My Furry Valentine

by Kimberly Wade

Typically Valentine’s Day is chocolate and roses and extravagant dates—for humans. But what about our furry Valentine’s? One of my cats, Maisey, has her own Instagram (shameless plug @little_maisey_moo) and all of her online friends are sending out Valentines. It’s beyond adorable, even if ya’ll think I’m a crazy cat lady (which I proudly own up to). Yet it got me thinking. At Nevada Humane Society we put a pet-related twist on as many holidays as we can. We focus on the joy pets bring into our lives as well as the human-animal bond. So his Valentine’s Day I challenge you to recognize the constant love our pets provide—there’s nothing like it.

Newton, our two year old tabby, loves my husband with his entire being. Newton lives to love. When Brandon comes homes from work, Newton races to the door to greet him, following him through the house, weaving in and out of his legs. In the kitchen, Newton leaps onto the counter and meows his hello. As Brandon smiles at him, Newton climbs up his chest, wraps his paws around Brandon’s face, and literally, kisses him. Later, when we’re relaxing on the couch, Newton is right there, rolling onto his back and putting his paws on Brandon’s chest, again, just to say I’m so glad you’re home. He repeats this all night. Newton goes beyond unconditional love.

Stella, a Yorkie, opened the hearts of Gary and Cindy in their time of need. They had lost two of their Yorkies and as you can imagine, were having a hard time. Bocce, their remaining pup, also grieved. Gary and Cindy weren’t ready to adopt again but they unexpectedly met Stella. Right away her tiny body, fuzzy face and huge heart brightened their souls. It’s as if she knew something was not well and it was her job to fix it. She bonded instantly to both of them and Bocce—bringing all three of them out of their shells. Stella not only showed them the vital importance of four-legged companionship, but she allowed them to move past the grief and focus on the good memories.

Kiki, an orange and white kitty, lives with Edmond and Joyce. Kiki and his siblings were found by a pit bull, Angel, on her morning walk eight years ago. They were alone with no mom, hungry and scared. Angel saved their lives and we shared their story. Edmond and Joyce heard about it and adopted Kiki—one of the kittens. Kiki flourished right away in his new home and has become an essential part of their life. Even now, as Edmond is facing some health challenges, Kiki alerts Joyce when something is wrong. He also understands when either of them are having a bad day by spending his time sitting between them offering a sense of peace and support.

Lacey, a young shepherd, was living with a family and her doggie sibling—neither of which treated her well. Her sister actually bullied her, and Lacey, ever submissive, became fearful and withdrawn. Brian and Rhona had been talking about getting a dog for a while. They visited Nevada Humane Society but didn’t find someone they felt was meant for them. They were patient, and soon heard Lacey’s story. They knew she would take work but they were willing to help her. They accepted her flaws and imperfections. They were meant for her. Lacey fell in love, as did they. I can now say Lacey has turned out to be an incredible dog and that they are truly “living happily ever after.”

Love comes in all shapes, sizes and looks. It can’t always be helped who we fall for, but when we recognize it, love can be a beautiful thing. Sometimes we may think we’re not ready but then we meet someone who sweeps us off our feet. So many stories of adoption start this way and these are the best ones.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and as I go, I leave you with a poem my intern wrote just for you.

Shall I compare thee to a warm lap?

For a human like you, I would travel the map.

Your loving cuddles make my heart content

A lifetime with you would be well spent.

-A love poem to my future adopter

P.S. If you ever wish to share your story, I’d love to hear it. Just email me at kwade@nevadahumanesociety.org.

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