Its August finally and its time to wrap up our Knitters 4 Critters announcements. This has been so rewarding and I’m so proud of all the staff and customers who made this effort a success for the animals. We have also decided to continue to run Knitters 4 Critters every summer starting with our in store event each June. Here are the final three stories that I wanted to share with everyone. I had a very tough time selecting the stories to share because there were so many outstanding submissions. Thank you to everyone who participated and got excited about helping our animal friends this summer.

I hope you read the story from Danette on the last blog post. Here is her bundle of goodies which she is enjoying. Thank you Danette for sending in your story to share. Our next submission is a really sweet story from Lynda.

My husband and I have had dogs in our home for almost 38 years. I am totally blind and hard of hearing. Without a guide dog at my side, it is very difficult and scary for me to travel independently. In October, 2008, my retired guide dog passed away from cancer. We were absolutely heartbroken. We lasted two weeks before the search for a pet began. I have been very blessed to have been matched with well-trained guide dogs to enhance my independence.We both love dogs and decided we wanted to become a forever home for a dog in need. The search began on petfinder.com. Within a day I found our new friend, Archie. He is part grey hound and whippet.

When I put my hands out to feel him, I started to cry. I wasn’t sure if my tears were from being so happy to have a new friend to pet and love again or sadness that his first year of life was filled with physical and emotional abuse and neglect. Archie was found tied to a tree in a local park during the heat of the summer. The person that left him cared so little, there weren’t even empty bowls where he had finished the food and water. His world was limited to the length of his rope. There were clumps of grass missing that he had pulled out of the ground to eat. Prior to being abandoned, it is very unlikely he had ever been to a vet. His nails had grown so long they were digging into the pads of his feet. He was estimated to be approximately 12 to 15 months old. He only weighed 42 pounds. Nearly eight years later, we still have to watch that he doesn’t pull clumps of grass and dirt up to eat them when we are in the yard.

Archie was very timid when he came into the house. It was obvious he needed a forever home. When I stroked his side, every rib was visible. Sighted friends told us he wasn’t a very nice looking dog. Me being me, I became more protective of him. My politically correct response was, “Well, I guess Archie lucked out. We can’t see what he looks like.” My protective, wounded heart wanted to say, “When is the last time you looked in a mirror?” The comments just made me more protective of him and I loved him even more. I didn’t care what he looked like; he was our version of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.

Archie has been with us for almost eight years. He has really fit into our family very well. He was the only dog in our home for three months. He was very quick at learning obedience commands. He is a wonderful watch dog. We had to reach a compromise with his barking. I actually taught him to whisper. Whispering is a very quiet bark or vocalization about activity he is watching outside. In addition to being a great student, Archie is quite the trainer himself. He is now on his third hand-me-down chair by his favorite window.

New guests are asked not to sit in his chair. Friends know, that is Archie’s chair. He has quite a

following in the neighborhood. The firemen are so used to seeing him in the window sitting in his chair; they give him a special beep when they go by the house. Another close friend that works for the city calls to see if he is ok when he isn’t in his chair. Breakfast and dinner are always interesting. The majority of his food is dog food. However, there is a very high expectation on his part that his food should have a special treat. After all, he did have to sustain himself on grass and dirt. His favorites include grated parmesan/reggiano cheese (deli only please), a couple of noodles with sauce, or chicken. His hearing is very good. If my husband goes in the refrigerator for a cheese stick, by the time he gets to the living room, he has a friend that would like a cheese stick too. He is now a healthy 63 pounds with a beautiful coat and wagging tail.

Adopting Archie was one of the best things we have ever done.

Thank you for sharing your story with us Lynda. Archie is a very handsome dog in his chair. He looks like a very cheerful fellow. This next story gets off to a rough start but but has a happy ending with a cute kitten and a new name. This story was sent to us from Nicole.

I wanted to share this story with you, it happened about a week ago at work. I’m a massage therapist, and the other day I was walking in the back door of our building in the morning when I heard the most pitiful meowing wail of a kitten in distress! At first, I thought that the poor baby was behind the AC unit, but then I realized it was coming from an industrial Orkin rat poison dispenser. I got down on my knees and peered inside, sure enough, there was a tiny, tiny kitten! I tried coaxing it out, but it was too afraid.I knew I had to get it out, it was already over ninety degrees outside at 9 am, and the box was black andhot to the touch. I ran inside, and asked my boss and co-workers for help, and together we were able to find the right tools and get the trap open. Before we could grab it, the frightened baby took off and hid under a car. With my co-worker Crystal’s help, we were able to grab it, and bring it inside.The poor thing was absolutely filthy, and terrified. It’s poor paws were burned from the chemicals in the rat poison, raw and bloody. Crystal and I gently washed it with a warm washcloth, and set it in a box with a thick, old sheet. I fed it some milk, by dipping my finger in the bowl, and letting it lick it off, the poor thing had a hard time figuring out the bowl. After my first client, I had a couple of free hours, so I tried to take it to the SPCA, after finding an old co-worker who would adopt it. Unfortunately, the SPCA wouldn’t take her because she was a stray and under two pounds, although they did give me about a weeks worth of food for her; so, after a quick stop for flea shampoo, I brought her back to work. Crystal and I managed (between the two of us) to give her a flea bath, with a minimum of maiming!, and fed her. Soon after, her new mommy arrived to take her home, and it was love at first sight! She decided to name her Daenerys, because that kitten is one tough little girl!

I hope enjoyed those stories as much as I did and that they inspire you to step up the next time you are confronted with an animal who needs some help. There are so many different ways to help out. You don’t need to have a house full of cats in order to feel like you are contributing. You can volunteer to foster a pet, donate to a local animal shelter, or encourage friends to get a shelter animal if they are in the market for a pet. A big thank you again to everyone who participated and all of our customers.

Rachel

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