such a smart dog! He felt everything I felt, and loved to love.

On september 21 I was so sick and didn't take him out for his regular walk. When I took him out that evening to meet my boyfriend at the bus stop, he ran away from me. He ran across a busy street untouched, which was a blessing. I told him to come back, but by the time he actually started running the cars were too close. He died like any good dog would, listening. As he was running across the street I told him to stop because I saw a car, of course he stopped; he's a genius! But he started sliding on the pavement and couldn't stop.

At 12:15 September 21, 2012 Bruce Wayne was struck by a car. He will always be the Batman to my Robin. He was my superhero that showed me love. I've never loved or been loved so unconditionally. He'll forever be my best friend and my superhero.

Love Stephanie xoxo   I'll forever miss you Bruce


 
 

February 25, 2013

What I wanted to let you know, for your records, is that my then wife and I adopted two cats from your River Street address - the first in 1994, and the second in 1995.
 
This is to let you know that the first cat, who we called Fernando, died in the summer of 2010, here in Montreal, at 16 years of age.
 
And, very sadly, the second cat, who we Abdoul, died last Friday, February 22, at 18 years of age.
 
I'd be happy to tell you more if there's anything else you'd like to know.
 
Thank you very much for two of the most precious gifts I've ever received.
 
Yours truly,
 
Matt Trowell
 
Attached: Abdoul at 6-years old, in Bavaria.

 
 

February 24, 2013

We first decided to get a cat when I was 6, deciding to adopt a cat from THS. We were originally going to adopt a kitten but we were also keeping our options open. We had originally picked out a female tabby and started the adoption process but were soon told that the family before us had taken her. We decided to walk around some more. I remember walking by a large cage with a very large black and white tuxedo cat. Every time I walked by, he would try to grab me with his paw. One THS staff member noticed this and mentioned that he had barely moved since he had arrived at the rescue and she couldn't believe that he was trying to grab me. Needless to say, he was the one.

Shadow was already 5 when we got him, which turned out to be a pretty big trauma for him. After a few days he started to come around. Being an only child, Shadow and I spent as much time together as possible. He knew my bed time and would be waiting on my bed for me. He used to sleep wrapped around my head protecting me. He became famous on our street and used to walk into the neighbours houses to say hi. Everyone loved him. Still to this day, neighbours rave about how handsome and awesome he was. 

After 10 amazing year with Shadow, he was diagnosed with fatty liver. He survived another couple months, but had another episode and was hospitalized. We had 2 options, put him down, or try surgery that only had a 20 percent survival rate and we would not be able to say goodbye if he didn't survive. We decided for option number one. I couldn't bare the thought of not being able to properly say goodbye. I healed him for as long as I can remember not wanting to let go. It was, and will stay one of the worst days of my life. It was not only devastating but heart breaking. Even after 3 years and a half, it breaks my heart to think that he will no longer be around. 

I want to thank the THS for letting us adopt the best part of my childhood! 

I love you so much Shadow, you were the most handsome and loving cat ever! 

Camille

 
 

February 15, 2013

To the wonderful staff at the Toronto Humane Society,

In March of 2011 I came in just to look at the cats, not intending to actually adopt one. Thankfully, beautiful little Kitty had other ideas, as she called out to me every time I walked into her room. I was so hesitant to adopt a senior cat, but she was just so sweet and beautiful I just couldn't help myself in the end. Everybody was so nice to me, and so excited to see Kitty finally going to a forever home, that I knew I had a good cat on my hands. And she was! She was the sweetest, most gentle little baby I could have ever asked for. Even if her ridiculously loud purr did tend to keep me awake at night! Lol

Sadly, in July of 2012 I took Kitty into see her vet after I noticed that she seemed to be getting very thin and had stopped eating. It was then we discovered that in only 4 short months since her previous checkup Kitty had developed a very large mass in her stomach. Sadly I had to make the very difficult decision to let Kitty go, and give her the peace she so greatly deserved. I take solice in the fact that I was able to give her the best possible home I could in the last year and a half of her life.

Thank you so much for allowing me the honor of being Kitty's mommy, if even for a short while. She was such a sweetheart and I will never forget her. I still miss her every day. I encourage anyone who is considering not adopting an animal because they are a senior to please reconsider. I did, and it was the best decision I ever made!

 
 

February 2, 2013

In September 2000, I visited the THS hoping to adopt a cat. I told myself to take my time, to walk around the whole adoption area, to give each of the cats a chance. Early on I noticed a little black cat curled up in his lower cage, tucked away in a corner. He didn't lift his head, but he watched me closely as I read the card on his cage, which said he was “Jeff”, had been surrendered by an elderly lady who couldn't take him with her to the nursing home, was somewhere between 1 and 2 years old, and loved to be brushed. His emerald eyes followed me as I walked on. Something about him stuck with me, but I told myself to keep going, as at that point I'd only read about a few of the cats. An hour later, after reading all the sad stories and working my way through the whole area, I found myself back at the beginning and, as I rounded the corner, there was that little black cat again. As soon as he saw me, he sat straight up, cocked his head to the side, looked me dead in the eye and meowed. So I knew that, in reality, he was adopting me.

I anxiously went through the adoption process, nervous that someone else might have claimed him before I could get to the front of the line and the end of the paperwork. But it was meant to be as, before too much longer, I was at home with my new cat. I renamed him Tui after the bird in New Zealand - where I'd recently lived for many years - that, like my guy, is all black except for a small tuft of white on the neck. From day one it was clear that there was something very special about him, a boundless gentleness and generosity of affection that I've never experienced with any of my other cats and dogs. Within 3 months, concerned about him being lonely while I was at work, I adopted Lulu, a fluffy tabby kitten who had been abandoned in a cardboard box in front of the THS. I closely followed the THS' instructions on how to introduce a new cat to a home, but after only 3 days of keeping them in separate areas, I returned home to find Tui outside the bedroom, as excited and full of beans as his 8 week old new sister on the other side of the door. I opened the door and for the next 12 years they were inseparable. I've never seen anything like the beatific patience and good-humour that Tui demonstrated when, throughout her kitten stage, Lulu would fling herself at him and land on his head, while Tui just lay there purring. Or, when she would get herself more worked up about something than Tui thought was dignified, he would pick her up by the scruff of her neck, like her Mother, carry her to a cozy spot and groom her from head to toe until she calmed down.

Tui breathed his last on January 29, 2013, no longer able to fight the cancer, kidney disease and asthma that had taken so much of his energy in the last months. While I had assumed and hoped we would have much longer together, my little guy, Lulu and I had over 12 wonderful years, made possible by Tui's seemingly fathomless love and affection. I'm so grateful for every second we spent together, and for all the wonderful memories I have of my guy, which would not have been possible without the work of the THS' dedicated staff and volunteers. I bless the day I walked around the cat adoption area so that this sweet little boy could find me. Lulu was able to say her own good-bye to her best buddy, but I can tell that she is still a little confused by his absence. A few days after his death, as I was logging into my computer, she walked right up to the screen which has a photo of Tui as my desktop background, sniffed the image of his nose, leaned to the side and rubbed herself against him, just as they had done every day of their lives for the last 12 years.

While comforting each other, Lulu and I now ponder the countless invaluable and eternal lessons about unequivocal love, gentleness and affection that a wondrous little black cat took it upon himself to teach us.

With gratitude and love, Mel and Lulu

 
 

January 7, 2013

I'm not sure what compelled my mother to adopt this dog as we already had one but she did. This was Benji's adoption page (top photo), although he was not named Benji from when we first adopted him- I remember because I named him after one of the guitarists of my favourite band at the time. He was very shy dog who was rescued from a puppy mill and I was 11 when we had taken him home with us. He was very curious and for the first few days, we had thought he wouldn't fit because my grandmother had told us that he was bullying our other dog, Lucky, but he turned out to be a kind, gentle and sweet poodle soul who I grew to love quickly.

Benji was a very active dog, running back and forth and jumping around everywhere, even running into walls if he didn't stop himself soon enough. He was also silly and mischievous, either chewing on the corners of boxes or stealing food when he thought no one was looking; he once ate a whole box of pizza that was left closed on the dinner table while we were out for only five minutes. Apart from that, he was also very smart; my mom thought he had been de-barked because his bark wasn't as strong as it should but Lucky had taught him how to bark. Benji knew how to act around each member of the family, which parts of the house he wasn't allowed in, and knew exactly when someone was opening the cheese drawer in the fridge, in which then he proceeded to sit and stare at you quietly; he had learned this from my cousin's chihuahua but Benji had never barked when he begged.

Of course years passed, Benji had grown older and I felt he needed a more suitable name, one more gentlemanly as he was always sort of a ladies dog and was always wary around men, and something less childish but still capturing his quirky persona. I renamed him to Benjamin Argyle Remington, esquire. Esquire was just for fun but Remington was his original adoptive name, and Argyle was a character from Braveheart which I was watching with him once and this character had one blind eye like Benji who had begun getting cataracts in his one eye. In any way, he accepted the name and when I called him by it, sometimes he would sit up straight and raise his head as if he was the proudest dog on Earth.

We had to put down Lucky back in August 2012 and we were left with Benji. His demeanour had changed slightly, he would sit as if in quiet contemplation or perhaps in mourning of his older brother. But Benji was still a happy and quiet dog which had shocked us that when very close to Christmas time, his back legs had stopped functioning. Compared to Lucky, we had never had any sort of health problem with him so brought him to the vet and she had told us that he must have been sick for a very long time and may either have cancer or some sort of neurological problem but either way, his body temperature was lowering and his system was slowly shutting down so our choices were to either put him down now or keep him for one more day. Our family couldn't do option A so we had kept him for one more day at home with us. 

