Ema and Ellie (Eleanor) / 24, 2 / Grand Rapids, MI
“I found Ellie when I was home for Spring Break my senior year of college. My dad and I had a little time before we needed to pick my brother up from school and decided to stop into the Humane Society to see the pups. Stopping in for a quick visit isn’t unusual for us so I wasn’t expecting to be taking anyone home, but as soon as I saw Ellie (then Fern), I just knew she was mine.
Ellie’s name is half Eleanor Roosevelt inspired and half “oh god, we’re bringing this tiny creature home in an hour, we need something to call her that isn’t Fern”. It kind of just happened, but now, I can’t imagine her being anything other than our sweet Ellie girl. It probably sounds super cliche, but everything is the best thing about Ellie. She’s the sweetest part of my soul, I get so excited everyday to get home to kiss her little face… I truly worry that I’ll never be able to love human children as much as I love her.
Aside from the usual dog stuff like walks and fetch, Ellie’s favorite thing to do is to go visit my grandma, to the point that we can’t say the ‘G’ word in our house without her completely losing her shit. When Ellie was a puppy, my dad started this odd ritual of picking her up for a snuggle after dinner every night, which I assume was to keep her from running around like a wild child while the table was being cleared. However now, at two years old, Ellie still sits very impatiently by my dinner chair every night waiting for me to finish eating at which point she cries until I pick her up and snuggle her close while we sit around and chat about our days.”
Grey, Jackie, Tandy Lion, Dorian / 28, 24, 5, 4 months / St. Louis, MO
“Tandy Lion used to be a Taco Bell dumpster cat before he adopted us on the street outside Grey’s apartment. He still has an affinity for sour cream. He loves helping his parents cook, and we have it on good authority that he was a witch in a past life. Dorian is a country boy, and was found in rural Kansas by one of Grey’s friends before hitchhiking his way to St. Louis. His favorite toy is any household item and/or living thing. His claim to fame is that he holds the record for most toilet paper rolls unfurled/annihilated in one day.”
Skylar, Lilly, Nico / 28, 30, 5 / Denver, CO
“Here are some really freaking cute shots of me (Skylar), my wife (Lilly) and our fur baby, Nico (alternate names include: Buster Brown Eyes, Noodle Nose, Boopsey Moran, Baby Dog, Nico-roni, Shmuggins, Pugglesmith). Lilly had already adopted Nico by the time I met her, so it was really a two-for-one deal for me (I definitely got the better dowry; all Lilly got was a Vitamix Blender and a lot of my feelings). Lilly adopted Nico during her time in an artist residency in Missoula, MT. Nico was a stray on a reservation and Lill found him by way of a local vet’s office. He had been injured (he is missing a little pizza-pie slice out of his lower eye lid) and everyone at the vet’s office thought he was so cute and friendly that they made him the official greeting dog for the office. He would sit by the front desk and help boost morale, help people reduce their blood pressure through petting him, and answer phones (just kidding, but he’d probably be very good on the phone). Lilly and Nico came to Colorado for grad school in Boulder, all three of us matched on Tinder and the rest is history.
What I love most about Nico: He is a true companion and is highly empathetic. He can tell immediately when something is wrong, when we have had bad days, and selflessly offers up himself for snuggles and pets to make us feel better. I didn’t grow up with a dog (Lilly grew up helping her family run an animal rescue, so, lots of dogs) and it’s very special for me to have this lasting, meaningful relationship with an animal in a way I never have before. He is sweet, cuddly, gives kisses enthusiastically, and is a dog that no human has ever not liked. We love to hike, walk, and cuddle in bed. It’s pretty simple! The cutest thing he does is tilt his head when there’s something crunchy being eaten.”
Elizabeth and Junia / 20, 1 / Little Rock, AR
“My psychiatrist and I decided that I was in need of an emotional support animal early last summer so I spent a month going to different shelters in the area to find an animal that I connected with; immediately after meeting this tiny, sassy kitten, we connected. Junia is named after the first (and possibly only) woman apostle that Paul mentions in the New Testament; this is a big debacle but a key argument in favor of women in ministry and church leadership positions (I am in school studying music and theology in hopes of being a worship pastor and voice teacher so this is near and dear to me). This little goofball makes my life so much better! She chases her tail, plays fetch for HOURS, talks a lot, listens to my ramblings, and is an aggressive snuggler!!! She does not have any social media accounts, but she does have a hashtag on Instagram, so check out #JuniaBJones if you’re interested in some cute cat pics!”