He was beside me in my bed that night and around 4:00 AM he had nibbled my finger to let me know it was his time and from there, he passed on. He loved everyone in the family but I was the favourite; Benji and I were the best of friends and had a connection that no one else in the family had with him. For 10 years he was always at my feet no matter where I was or what I was doing in the house and he will always be in our hearts.

To not just one but both our dogs, rest in peace.
October 23, 1997 - August 7, 2012: Lucky
June 20, 2000 - December 23 2012: Benjamin Argyle Remington, Esquire.
We will always love you.

-Leslie, Jodie, Tootchie, and Malinda

 
 

December 24, 2012

Dear THS staff,
I meant to write years ago to tell you about the success story of Baby Blue - the 3 year-old blue-grey rex who lived at River St until October, 2005. I showed up at the THS one rainy afternoon with a wicker picnic basket from Chinatown, intent on adopting a pet rabbit. My first choice, a brown lop named Wilma, had already left with someone else. Baby Blue (who was quickly renamed Bunneh) rode the street car home with me that day and we've been inseparable ever since.

In our time together, she's discovered all the best hiding places, destroyed her share of cables and upholstery (in record speed) and even survived a bird attack with only a little scrape. She is my partner in crime, my quiet companion and the smartest and snobbiest herbivore I've ever met.

Now, with a tumour robbing her of her ability to frolic, it's time for us to say goodbye. Even though this is a sad time, I wanted to thank you for helping us find each other. My life is richer for having had her in it and her 10 years of life were only possible because you cared for her when she didn't have a home.

All the best
Rí & Bunneh.


 
 

December 9, 2012

This is Daisy.  She was born in April 1997 in Chertsey QC.  She loved the outdoors, played in the woods, chased after skunks (she had a tomato bath twice)  She loved to have her belly scratched and always was looking for a treat after dinner. 

Loved dearly, spoiled of course, and she travelled all across Canada twice with her 2 Dads, and her other furry family members. 

In 2012 we noticed as she turned 15 she was slowing down, and by December she was not herself anymore.  She was a wonderful, friend, companion and just a loving dog.  On December 7th, Daisy went peacefully to doggy heaven.  Her 2 Dads and her half sister Lulu miss her dearly.  May you rest in peace our sweet baby.  We will miss you, always in our hearts.

Love your Dads,
Patrick and Darren

 
 

November 17, 2012

I adopted Tasha from the Toronto Humane Society in June 2002. Unfortunately, when her original owners moved, they left her behind, alone in a basement apartment. It was the kind heartedness of the superintendent who took her in. However, as she didn't mix well with children, she was brought to the Toronto Humane Society. 
 
After bringing her home, it was clear to see why the folks at the THS nicknamed her "Precious".  She was every bit that and more.  

I've had ten wonderful years of Tasha of always greeting me at the door, following me around endlessly, hugging me when I slept and most of all, smothering me with kisses.  She was affectionate beyond any cat lover's expectations.

Unfortunately, Tasha became ill in June 2012 and relapsed a couple of weeks ago, never to recover.  On November 13, 2012, I had to say good-bye to my beloved beautiful girl. 

Heaven has gained an angel. 
I miss you terribly, sweeheart. 

Love, Mommy.

 
 

October 20, 2012

4 and half years ago my family adopted two black and white sibling cats who we named Romeo and Oreo.
Today October 21st 2012 we unfortunately had to put down Romeo.

I love my Romeo, he cuddled me every day but unknown to my family his liver had been failing for months. The vet tried to do everything he could for Romeo but sadly he was in too much pain and had to be put down. I am completely devastated by this and will always miss him.

R.I.P my little cuddle buddy.

 


 
 

October 20, 2012

Spot was a dog I've had almost my entire life. I've had her since I was three until a couple months ago. I'm now 15 and don't remember a time before her. Spot may now be gone but her memory remains.

I'm so glad I got a dog to teach me so much about unconditional love. Every kid should grow up with a pet. Spot showed me what it was to love, and what it is to cry. No matter how much pain I am in from losing her, it's worth the times I had with her. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without her. She was there for me through thick and thin, she never judged and she was someone to talk to when I couldn't talk to anyone else.

She will never be forgotten, by me or my family. 

 


 
 

October 20, 2012

To understand why this photo is so beautiful, I need to tell you a story.

In 2005, I went with a friend to THS in search of a companion for myself and my previous adoption, Gravity.  At the main entrance of the cat ward sat a few cages with special needs animals.  In one cage, I noticed a tiny Torti.  "Experienced owners only.  No kids, no dogs," her cage cautioned.  She ventured from the back corner to briefly sniff through the bars and retreat.  We continued to circuit through the animals.  We came back to the beginning, where we watched others try to entice this cat (at the time, named Dreamer) to come forward.  She wouldn't.  I returned and again, the quick sniff and retreat.

"She chose me.  I have to take her home," I told my friend.

Even THS staff were surprised that I'd chosen her; I assume that they (like me) felt she'd be a very hard sell, so to speak.  Having years of vet tech experience and spending a lifetime around animals made me confident that with some work, she'd come around.  I named her Karma.

In time, I understood her very well.  She was terrified of feeling cornered or confined, splitting open her nose whenever in a carrier as she threw herself into the sides in panic.  I suspect she was once feral but worse, had been mistreated as well prior to THS taking custody of her.  At first, the best we could manage was scratching her head, Karma coming just close enough for us to reach.  Over time, I began acclimating her to longer petting sessions, to being placed on a lap and immediately allowed to escape, to briefly picking her up.  It took four years before I could pick her up and hold her briefly without stress and protest. 

People who knew Karma her whole life were amazed by her progress.  When they would see her burrow behind me on the couch, basically sleeping in the small of my back as I typed away, they would grin.  Everyone knew Karma's struggle and how tremendous a gift her trust was.  I selected apartments with kitchens with two exits to accommodate her fears and eventually, she'd eat with people near.  She would headbutt you with surprising force for a six-pound cat when she wanted attention and chattered and chirped happily when we came home.  Being music-obsessed, I'd nicknamed her Karma Police and Karma Chameleon, often singing her songs to her as she purred.  Karma loved purely:  she never needed to be told not to do anything.  She was angelic. 

In light of this, her sleeping in my fiance's lap is a treasured photo.  It's a testament to her recovery.

Sadly, we lost Karma on April 23, 2012.  She'd taken very suddenly and very severely ill with what we came to believe was an aggressive mass (likely cancerous) in her intestines.  We did all we could - even postponing our wedding and dumping our savings into her care - but in the end, I knew what was best.  On her last day, she walked onto my chest and sought cuddles; later, she willingly entered a carrier for the first time for a trip to the emergency vet at 1am.  We played Karma Police for her one last time and let her go.

I don't think I will meet a cat with as beautiful of a soul ever again in my life.  For all of the positive changes in her, she made me a better person as well.  

--
Amber Hiles

 
 

August 11, 2012

I got Buddy a German Shepard mix, during an THS adoptathon in the summer of 2008. He was 10 years old, and the shelter staff told me how nice a dog he was but his age was not a selling feature. 

I was off work that summer and spent everyday getting to know Buddy and visiting the park daily. We had a great summer together, he helped me through a difficult part in my life.

In the fall after I went back to work, Buddy became seriously ill. Unable to even walk to the door, the vet sent some people over the transport him to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a massive tumor on his pancreas.

He died the following morning, in my arms. We only had 3 months together, but thanks to me he didn't have to spend those few months on a concrete floor, and thanks to him I didn't have to spent the summer alone.

I cannot express how much he is missed, and what a pleasure it was to know him even if only for a short time. 

-Chris


 
 

August 10, 2012

It was a cold day in early December of 1993 when our neighbours across the street were cat-sitting for two kittens. I had just turned 5 and my brother was 6, so our neighbours brought the kittens over for us to see. We had so much fun that the very next day, our parents took us down to the Humane Society to adopt a kitten of our own. I remember looking at all the kittens and cats in their cages and not seeing any in particular that I liked. I was about face level with one rusty-coloured kitten, and being the curious 5-year old that I was, I pressed my face right up against the cage, and she bit my nose! I said, “Bad kitty! I'm not taking you home!” However, throughout the rest of our time at the shelter, I couldn't get her off of my mind, and we ended up choosing her to take home with us. I named her Whiskers, seeing as it was one of the few names I knew of for a cat at the time.

We loved Whiskers right from the start. She was playful and friendly, never territorial and never hissed. She was curious as a kitten and grew into a very loveable and playful cat. She slowed down a lot in her later years, developing minor arthritis in one of her legs, and not being able to jump up on furniture the way she used to. Despite her age, she still kept her spirit. She was still playful and friendly with us, and would always strike up a conversation!

Just last week we noticed a bump above her right eye that made it look slightly closed. Throughout the weekend, she was not herself and the lump seemed to get bigger. We took her to the vet on Tuesday morning, August 7th, where the Doctor told us that the back of her right eye had split open, and fluid was leaking into her brain. It seemed that her almost 19 years had finally caught up with her, and we had no choice but to say goodbye.

I am now 23, and Whiskers has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Getting used to life without her is proving to be difficult. I feel so blessed to have grown up with such an amazing friend, who was able to live a long and happy life with us. We all loved her dearly, and she will forever be missed and remembered as a part of our family.

We all love you Whiskers! May you rest in peace.

Jessica Puskar

 
 

August 2, 2012

Just put my beloved cat Little Bear down this evening. I had her since she was a kitten. She was just under 20 years old. My family and I already miss her dearly, and yes we all shed tears for her. There will never be another cat as loved as she was. Little Bear you are in a better place now, jumping and playing with all of the other cats that were loved too. Meow for me from heaven.

Dave

 
 

July 23, 2012

My Little Puppy
By Joanne Clarke, 2005

I love my little puppy,
so innocent and sweet,
with fur as black as midnight
and moonbeams on her feet.

We found her at a shelter,
very frightened and alone.
We couldn't bear to hear her cry
and, so, we brought her home.

We named our puppy “Shadow”
for she always likes to be
beside someone who loves her
(and especially close to me).

Now she wakes me up each morning
with her favourite embrace;
puppy paws pounce on my pillow
as her wet tongue warms my face.

Then it's outside for a morning walk
and playtime in the park.
Shadow zigs and zags and wags her tail
and doesn't growl or bark.

Until puppy senses danger;
then she freezes in her tracks
and her floppy ears bolt upright
like the hair upon her back.

For she has a gentle spirit
and is never rough or mean.
Shadow's amber eyes light up her soul,
so sparkling and serene.

And my puppy's so forgiving,
never asking very much -
only food and drink and shelter
and a loving heart to touch.

And, in turn, I feel contentment
when my Shadow is around.
In the silence of a sunset stroll
she'll sense my ups and downs.

And that's why I love my puppy,
oh, so faithful and so kind,
for she's the best companion
anyone could hope to find.

And when the night has fallen
Shadow curls up on the floor,
and we go to sleep, warmed by the love
we share forever more.

Shadow was part Labrador Retriever, part German Shepherd, and part Border Collie. We adopted her from the Toronto Humane Society when she was four months-old. She was a very beautiful dog with a gentle spirit who loved everyone in our family. In turn, we loved her deeply. Shadow died suddenly of suspected cancer of the spleen on June 20th, 2012. She was not yet eight years-old. We miss her very, very much.

 
 

July 19, 2012

Mr. Caps
(aka: Whitecaps)
October 1993 - July 10, 2012

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my extraordinary cat on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 after a long battle with kidney disease. Mr. Caps was raised in Alert Bay, B.C., predeceased by Luna (1994) and his loving partner Pongo (2006).

He was the most loving and gentlest of cats with those bright and soulful eyes, inquisitive to the end. The only cat I have ever known to climb up a tree then find a way to climb back down!

He enjoyed an adventurous life, living in Alert Bay, B.C. for his first 5 years, romping in the backyard and chasing butterflies with Pongo. Then it was on to Kamloops, B.C. for 2 years, followed by a stint in Grand Prairie, Alberta, and then a final road trip across Canada in 2002 with Pongo and me to Toronto, Ontario.

He leaves behind his feline companion (Beulah, adopted from the Toronto Humane Society, 2007) and his human companion (Christine) who will forever love and miss him.


 
 

July 5, 2012

My story is about a beautiful Beagle named Rosie.  She was about 5 when I adopted her from the Toronto Humane Society and took her north with me.  Having only lived in the city, she found Elliot Lake to be a dogs dream come true. 

Unfortunately, when she was adopted, she weighed 70+ pounds.  I finally was able to get the weight off of her but not before she developed diabetes and went blind.  This amazing dog went blind in less than 8 hours on Christmas Day, 2010 but she didn't miss a beat.  She had a needle twice a day and thought it was great!  She knew a treat would follow it.  She had every path down here (and that's quite a few paths!) and loved every minute of it.  This was a dog that loved life no matter what.

On May 13th of this year, Rosie started having seizures and they lasted through the night.  On May 14th, she had a final seizure that was just too much for her.  It did some brain damage.  The weight that she had on when I adopted her had damaged her liver and it was giving up on her.

 I packed up my little girl that day, stopped at McDonalds and ordered her a large order of fries and gave them all to her.  When she finished them, I took her to my vet and had her put down.

I am in tears telling you this story but I wanted you to know that there was an amazing little girl named Rosie who loved life and lived in Elliot Lake.  It was, sadly, for a short time but it was a happy time.  She filled everyday with smiles.  She was only 8 years old.

I had her cremated and she will go with me some day.  I miss her so.  I loved her so.

Karen Franks

 
 

April 16, 2012

I adopted Abby, a pit bull mx, from the Toronto Humane Society in March 2005, several months before the pit bull ban came into effect. They estimated her age at 5 1/2 at the time

Abby stood out in the shelter for her friendliness, standing and wagging her tail every time I passed her cage. That proved to be her style throughout her life. I can truly say that she never met a person who she wasn't delighted to see. In return, I hardly ever took her for a walk when people wouldn't come over to greet her, even crossing the street or walking down from their houses. People for blocks around knew her by name. Her personality did more than anything I have ever done to persuade people that BSL is wrong.

My love for Abby led me to become involved in the fight against BSL, and over the years, we attended many events together, including fundraising booths, protests and vigils at Queens Park and walks with other pit bull groups. Abby met and befriended hundreds of people active in the anti-BSL fight across Ontario.

In 2009, I took her to our booth at the Barrie Kennel Club and was encouraged to try her at the Canine Good Neighbour test. She passed handily without any advance preparation.

Abby's sweet temperament was reflected in her handling of the new addition we brought in to the house about three years ago. I crated Deoge on the way home from the shelter and he spent most of the trip crying. Abby went to the back of the car and lay next to him to calm him down. While they didn't always get along at first, Abby provided invaluable assistance in the training of Deoge and the two became inseparable best friends.

Abby was truly the sweetest dog I have ever known. In her younger days she was incredibly strong and fast, yet she instinctively knew to be gentle with even the smallest of children as well as elderly adults. 

Sadly Abby was diagnosed with Lymphoma last summer and after a short period of chemotherapy treatment she was euthanized on the advice of veterinarians

I don't think that I will ever have such a good friend and companion as Abby has been for me. She will never be forgotten.

Bryan

 
 

April 16, 2012

We adopted Maggie, our Maltese in August of 2009. She stole our hearts from the moment we brought her home. Maggie wanted only to be loved, and gave incredible amounts of love and affection in return. She especially loved small children in the neighbourhood, much to their delight.

Maggie and I bonded totally. There were times when she took the role of guard dog, and tried to be ferocious with my husband... but always gave in to a tummy rub. She loved her walks through the park, and enjoyed endless attention, always rewarding her new friends with licks and kisses, and the opportunity to stroke her tummy. Maggie was a traveller. The word "trip" would send her flying into her sherpa bag, ready for the next adventure.

She enjoyed 13 round trips flight to Florida, always basking in the winter warmth, frollicking in our condo complex. Maggie would spend entire days with us, enjoying being pushed around in her doggy stroller when her legs became tired. She flew to visit my mother in law in Kansas, making the aquaintance of Rudy, her black lab. One evening we returned home to find Rudy and Maggie snuggled on the sofa. Maggie had assured Rudy, previously trained never to go on the furniture, that it would be OK. Indeed it was. We were not surprised when Maggie's DNA revealed that she had some Scottish terrier in her. She had a willfullness and mind of her own that made her all the more endearing. Ultimately she only wanted approval. Maggie made car trips to Montreal to visit family, and most recently, a final car trip to Florida, to complete her "bucket list". 

Our darling Maggie was diagnosed with lymphoma in early January of this year. She began a course of prednisone, to keep the symptoms at bay. Respiratory distress finally got the better of Maggie. She gave her final kisses last Saturday morning before being gently put to sleep. Her passing after only two years and eight months has left a tremendous hole in our hearts. We are comforted by all the wonderful memories of a little dog who was never perfectly behaved, but always absolutely loving and loved. You have left indelible pawprints on the hearts of all who knew you.

Much love Margaret

 
 

April 01, 2012

Letter to Trouble and Mickey

Eight years ago during a tough time in my life I was visiting the Toronto Humane Society to see what animals were up for adoption. As I came across you Trouble and Mickey I instantly was taken with your charm and gaze, Trouble. Looking through your charts I learned that you both were not perfect cats, with imperfect teeth and that you had been at THS for awhile. Trouble you were extremely affectionate purring loudly and rubbing your head on the cage door looking so attentively wondering when I might open the door as you didn't belong there. Mickey was hiding behind you as he was more shy but equally as loving as you. I remember whispering to you as I grabbed your charts - don't go anywhere sweetie you are coming home with me. I originally was only going to adopt Trouble but the staff had mentioned to me that Mickey and you had grown up together, you were also both great boys. Taking you both home in the cardboard boxes they handed you both to me in…Mickey had an unfortunate stinky accident. This was the beginning of our adventures together.

I stocked up on new toys, cat nip, food and treats. I quickly learned about your quirks, habits and preferences as well you learned of mine I am sure ;) Nonetheless you both were the most well behaved, affectionate, sweetest cats I could have ever dreamed of. I remember your love of water Trouble which was made apparent to me that day I was in the shower and I happened to turn around - there you were standing on the inside of the shower edge of the tub staring at me and startling me. As well how you loved climbing in our first home together in Forest hill where you loved to sit atop of the kitchen cupboards watching the world go by on Eglinton Street. You kept me company by sitting by my hand often while I worked at my computer, and peering over my desktop from behind with your socklet paws overtop.