Emily Willet and Lucky/ 27, 1 / Spokane, WA
“I found my fur baby at the local shelter where I was shopping for pets after a break up. I saw him and just thought, “That’s my dog.” I named him Lucky because when I first saw him, he was already reserved and someone had put a deposit down on him, but they never came and picked him up. And he is such a darling little dog, I felt so Lucky to get to take him home! I love that Lucky is so excited to see me, every day when I get home, regardless of how long I was gone or how horrible my day has been. His love for life rubs off on me and energizes me. We love to do anything outside together, especially running. I can play with him for hours and he will still have more energy left over. He is insatiable! But he is also the biggest cuddlier when he is sleepy. I love how he gets all the way under the covers to snuggle.”
Audrey and Addy / 19, 4 / IA
“Addy and I met each other through my mom’s dog rescue. She was to be put down at another shelter but I fought for her and soon she and I became family. Addy is super affectionate and extremely smart. We love to watch tv together. We both like dogs and pretty girls, as you can see. Addy loves to play catch and go on walks. Sometimes she drives me around… just kidding!”
Casey and Primrose (Prim) / 24, 3 / Jackson Hole, WY and Laguna Beach, CA
“Prim is a rescue from my time in Phoenix, AZ. The first night I had her I woke up to screaming and, upon turning on the lights, found her licking inside her abdomen — her stitches from her spay wound had ripped open. She required a lot of medical care between repairing the surgical site and discovering her many food allergies (beef, pork, chicken, grains). Two months of healing stitches, infection, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, and crying on the bathroom floor while cleaning said messes, she was on the mend. I didn’t think she’d make it and I definitely felt like I volunteered as tribute, so I named her Prim (Hunger Games). We love adventuring and thankfully she is a trooper in extreme weather. She’s braved conditions ranging from -30 °F blizzards to 126 °F haboobs. Her Instagram is @puppyprimcess.”
Anahita and Neera / 27, 8 / My Home in Ahmedabad, India
“Her mother, who was one of our family dogs, had a very secret affair with a stray and next thing you knew she was giving birth! So I helped deliver Neera and her brother (it was a litter of only two). Unfortunately the brother pup died soon after and the mother kind of distanced herself from the remaining pup, Neera, too. By this point I had already fallen in love with her, so instead of just four-legged motherly, she got me! She was brought up spending many hours staying warm and snuggled in my sweatshirt pocket! My name in Persian means goddess of water, so when I was looking for names for her I learnt Neera means ‘pure water’ but also nectar/wine which i thought was a fun fit! The best thing about her is how incredibly goofy and fierce she is! She’s like my shadow or reflection. She’s a complicated dog and can be very hard to handle, but regardless seems to know exactly when I need her and allows me to love and protect her despite all her space issues! We like lying on the cold floor together and running around outside while I sit and watch her explore everything. We also get into some good tackle and tug of war matches that we both love. The weirdest things are her love for butt rubs and how she will come and forcefully place herself so you have no choice but to oblige! Also the crazy faces she makes when she is enjoying them.”
Rachel and Trickster / 54, 10 / Boythorpe Cemetery, Chesterfield, UK
“My my twenty year old corgi/Jack Russell died, so I searched high and low for a replacement and found Trickster in a rescue centre in Liverpool. She was unwanted thanks to her underbite — her bottom teeth are always showing. She’s called Trickster after a previous black and white Jack Russell, Jester. We walk every day and she wuffs when she wants fuss. She barks at everyone who comes to the house, especially people wearing hats because to her it looks like they have interchangeable heads.”
Vicky, La Pez and Lazuli / Madrid, Spain
“Much as I’d love a cat or dog, I’m not allowed pets in my house, so instead I have my fish. The neon tetras have the collective name of “La Pez” and my Betta is Lazuli, because I do love a play on words! They all get along well and I love when they come up to say hi when I look in the tank.”
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