Trouble and Mickey you helped me through tough relationships and a period when I lost a job worrying about supporting us. You were also there when I landed a great job and it was happy times again. That summer day in 2006 I was taking you both to the vet before our move out to Vancouver I recall Mickey having a seizure in the carrier on the way to the vet. As I put the carrier down and opened the cage door to console Mickey - Trouble you stood there patiently, I broke down wondering if my move out west was the right decision for us all.

Nontheless we all made it there with me worrying, especially upon arrival to Vancouver I remembered waiting for you Trouble to arrive with other passengers undercarriage items. Trouble you came out purring and I couldn't believe it you were a better passenger than I could of dreamed of. Of course you were both there to comfort me in a strange new home, we all really helped each other settle in quite well. I remember the first time I saw you Trouble with Bailey our neighbours golden lab. You jumped up to rub your head on Bailey's ear and then rolled over submissively wanting to play with her which really shocked both Bailey and I. Again you made me a proud mamma showing your love for other animals cat or dog. Mickey was the lazier one usually as he loved laying across the scratching boards, only moving slightly when I brought out the cat nip or it was feeding time. Trouble you often took great care of Mickey as he was older especially when he had diabetes. You always lay by his side licked his head for comfort and were visibly upset when Mickey had to leave us eventually due to kidney failure.

Trouble I really believe that you were too gentle of a kitty as you never showed any instinctual behaviour towards birds, insects or dogs. I remember the one night when a spider was on my bed and you running off as I switched on the lights I saw the massive spider there and knowing that the spider scared you off. I remember you loving our outdoors walks on our condo terrace as you lay basking in the sun and listening to the birds you were in heaven. Even when the mean Vancouver crows came swopping down to get you out of their territory you simply ignored them.

Eventually we moved back to Toronto in August 2010 and again you travelled very well. Helping me settle into my new home in Toronto you were again by my side.  Trouble even when your health started to turn I refused to believe you were getting older as you were always will be my handsome boy. I wanted to always make sure you were happy, not neglected, cared for and healthy. I could always count on you to be there with no judgment, happy to just lay alongside whatever I was doing and I always made sure to kiss you on your sweet face everyday.

I truly will forever love you Trouble. I was not ready to let you go even when the vet had tried everything to help you get better and he advised me that you were not going to. It was the toughest decision I have made in my life thus far and I knew it would be really hard as I was truly attached to you and really had wanted more years with you.    

I want to believe that you are there in heaven now feeling the grass beneath your paws and the sun kissing your sweet faces.  You taught me unconditional love, to live in the moment, to capture life's simple pleasures, and to always chase after my dreams.

Love you my boys forever Mickey and Trouble. You are forever in my head and heart never to be forgotten.            

Thank you THS for helping and giving animals a second chance to such great animals.

Love Maria

 
 

March 17, 2012

On January 2, 2008, 3 weeks after we put our 17 yr. old Timmy to sleep (kidney failure), we missed a cat presence too much and went to THS looking to give an older cat a good home.  With 3 pictures in hand, the first one brought out to show us was Jenny, a 16 yr. old tortoishell.  She was eager to get out of the cage & licked my nose - a very smart move!  So we packed her up & brought her home.  She adapted immediately as the only cat & loved her own bed & fenced in balcony.  At 16 she was very spry and used to launch from the bureau to the bed to play fight when making the bed.  She did that up to 18 yrs. old and then became more sedate and a persistent lap cat, constantly purring.  Despite some old age problems, she continued to be a very happy cat, even after seizures which became more severe.  On March 15, 2012, we had to put her to sleep at 20 yrs. old. Mt. Pleasant vet kindly made the home house call the most peaceful passing in her beloved home with mummy and daddy.

I highly recommend adopting an older cat and giving one the best last years of their life.
S. Beaudoin & A. Martin

 
 

January 28, 2012

Hi,

I would like to share the story of Sheldon, who was a stewardship cat from the Toronto Humane Society. We saw him on the website. He was 14 years old and already had been returned twice. We thought that Shelon deserved a good home for his final years. He was a funny looking little character, very thin, curled lip and liked to nip. When he came home with us he settled in quickly and it was like he had always been there.

He loved to talk to us and was extremely social. We grew to love him very quickly and I think he loved us too. He put a bit of weight on and was very healthy. He loved to go for car rides and would come and pick me up from work. We had him for almost five years.

Last Fri. Jan 20, Sheldon past away in his 19th year. It was his kidneys. My husband and I haven't been the same since. We knew this day would come, but it still a terrible loss. We would encourage anyone who is considering adopting a geriatric companion not to hesitate. The love they have to give makes every moment special. Thank you for letting me share our story of a very special boy, Sheldon.

Lisa McPhee

 
 

January 23, 2012

Dear Shyla,

You have been with me through thick and thin. You were always there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Shyla was my first pet dog and the best jack russel ever! Back in 2000 my house was broken into and robbed when no one was home. We kept Shyla in the laundry room while we were out so she didn't chew the furniture. Because Shyla was in the house, she was in guard of the laundry room when it got broken into. She scared the theives from even coming close to that room! She was a great guard dog and an awesome friend.

When we moved out she was passed onto my grandmother who needed some help around the house. Shyla took care of any mice problems :) and was great scaring away the mail man who brought unwanted flyers! Shyla was a great partner to my grandmother and to everyone in the family. She was a very happy dog until she got cancer in 2009. There was no way we could save her, God was determined to take her from us. :(

Now she is away from the pain and suffering and watching over us. You will never be forgotten.

I love you, rest in peace my angel!

 
 

January 18, 2012

"In Memory of Jake"

It was spring, 8 years ago, when my mom Lois, and brother Art adopted "Jake"(a beautiful border collie)from the Toronto Humain Society. Jake was already 8 years old at the time. After a bit of research we learned that he had lived as a pet of a mentally handicapped couple in northern Ontarion, and was often forgotten outside, in all types of weather conditions.

I can remember when they first met Jake, they both fell in love with him. It was at that point that Jake's life changed and so did Art and Lois'. For 8 years, Jake was a great companion. From his walks with Art, and his vocals in letting the neighbours and other dogs know he was "in the hood', to bolting around the backyard to investigate who was passing by our house. In the night, Jake would sleep beside Lois' bed and protect her as she slept. It was quite comical to see Jake walk circles around the kitchen table, and practice his herding talents. He would howl if they went out shopping without taking him. He was a beautiful companion, friend, and protector.

In December 2011, Jake was diagnosed as having 2 tumors , one on his liver, the other his spleen. The diagnosis came a few days before Christmas. On December 30th, 2011, Jake herded the invisible sheep around the kitchen table one more time.

I have no doubt that he is herding God's sheep up in Heaven, and doing a great job of it!

God Bless You Jake! We Love You Always!
Mom, Art, Fred xo

 
 

January 11, 2012

Dear Toronto Humane Society,

On August 9, 2000, my husband and I adopted an adorable male, brown tabby cat from your rescue. We named him 'Maximus', Max for short, and he instantly became the centre of our world. Over the course of Max's 11 and a half year life we got married, bought our first house, added a dog to our family, moved to a new house and had our daughter. As Max was a huge part of our life and family, he was very much a part of all these experiences which greatly enriched our life. Our Max was quite a character, known and loved my many, with a larger than life personality. He was a cat like no other and we loved him dearly.

In early December our Max became very ill with pancreatic problems. Our amazing vet, Dr Greg Usher, did everything he could but our poor boy deteriorated quickly and heartbreakingly, he was unable to make our Max well. So on January 2nd, 2012 after several heartwrenching weeks of watching our poor Max suffer greatly, we did the kindest, most humane thing we could do for him. With Max wrapped in a blanket in my arms with my husband by my side, Dr Usher put our boy to rest.

We miss our Max more than words can describe, our house feels empty without him. His memories will always live on with us and we thank you for so greatly enriching our life with this sweet soul.

With much gratitude, Noelle, John and Victoria Hiscox

 
 

December 1, 2011

I adopted Milo from the THS over 12 years ago. He was abandoned and abused, not to mentioned terrified of men. After watching the THS advertisement one early Sunday morning we saw Milo. His name at the time was Chucky, given by staff there. We fell in love, rushed over and stood in line for 3.5 hours to ensure he was coming home with us.

It took some work and a lot of love, but MILO became a confident and happy little boy. Living with his new family and fellow sister, another dog we own by the name of Cloe. He lived to a ripe old age of 14.5, only to lose his battle with cushings disease and seizures. To this day I miss him dearly, and so does Cloe. His ashes, his plaque and photo adorn our fireplace mantel, but he will always be in our hearts.

Milo is proof that adoptive dogs can be amazing, loving pets. They just need some love that they didn't get before.

MILO - SEPT 1996 - APRIL 2011

R.I.P. my dearest little boy
Elle

 
 

November 3, 2011

This is a letter to my dear dog Lucy, whom I adopted from THS on July 16th, 1998. She was a great dog, and here is my letter to her (photo attached).

Dear Lucy,

You have been my friend for over 13 years.

You have been my faithful companion through most of my adult life. You have licked away my tears through broken relationships, lost loves, and the deaths of my mother and grandfather. You were here the day I found out I was pregnant, and the day that I brought Victoria home from the hospital. You were with me on my wedding day.

We drove across Canada together for 13 days and stayed at some pretty shoddy hotels and motels along the way. But we did it together. I still can't believe we made it alive. Those roads in Ontario were so terrible in the rain!

You taught me what true friendship really means. You taught me how to love. You are the reason that I became a vegetarian. You are gone now, up to heaven with all the other good dogs.

I was expecting some sort of closure but I guess that will only come in time. Your eyes were open and you still looked like herself. But there was no heartbeat, and no breathing. I miss you, Moosey...

I came home to a quiet house this afternoon. There is no more Lucy barking. I always cursed that bark of yours, but now I miss it, strangely enough. I tried my best to give you a good life, B, and I can only hope that your last moments were free of pain and that you know your mommy was with you till the end. You were my lifelong friend.

I will miss you.

Our long summer days at the doggie beach in Vancouver, when you and Winston played in the sand and dipped your paws into the Pacific ocean. You were the best dog a girl could have ever asked for.

I loved you from the moment I heard you panting in your cage at the Humane Society in Toronto, way back in 1998 when I first adopted you on that hot, humid day. I remember buying you a hot dog and a bottle of Evian. I said, "welcome to the good life, DOG!!" And it was you and I from that moment on.

You changed me in so many profound ways. Mostly in teaching me to live more in the moment and what it meant to unconditionally love another being. I was so very proud of you when we went to dog obedience camp and you won the prize for "most improved dog". You passed the CKC Good Neighbour test too!

And then you went on to become a St. John Ambulance registered therapy dog. From a dog wandering High Park to a therapy dog. "You go girl!", I said. You were a good girl. You sometimes drove me crazy when you would not pee in -20 temperatures during snowstorms in Toronto back in the day. I am surprised you survived through my 20's with all my shananigans! And then there was that time that the German Shepherd bit you at the park and left his teeth marks in your neck.

You chased that black cat on Sammon Ave. and I remember running down the road with my pajamas on. What a sight that must have been. We found you though, barking at "RIMBO" in a yard a few doors down. I was so upset that day....I thought I had lost you.

We've been through a lot, you and I. 13 years is a hell of a long time. The trip from Virginia when Tiffy pooped on you as you shared a dog crate and we had to stop and wipe you off. HAH! Poppy never thought we'd make it back to Toronto alive, but we all did just fine!

You enjoyed the days we spent at the dog park in Norfolk. And the hot summers in Toronto, when you dug holes and buried yourself in the sand at the beaches so you would be able to cool off. I thought that was awesome.

You so loved to go down the slides with me. People must have thought I was crazy going down slides with a little lapdog. HAHA. And you stole poppy's heart the moment he met you. You stole so many hearts over the years, Lucy. Most of all, mine...

But you are the only one that ever bit me. And over a dog treat. Of course. And I've groomed a hundred dogs or more! And you snored so loudly that I had to wear earplugs all of these years. HAHA. You and your pug nose.

Do you remember the time that you literally stopped traffic? You were wearing your faux fur leopard print jacket and the school kids made such a fuss that the driver had to stop the bus and say hello to us. You loved to prance around in that jacket! You looked so cute doing it, too!

And you were there with me on that fateful day when we met Chloe and daddy. Of course we didn't know then that he and I would get married and live happily every after! But our mutual love of dogs enabled us to come together, so thank you for that, too! If it were not for you, I wouldn't have ever met him! Amazing.

Oh my....so many years of memories. So many ups and downs together. The day I lost my job and was terrified of what would become of us. And then, miraculously, three weeks later when I got my way better job. You did a very enthusiastic high five when I told you the news.

I just want you to know, Lucy, that you meant and will always mean everything to me. I know that since the baby was born that I have not given you the love you so so deserved.

We didn't have the time that I would have liked to have in your golden years. I am sorry for not being there for you 100% this last 19 months. All this 'mommy to a human baby' stuff has been hard on your mommy. You were so easy to take care of compared to a human baby!!!

But I did my best to love you in the many years that we had together. I am so so sorry for having to do this to you, my best friend. I love you.
Now and forevermore.

Mommy

 
 

November 2, 2011

Dear Staff and Volunteers at the Toronto Humane Society,

Let me formerly introduce you to our baby girl, Chelsea. Don't be fooled though, our "baby girl" has been just that - for 16 beautifully long years. I remember the day I met my lifelong sister, as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was a beautiful October weekend in Toronto; the air was crisp and the leaves had begun to change. At the time, I was an 8 year old little girl; who had never had a pet before. At the time, my brother was 3 years old and my parents were ready to teach us about responsibility and love.

Unbeknownst to any of us, we would find SO much more in our baby girl. I will never forget the first time I met Chelsea - her name at the time, was Rita. I am a big believer, especially after that day, that "you just know" when you meet the right animal for you. "Rita" was very subdued - she wasn't like all the other dogs. I distinctly remember how loud the room was, filled with dogs who needed a home - they definitely made themselves known! "Rita", however, was different. The moment we laid eyes on each other - I knew she would become my lifelong friend. She immediately perked up, and began licking our hands and faces - we just, knew. Our family was now proud owners of a beautiful baby girl, that we named - Chelsea.

I'm not going to lie, those first years were filled with chewing up converters, tearing apart our couch - she was a big teether! Chels loved spreading out in the grass, rubbing her head against the ground, but most of all - she LOVED to suntan! She, very fast, became part of our family - a love unlike nothing any of us had ever felt before. Her early years were spent "seeing the world", and enjoying every minute of it! Every summer, our family would travel up North with Chels, and do week-long camping trips. Boy - did she ever love those! Our family grew accustomed to dinnertime with Chels, which almost always ended up in "someone" feeding her under the table! As she got older, she became our beautiful princess. It was no longer "us taking care of her", she - really, took care of us. Every night before dinner, when my mom and dad would call the kids to the table, they would always remember to call Chels too (hehe).

When I say she was a part of the family - you have no idea. She lit up our life, unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. Her life was beautiful; with a huge backyard in the country, and 2 long walks a day - she had it made! I consider our family, so unbelievably blessed, for having met Chelsea - I can't imagine my life without her.

Unfortunately, though, on October 4th 2011; our biggest fear became reality. After months of prolonging the inevitable - it became apparent that Chelsea was no longer, Chelsea. With my dad holding her face, and rubbing her ears (as he's always done, to comfort her) - she went to sleep, one final time. Losing my baby girl has been one of the hardest things my family and I, have ever had to endure. To some, she might have just been "a dog" but to us, she was family - she was our everything. Chelsea now rests downstairs, in a beautiful doubled picture frame; one side holds her ashes, in a velvet bag - which rests behind a photo of her. The other side, holds a beautiful coloured imprint of her paw, set in stone.

Although we miss her terribly, we are forever grateful for the beautiful memories we have made throughout the years. We are looking forward to the day, when we may be reunited with our baby girl, one last time.

Huge thanks go out to the Toronto Humane Society, for allowing our family the opportunity to find love. We gave Chelsea, 16 beautiful years of love and happiness - we would not have wanted it, any other way. We are so proud to have been able to give our Chelsea girl, the opportunity at a FANTASTIC life! I can finally say, our life has been made complete. Never again, will we go anywhere, other than - the Toronto Humane Society; to adopt a pet.

Lots of love,

The Bartolacs

 
 

October 14, 2011

I never thought I would become so attached to a pet but what they say is true, "A dog is a man's best friend".

In June 2010, Roscoe, a three month old English Bulldog came into my life. As he walked around my home familiarizing himself with the new surroundings (peeing on my furniture) I knew that I was ready to take on the responsibility of owning a dog.

His adorable wrinkled face, giant sized paws and body much to small for his head, he had won me over. "I'll take him" He approached slowly and cautiously toward me. "Daddy?" I couldn't help myself to do nothing but give him kisses on his head. "Yes, I'm your new daddy"

As he licked my face the hours passed by, I knew this was a special bond. As the weeks passed Roscoe grew larger and larger. We would often go to the park or on walks where Roscoe would attract everyone in sight. People would often stop their cars to comment. One time a TTC driver stopped her bus and asked if I could bring Roscoe aboard. He proceeded to lick her face as the riders waited patiently. At 8 months he was 45 lbs an healthy as could be. Within the year of having him we visited numerous festivals from Italian Festival, Taste of Danforth, Woofstock and Oktoberfest to name a few. He was my little sidekick and life was good.

At one year and a half and weighing 65lbs Roscoe injured his leg after chasing a ball in the park. I decided to get surgery done to repair a torn cruciate ligament. The surgery was a success and Roscoe was on his way to recovery. After several weeks my family who supported me so much during this ordeal noticed a little bump on Roscoe's hip. After numerous hospital visits and weeks admitted they discovered the bump that once was small grew larger and was a cancerous tumor. I couldn't believe what I heard. A puppy at one and a half years old with cancer. As I wiped away the tears the reality sank in and two options were given to me. You have to understand at this moment Roscoe's leg is double the size of his other leg and for the last five days on two pain killers he was in enormous amounts of pain.

The options were:
A. Amputate his leg/hip and start chemotherapy which was a 25% success rate or
B. Have him put down

The decision was difficult and took so much out of me that till this day I am still sad and regret it but I knew that at the time it was the only way to take the pain away. I chose B and lost my best friend.

Oct 13, 2010 was the saddest day of my life. I will always remember you Roscoe the time we had. I miss you so much. You will always be my little boy.

Lino

 
 

August 18, 2011

On February 10, 1998, I was blessed with a staggering gift, in the form of a small stray dog that I was allowed to adopt from the Toronto Humane Society. That day was one of the luckiest of my life.

In those days, adoptable dogs were posted on a recorded phone message that was updated each day around 10AM. I phoned regularly to see if there were any small dogs available. One day, they mentioned a male dachshund, and I left work, and ran over to River Street. My first view of Spencer was of a little dog cowering in the back of a very large cage, barking at me. I was a little worried about how he'd act with my other dog Rebecca, but from the first moment they got along famously. She was probably the only dog he didn't greet with a snarl.

Spencer never did believe in making a good first impression. But 10 minutes after he'd bark at a stranger, I'd look over to see him happily settled in their lap, whether they liked it or not.

He was truly a wonderful friend. When it was within his power, he was never more than a few feet away from me. He utterly and completely stole my heart. After 13 1/2 short years beside me, my beautiful little buddy died on June 28th after a difficult struggle with renal disease.

While I selfishly think of him as my dog, Spencer got to be a part of two families, with Darren and I on evenings and weekends, and ‘dog-sitters' David and Brian on weekdays - and, of course, Rebecca 24/7. The years that he shared with our families were something for which we will be eternally grateful, and a large piece of each of our hearts will always be with him.

John

 
 

July 22, 2011

We brought Billy into our family when I was 8 years old. When we agreed on him at the Humane Society, he was a one year old frisky little cat, who clawed at me through the cage as I waited by while my mom signed the adoption papers.

Billy became part of our family immediately, and he was a great sport in games that my brother and I would make him play.

As an integral part of our family, Billy moved with us to NY, then with my brother to Montreal. He lived in more places that even I did as a human!

Everyone that met him adored him. He let kids torture him, he let adults pet him, and everybody, even non-cat people, fell in love with the little prince that he was.

Billy would sleep in between my brother and my room, every night, making us both believe that we were his favourite-I still don't know how he managed, but every night he slept with both of us, in both of our rooms.

He died at the age of 14 and although it has been 2 years since his death, I still think of him and miss him. He was an amazing addition to our family and really truly brought us a great deal of happiness. RIP

Billy the cat.

 
 

July 22, 2011

July 1997 about 2 years after putting our previous pure breed tri-collie down after 13 yrs, as a family that there was something missing. We decided to visit the THS for the first time. We gathered up the three kids and headed down to the shelter from Pickering. We looked through the kennel where the dogs are kept and didn't see anything or so we thought. My husband was going to leave…I told him he couldn't drag us down there and leave without a new pet. The kids would be devastated. We looked again and found a tri-colour, part hound, part collie, part Australian cattle dog. He was a stray. He was hyper and was barking at us as to say pick me, pick me! So we did and he has been a part of our lives for 13+ years.

He started having difficulties over the past few months with what we thought were tremors or seizures whereby he would collapse on the floor, plus he was dribbling pee. On July 18th he had three seizures within 5 minutes. Then six more before 2 pm. My husband took him to the vet and they observed him as well as did 3 ECG's in various positions. It showed he had a secondary blockage in the heart and the blood was not getting to his brain which was causing fainting spells as we were told. They tried Atropine to see if they could regulate the heart but they couldn't. It was determined he needed a pacemaker.

We picked him up from the vet and he kept having the fainting spells. He started loosing control of his hips and shaking. We decided as a family this was not they way we wanted him to live if he even survived. On July 18, 2011 we took him to the Whitby emergency clinic and said goodbye to Harley. He was part of the family and will be extremely missed by all of us, but forever in out hearts. RIP our little buddy! Your not in pain anymore. Thank you THS for giving us joy in our family for the past 13+ years.

Respectfully yours,

Cheryl A. Craig

 
 

July 19, 2011

In July of 1998, at the young age of 5 years old, my parents brought me and my 2 brothers to THS to pick out a dog. My father really had in his mind that he wanted a collie, and when he didn't find one, he was going to leave. As I circled the dog adoption centre, this one particular dog stood out in my mind. Every time I stood in front of his cage, he would whimper and just look at me with his sad eyes, and the moment we continued, he'd begin to bark and scratch the inside of the cage. As crazy as he seemed, I told my father that I liked him and that he was the one. Not wanting to disappoint me, my father agreed and he soon became our dog.

At 6 months old, Harley was adopted into our family. He was part collie, part hound, and part australian cattle dog, and he was crazy! As soon as we brought him home, he ate both my moms and my favourite pair of sandals, knocked over our plants in the house, and barked at everything and everyone. My dad was definitely having second thoughts, but I told him that he was perfect and nothing a little bit of training couldn't fix. Harley was the best dog a family could ask for.

On July 18th 2011, Harley began experiencing some troubles. We rushed him to the local vet, and we were told he had a second degree blockage to his heart. Either he would need surgery to implant a pace maker, or we would have to put him down. At 13 years of age, as a family, we decided that it would be best to put Harley down. He suffered a lot in the last few hours of his life, and as I held him when he was being put to sleep, I knew that it would be hard to love another dog as much as I loved Harley again. I laid with him after he passed, not wanting to leave because he had been my best friend for my entire life. I know he is in a much better place now, but I would do anything to re-live those 13 years with my Harley again.

The Craig family would like to thank THS for giving us our Harley, we had a lot of great years with him and we are very blessed that we were able to find a dog like him. You saved his life and we took him and gave him the best life he could possibly have.

Thank you THS, sincerely,
The Craig Family.

 
 

June 23, 2011

I recently posted an in memory for my cats Molly & Gypsy, but as I was doing that I was taking care of my babygirl Fluffy. We got her from THS in may 2004 shortly after Molly passed away, just to see if it would help heal us a bit and give our cat Gypsy another friend so she wouldn't feel so lonely. She was only a couple of months old when we got her, and little did we find out after that she was epileptic, and she had seizures from the crinkling of plastic, and the ringing of bells. She was a sweet girl, but had some moments when she wouldn't act like herself and she would try to attack our other cat. But she didn't know she was doing that. She loved to cuddle up with you, and make you feel better when you were sad. I lost a bestfriend, in april and she was there for me through the entire time.

This morning (June 23, 2011) at around 7am she passed away, I don't know what the cause was
or how she got sick in the first place, but she's in a much better place. I promised her the entire night that I stayed up with her, that she was going to feel better soon. And I kissed her, and repeatedly told her I love her so much, and that I would give her the world. Many thanks to the THS for giving us this beautiful cat, and our beautiful previous cats.

One day I'll be with her again, and I promise then everything will be perfect. Her name from the THS was Lila, but we couldn't decide what to call her, because she had socks/boots so we called her Soxy, Boots and then Fluffy.

I love her more than anything in the world, and once again I thank the THS for her.

- Katie H.

 
 

June 23, 2011

We got Gypsy, from the THS about 14 years ago when she was little with her sister Molly, who passed away in 2004 from lung cancer and was my bestfriend. Gypsy became apart of our family, and became a bestfriend to my sister. We never really let her outside, unless we were there watching her , but even then she'd get scared and run inside. She was a house cat and a loveable one at that. She loved to curl up on my sisters head, and she'd watch movies, and curl up beside you if you were ever sad. She was a great friend to talk to because she always listened, and she always wanted attention.

So when you'd either be playing a game, or just on the internet she'd paw at you just to let you know she wants attention. Over the years her breathing started to change, and by this february she started to get sick. The day before she passed away, we knew something was wrong. She wasn't acting the same, she wasn't eating, or drinking. And she wasn't really using the bathroom either. The next day we called the vet because she went into hiding and she knew something was going to happen because she wouldnt come out and she kept meowing. We brought her downstairs, and the vet gave her a needle, to try and calm her down, but she had a heart attack right in front of us.

She is truly missed, and forever will be, but she will always be loved. Noone will ever be able to replace her. Kelly & all of us miss you so much baby girl Rest in peace now.

Gypsy(black) :1999 - February 20 , 2011
Molly ( grey) : 1999 - May 2004

Love the Hall family

 
 

June 10, 2011

On an early November day 2008, my husband walked into the THS on River and saw a little cocker spaniel named Thomasina. She had been living at THS for 4 months and no one wanted her. She hadn't been trimmed in quite some time and she came with thyroid and bladder issues. It was an instant connection between her and my husband as he sat in a little room with her. He called me at work and said "I have found a cocker spaniel for you. Go to the THS website and look at her picture". One look and I knew she was for us.

We had her hair done, changed her name to Shelby, and bought her some clothes. She joined our Bernese, Colton, and even though she was only 32 pounds to his 125, she was the boss of the house. We did everything on Shelby's schedule. She was spunky and strong to the very end. A very classy lady who loved her pink polo shirt, dresses, many sweaters and jackets and above all, her collar which she proudly wore in the last minutes of her life. Nothing was better than laying in bed with her Daddy watching Lady and the Tramp, her favorite movie. She loved her family and would do anything for us, but she loved her daddy most of all. He saved her and brought her into our family.

Our little girl, our little princess Shelby, passed away last Sunday.

No one quite knew her age. We think she was 9 or 10 when we got her, which would put her at 12 or 13. She lived as a true princess these last 3 years and though we miss her more than words can possibly say, we wouldn't trade a minute of our time with her. We feel honored to have given her such a good life and hopefully the best years of her life.

We love you Shelby,

Mommy, Daddy, Quinlan, Carleton, Colton and Lily

 
 

May 21, 2011

I got Bella from the THS on November 29th 2002. I had been in Toronto for just over a year and was living alone in my first real apartment and I decided to look for a pet of my own. I was looking for a one or two year old cat. I looked at all the cats and found Bella who had been named Cinderella. She was the age I was looking for at 1 and a half years old. She was a small cat and a little thin. She was lying on her side with her paw stretched out and when I came up to talk to her she responded by trying to touch me by putting her paw through the bars. She had a beautiful face and I read that she was affectionate. There were other sheets on the pad but I didn't look at them, I had decided this was my cat.

While waiting for my interview I decided to change her name to Bella because she was beautiful and it ended the same as Cinderella. In the interview I found out that this cat had been at the THS for over 4 months. She had been returned twice for different reasons and had been with a foster family. This made me want her even more. I took her home and Bella was my constant companion for 8 and 1/2 years. I met my husband, got married and moved three times with her. My husband and her became fast friends. She was the most affectionate, playful and good natured animal I have ever known.

Bella died yesterday of advanced cancer of the stomach and liver. She showed no symptoms and was eating, jumping,running up her scratching post and sleeping on our laps at night right up until her last day. Yesterday morning we woke up unexpectedly and shockingly to a very sick cat. I took her to the vet and she continued to deteriorate during the exam and after confirmation by an x-ray the vet knew why she was shutting down. Bella died at the vet's office. While we are dealing with our grief we do have some comfort knowing that she didn't suffer very long and that we had so many years with her.

Carrie and Dave

 
 

May 14, 2011

In July, 2004, I responded to a THS "adopt a cat" campaign and adopted Missy, although I already had a cat at home and hadn't intended to get another. Missy was 13 years old and had been surrendered because a family member developed asthma. She was a gorgeous black cat with green eyes and a sweet temperament. After a short adjustment period, Missy became a playful, affectionate companion for me and my other cat, Samantha, also black with green eyes. Missy, the larger and older of the two, would groom Samantha as if they were mother cat and kitten. I was privileged to have Missy with me for six and a half years. In her last couple of years, she lost most of her sight to detached retinas, as a result of high blood pressure. We got the blood pressure under control and Missy adapted well to her reduced vision, confidently finding her way around the apartment and onto my bed and her favourite chair.

Missy reached the age of 20 in early April, 2011. She had an excellent appetite and was in good shape for her age. Her final illness overtook her suddenly, and there was only one right choice for her. She was gently helped out of her life - licking the veterinarian's fingers as she prepared to give the injection - on April 21. I miss her, and so does Samantha. My thanks to Dr. Vihos and all the veterinarians and staff at Downtown Animal Hospital for loving care of Missy and kind support at the end.

 
 

April 30, 2011

We got Coby at the Toronto Humane Society on December 27, 2005. She was 5 1/2 years old. She seemed very sad all alone in her cage. We could clearly see that she had been a mother, and would of had to give away her pups. She had also been adopted once before and returned to THS. We just had to bring her home with us. Once we got her in the car she must have given us a thousand kisses. She was so thankful to be going home with us. Coby was always a very affectionate, loyal and loving dog. She loved children, going for walks everyday, playing with her toys, table scraps and getting lots of treats. She especially loved resting in her own bed.

Sadly, on April 18, 2011 she passed away just one week before her 11th Birthday. She was a very good dog. We are so glad we were able to adopt Coby and have her in our lives. We are sad, crying and missing her very much. She was a big part of our lives and we think of her everyday. We will always, always love Coby.

Larry & Doreen.

 
 

April 27, 2011

My cat 'Frosty' or (Winter) as he was called passed away on April 21st, at seven years of age. It was unexpected, even he had been sick a few times with an infection in his mouth and teeth. The vets couldn't figure out what was wrong. He was feeling better even the day before, he was rolling around, jumping on the couch and eating heartily.

He had been adopted by my niece in 2009, and I agreed to look after him. He had been abused and I told him that he'd be safe with me. I accomplished that for two years and he trusted me and I was very happy. It took him awhile to come out of his hiding spots, I didn't push him. He loved to lie under the chair, so it was more like a tent. He would stare at his girlfriend 'Snowflake', a stuffed white cat, in which is still there.

I say a prayer every night, telling him that I love and miss him, and that he will not be forgotton. I'm sure another cat will come into my life and I will give them the best that I can.

Good night 'My little man', Susie loves you.

Thank you.
Susan Fadden (Cat volunteer)

 
 

April 21, 2011

I got Billy from the THS at Christmas, 2005. He had been at the shelter for 4 months, and I suspect no one wanted him for two reasons: 1.) he was a little stand-offish, and, 2.) some people have a ridiculous superstition of black cats. He died today because he was hit by a car. Thankfully, he died instantly. I am going to miss him, terribly. I know some of you may be saying that it was my own fault for letting him out, and rest assured, I do feel guilty. but I also know that he had a very good life with me for 6 years.

Although I got him for my son that Christmas of 2005, he really was my cat. He only ever showed affection to me. I have read that some persian cats are like that, and Billy had a lot of persian in him. Billy was also blessed at Saint-Simon-the Apostle's Anglican Church on Bloor St., and somehow that makes me feel a little bit better , that somehow God knows what a great cat he was and that he is in whatever heaven there is for cats.

Billy, Glenna

 
 
February 22, 2011

On October 4th, 1997 we went down to the THS on River Street with friends so "they" could look for a dog to adopt. Little did my husband and I know that is was "us" who would be coming home with a forever pet of our own.

As we went from one dog to another trying to help our friends find their forever pet, my husband noticed this little puppy who wasn't that little in a cage by herself. He went over to read what was written about her. She was a husky/shepherd mix that was 3 months old. She had one blue eye and one brown eye. And her ears were bigger than her whole head.

We read the name on the card and it said her name was "Casey". We thought this was a sign because our Orange Male Tabby was named KC. My husband wanted to find out more about her and have us spend some time in the meeting room with her.

Right then and there we decided to adopt her. And it was the best decision we ever made. Since we already had a KC in the family ... we offically changed her name to Karly.

She was truly one of the most affectionate pets I've ever known. All she wanted was love and she gave it unconditionally. She never liked to see us leave but greeted us with such enthusiasm when we came home. Karly had the run of the house. She slept with us every night. She loved to snuggle on the couch but also loved lying in front of the fire place or at the front door when the sunshine came through. She loved being outside in the sunshine. We would take her up north during the summer on the boat. She loved the fresh air. She had no time to nap during those fun summer days because she never wanted to miss someone walking by or watching the kids play.

On December 6th, 2010 we said goodbye to our precious baby girl Karly. She was such a ray of sunshine in our lives. Even as she was slowly going to a better place free of pain, she managed to give her Mom one last kiss. It was so hard to let her go. She was a huge part of our family. We still look for her in all her favourite spots. Her presence is sorely missed. We think about her everyday.

As much as we would love to have another dog in our home, part of us feels this was Karly's home. But then we think about giving another dog a forever home. We have been looking on the THS website and even came down recently to show the kids where we got Karly from. Perhaps this is not the right time because we are still grieving Karly. We hope that one day we will find another dog from THS just as precious as Karly but in their own special way.

Shari and Family

 
 

February 9, 2011

On her information sheet at the Toronto Humane Society, Cheyenne was reported to be found in Scarborough in the middle of winter bearing a tag with her name and birthday. When I first met her in the adoption center there, she had been "in residence" for a few months. She seemed sad and only looked up at me once, then turned away. When I asked the adoption attendants about Cheyenne they refused. Apparently she had been a barky dog in the shelter and would look out our apartment window and bark at everyone on the street. I countered by pointing that I had a deck on the front of my apartment 30 feet by about 9 feet deep. They were satisfied with that answer and let me take her home. She spent many hours each warm day on that deck and never barked, even though she had a great view of the Withrow Dog Park. She had a lot of amazing qualities that didn't show up at the shelter. When I brought her home her ears were perpetually down and her back slightly hunched. The first time she stood at the edge of Withrow Park, her back straightened and her ears went up...they never went down again.

She had been obviously hurt in her previous home and remained slightly anxious all her life. But you could not ask for a better behaved dog in the house. Outside was different and it took some time to train her in obedience in that context. She needed to learn that disobedience would not result in physical punishment. My daughter and I worked with her gently to develop a trusting relationship that was also firm in its expectations for good dog behaviour.

The evening I brought her home it was raining and our first bonding experience was her receiving a gentle towel rub and that always remained a pleasant experience for us both. Over the years I kept my pledge of exercising and socializing her. I fed her the best foods I could afford/available and she became a real member of the family and popular dog in the neighbourhood for her great social zeal and her notoriously clever/mischievious side.

In time we moved to a few different homes. I married a man with two cats. Cheyenne with a trainer's help lived with them, without incident...one of the cats, in their last week of life, even went and lay on Cheyenne's bed for comfort and company...Several years ago, my husband and I moved to the Ottawa region, living first in Ottawa and then moving to a rural home. In Ottawa we resided near the RCMP stables and we would visit there every evening to "helloooo" the horses in the paddocks. Last year we bought the house we now live in in a rural location near Ottawa...by this time Cheyenne, at 17 was diagnosed with arthritis and we started on a course of pain relief and natural joint support supplements. In our new home Cheyenne has had the freedom to roam leashless/fenceless--something she always loved-exploring! Because of the arthritis she wasn't able to get very far but loved to do a little wandering and then would return and sit on the lawn in the shade and just enjoy the view.

We made her comfortable with special foods, a princess pile of cushions and blankets next to a source of heat. Over the passed several months, she began to decline in other ways. Recently she began to have pain that the medicam and natural anti inflammatories were not helping. She could no longer eat standing up and was being fed softened food at her bed. She needed frequent breaks outside, but desired to come back in right away. Not like her at all...because she loved the winter. For a few weeks simple walks down the road and back had become too much. I felt she had been suffering for a long time and despite her obvious alertness and will to live, her suffering was on the verge of become morbid. I made the decision that it was time to let her die. Yesterday we took her to our veteranarian and I sat with her at face level and looked into her eyes as the vet administered the euthanization fluid...Right before she died, she lifted her muzzle up through the vallium fog, opened her right eye wide and looked at me. To the end, she displayed an amazingly powerful spirit. A real character we all loved and cherished. Cheyenne had turned 18 this passed December 16th.

She had not been my first choice at the shelter, but if I had it to do over again I wouldn't have it any other way. I am grateful for the life she shared with us and for her constant companionship. I am grateful to the Humane Society for having a place I could share her long story. She outlived all her early friends but continued to make new ones, even in these last few months.

 
 

November 29, 2010

My family adopted "Maggy" just over 7 years ago from the THS. We first saw her online and noticed she had been at the shelter for some time. We knew instantly that we wanted her. She was 5 years old and looked like she had been through a lot in her short life. She was scared of just about everything and everyone but as soon as she started warming up to her new family her true princess personality started to shine through.

She became a protector to her new brother "Montana" and a princess to her human sisters and parents. She found out that she loved to tan outside on sunny days and dig up gardens. Maggy loves to be comfortable she would give us her sad eyes and instantly we would find our self's inviting her up on to the couch for some love. She also loved to eat she would always be ready come breakfast and dinner. She quickly came accustom to the 2 milk bones on her bed before sleep time. Maggy would sometimes try and be sneaking and go on her bed during the day expecting to receive a treat... and it usually worked. Maggy has been nothing but an angel to our family and to everyone that has met her. She loves playing with kids and keeping you company during all naps. We couldn't have asked for a better dog and just wish we could have had her for longer.

The last 6 months were tough on Maggy and we found she was in pain and slowly getting worse. We were forced to make a tough choice but we knew what was best for her. We are so thankful for her and we think about her everyday and love her and miss her so much.

Thanks THS for giving us our princess

Lindsay and Family

 
 

November 13, 2010

My roommate adopted "Colin" in September of 1995 from River Street THS, to be the buddy to her Cocker Spaniel (he didn't like being alone when we were at work and needed a non-dog to keep him from barking). A beautiful grey DSH, he was about 8 months old, and from the notes on his file, he loved being brushed. Well, that was very true. Buddy, as he was renamed, was also a very friendly, social guy - and he chose me to be his caregiver & lifelong companion.

He tolerated my moves, other pets that roommates had, and was the best buddy around. He had his fun side (chasing and fetching paper balls, having tummy rubs, loving catnip, lying in the perfect sunbeam, and watching the world go by) and his frisky side (knocking over a fully decorated Christmas tree, "playing" with the toilet paper roll and spreading it all over the house, trying to eat a cricket then leaving the remains on the carpet for me as a gift). He always met me at the front door when I came home, would always be there an afternoon nap and became a best furry friend to my partner when he came into my life.

The past month or so, Buddy became tired; he has a seizure on Thanksgiving and then stopped eating. We brought him to our vet and after tests, diagnoses (renal failure, pancreatitis, diverticulosis) and medication, on Sunday November 7th he suffered major breathing issues. On the 8th, Buddy said it was his time to go. Our thanks to Dr. Mitelman & Kingston Road Animal Hospital, for being there for Buddy at the end and to the THS for bringing Buddy into my life. He will always have a very special place in our hearts, and is sorely missed.

 
 
November 1, 2010

It was the end of an ‘adoptathon' weekend when I came in, and only old, mostly sick, cats were left. He was one - a big, handsome, dignified, orange tabby boy. The "bio" posted on his cage stated that he had been in the care of THS for about 4-5 months, since he had been brought in back in April by the police when his previous guardian died. He had to be aggressively treated because he was in a diabetic crisis, but was now stable. He looked right at me, and I knew I just had to take him home. I never regretted it, and I treasure each of those four years.

He enjoyed good health, for which I want to acknowledge the Don Valley Animal Hospital, for the expert care and loving treatment he received there and especially thanks to Dr Andre Francouer, DVS, and staff, who all loved and cared for and spoiled him.
 
 
October 22, 2010

In May of 2007 I came into the THS to drop off a baby bird, not planning on adopting a cat, but I thought I'd take a look around any way. I walked up the stairs to the cat area and walked down the hall to one of the back rooms. As soon as I turned the corner, I looked down at a cage and the two biggest most beautiful eyes in the world stared back at me. It was love at first sight. Sassy was 3 at the time and already over 25 lbs. Whoever had had her before did a number on her and she needed daily bum washings because she couldn't do it herself. Over the next two and a half years, we were eachother's best friends and soul mates. I've never met another animal that had her personality. When I was done, she was there for me, and vice versa. On April 21st, 2010, I came home late and went to feed her as per usual. I put down her food bowl and went to collect some blood from one of my foster cats, Darcy, when I heard a strange noise coming from the other room. It was Sassy and within 45 seconds, I had lost her to a massive heart attack. Since I had rescued her, she'd lost about 10lbs, but we could never get her down to the goal of 11lbs that my vet and I had set out. The years of being obese had taken their toll and my angel's light went out at only 6 years of age. I loved, and still love, that cat more than anything in the world. Thank you, THS, for allowing me to have her as part of my life, even if it was for such a short time. She was sincerely the best bud I've ever had.
 
 
October 12, 2010

On January 24, 1998 I adopted a beautiful, two-year-old grey tabby from the THS - I named him Miku. The same day I brought him home, Miku escaped onto the balcony of my 16th floor apartment and jumped…fortunately for him, he landed on the snowy shrubs. He was taken to kitty ER and the nice people at THS took him in the next day, arranged for his orthopaedic surgery (he suffered a broken leg) and recovery time (he also had internal bleeding). I was in my first year of undergraduate studies at the time and the THS staff agreed to a payment plan for the cost of the surgery. Approximately two weeks later, Miku came back home. Since that time, he has been with me everywhere, through both ups and downs and has touched the hearts of many. He wasn't a big fan of other furry friends (typically growled at them and smacked them on the head) but he adored people and sat anywhere he could to be in the center of one's attention. He loved water and could frequently be found sneaking sips from a glass left on the counter. He also loved to glare at anyone having cereal for breakfast because he looked forward to drinking the milk once they were done; however, he was picky and would only touch the milk from the sweet cereal (sugar crisp, corn pops) and never the healthy stuff.

His favourite position for years was on his back, basking in the sunlight streaming in through the window. More recently, he loved lounging in the bathtub. In March of 2010, Miku's demeanor changed.

Upon taking him to the vet, we learned that he had kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. He was placed on medication and quickly deteriorated, landing in the hospital for over 48 hours on IV in April. The vet was ready to discuss the "options" at that point but I did not believe that he was ready to go. I was lucky enough to have him in my life for nearly six additional months. Earlier this week, on October 5, 2010, Miku passed away. He was truly a fighter, one of my best friends and I loved him dearly. I want to thank the THS for blessing my life with the best kitty in the world - Miku will be in my heart (and that of many others) forever.
Kathy
 
 

October 12, 2010

In 1992, I came into THS looking for a pet.  I walked by the cat area and I saw a few sad faces and was unsure who to choose.  Then I saw her, a gorgeous girl rubbing herself against the door who just couldn't wait to get out.  She wasn't a kitten but she looked at me with her wonderful gray eyes just full of personality and I was hooked.  I took her home and she immediately installed herself queen of all she surveyed.  THS had given her the name of Cleo but I changed it to Diva and that she was unabashedly.  She was cranky but so loving.  She was my best friend, my companion, my confidant and my sweetheart through the good and bad.  After making my life better for 18 years, my inexhaustible lovebug passed away peacefully Oct. 8th, 2010.   There are no words to say how unbelievable missed she will be.

I just wanted to thank THS for bringing her into my life and maybe one day I will come back.  Thank you.

 
 

September 8, 2010

At the beginning of August of 2010 I went to the Humane Society to find a rabbit.  My boyfriend and I fell in love with a sweet little guy named Ceaser.  He was older for a rabbit at 7 years, but we thought that since he was old we may as well do what we could to make his life happy.  We took him home and he settled in quite well, he was renamed Sir Professor Ceaser Bennington the third, Esquire.  He was put in his pen only twice, for the first two nights since we didn't know what he would do if he was left alone, but we soon found out he didn't need that.  He was happy and would always greet us when we walked in.  His life with us was short but happy.  He loved to be petted, and he had the whole apartment to roam and play.  He was the only rabbit I've ever known that would play fetch with his little jingle ball, and he never once made a mess outside of his litter box or even approached a cord to chew.  We thank you for the time that he had with us.
 
-April

 
 

August 26, 2010

In late July 2007 we adopted Cookie from the River Street shelter. Cookie had been a stray and was an older dog - estimated at 11 but our vet thought she was older. She came with some pre-established medical problems. As our mission is to give older animals a chance, Cookie was introduced to our other dog and the rest was history. As two moderately dominant females, they had a few spats but worked things out themselves and became friends. We changed Cookie's name as we didn't want every dog in the neighbourhood coming when we called her. Over the years, eyes and ears diminished and Cushings disease surfaced, but we all soldiered on. On August 20th, we lost our beautiful girl and are all coming to grips with life without our resident comic. Thank you, THS, for giving older animals the chance at a comfortable and peaceful retirement. Some day we will be back.

-Judy