The Accidental Pet Adoption

Although this is, for the most part, a dog blog I had cats as well for most of my life.  When I was young and lived with my parents we had outdoor cats.  There seemed to always be stray cats that found their way into our yard.  Awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering wasn't as strong as it is today.  My parents thought is was fine to just let stray cats be, so we fed them and enjoyed them outside, rarely inviting them inside the house.

I always wanted an indoor cat of my own.  One that would sit in my lap as I watched TV and sleep in my bed with me.  When I was finally out in the world and able to move out of their house, one of the first things I wanted to do was get a cat.  However, I had moved into Manhattan and having your own apartment was prohibitively expensive.  Most young people starting out in New York City share apartments with one or more roommates.  I was thrilled to be living in the city and after an exhaustive search I finally found a roommate situation.  I couldn't wait to get my cat, but it was not to be.  My roommate didn't like cats and wouldn't let me get one.  The next roommate I had didn't want a cat either.

A couple of years later I moved back to Long Island, where I could afford my own apartment.  With this move I knew I could finally get the cat I so desperately wanted!  There was no one and nothing to stop me.

Sometimes the Accidental Pet Adoption can be the best kind of adoption! Pet adoption, Cat adoption
My beautiful Calico kitty, Maggie, the cat I had longed for
I asked around and searched for a kitten.  It was Winter and there weren't as many kittens around at that time of year.  A friend of my sister's is involved in rescue and found out I was looking for a kitten and that I longed for a Calico kitten.  She knew of a Calico kitten that would be ready to be adopted in a couple of weeks.  Sight unseen I said I would take her!

I was so excited!!  I was finally getting a kitten of my very own, an indoor kitty who would sit in my lap while I watched TV and sleep in my bed with me.  I began preparing for my new kitten.  There happen to be a Petco within walking distance from my apartment, so the very next evening I walked over there after work.  I picked out some cute bowls, a carrier, a bed, and a litter box for her.

As I was getting ready to leave the store I saw a woman walk into the Petco carrying a cardboard box with some holes in it.  I knew there had to be an animal in there and I was curious so I followed her to the back of the store.  She took the box to an area with a few cages.  Apparently, they had a small cat adoption center in the store.

I couldn't help but lean in close to see as the woman opened the box and lifted out an adult Tabby cat.  I remarked that the cat such really pretty markings.  "Are you looking for a cat to adopt?" she asked.  I told her I was there buying supplies to get ready for my new kitten who would be ready to come home in 2 weeks.  She asked if I might be interested in adopting a second cat.  "Oh no!" I said. One kitty was enough.  Then the woman asked if I wanted to hold the Tabby cat.  By now I know that once you hold them, they steal your heart!  He was so sweet, he nuzzled into my armpit as I held him!  But I gave him back, saying I just couldn't have two cats.

One cat would be enough... or would it?
I left the store and went home with my pet supply purchases.  As I lie in bed that night I couldn't stop thinking about that adorable, sweet Tabby cat.  On my way to to work the next day I thought about him while I was on the train.  Then I thought about him all through my first meeting.  By lunchtime I had told my co-workers and my boss all about him and how sweet he was.  I couldn't take it anymore, I just had to have that cat!

I ducked into a conference room and frantically dialed the rescue woman's number.  She was smart enough to give me her card.  As the phone rang I prayed he hadn't been adopted in the 18 hours since I last held him.   When I got her on the phone, the woman said the cat was still available for adoption!  I told her I'd meet her back at Petco that very night.

Maggie and Mousey, my dynamic kitty duo!
I couldn't wait to get home after work and go pick up my new furry friend.  Thanks to the previous night's shopping spree, I already had the supplies I needed to bring home my new cat.  It was so exciting to see him again and bring him home.  Not only did I finally have a cat, but in two weeks I would have TWO cats.  I was overjoyed!  I just hoped they would get along.

My new cat was quite shy and quiet and very sweet.  Because of his shy demeanor I named him Mousey.   We bonded instantly and my time alone with him was wonderful.  I was still excited to get my new Calico kitten though, and I couldn't wait for her to join our little family as well.

Adopting Mousey was what I like to call "the accidental adoption", which can turn out to be the very best kind of adoption!

Yeah, two cats are definitely better than one!  Mousey was my happy "accident", for which I am eternally grateful!
My Calico kitten was expected to come home with me in 2 weeks but because I had adopted another cat, we had to wait an additional 2 weeks for her to be old enough to get a Feline Lukemia test.  The test was negative - Whew!  I had already known I wanted to name my new Calico kitten Maggie, so when she turned 9 weeks old I traveled into Harlem to pick Maggie up and bring her home.

When she first arrived tiny Maggie was all piss and vinegar!  She hissed and raised her back at Mousey, who was completely non-plussed by her tough demeanor.  I think he was actually amused!  He laid down and stretched out on the floor to show her he was no threat.  It took a few days, but Maggie finally settled down and the two of them became fast friends.  In fact, they cuddled together all day long and were virtually inseparable.

I loved Mousey and Maggie so much, they were a big part of my life in those years.  Sadly, Mousey only lived another 3 years or so.  He had a heart murmur which caused him to leave us way too soon.  Losing Mousey was devastating for both me and for Maggie. 

Maggie cat and I were together for nearly 19 years before she passed away.  She was with me through so many life changes, some wonderful and some tragic.  But through it all, we were together, and that's what really matters.  Maggie and Mousey will always be in my heart.

My dog Icy loved Maggie to pieces.  This photo was taken the first time Icy finally learned the Leave It command.  It was the start of peace in our home, as Icy stopped chasing Maggie around to lick and play with her.  Because Maggie would have none of that!  It's my favorite photo of the two of them, and pretty much the only photo of the two of them!

Winner, Winner, So Much Better Than A Chicken Dinner!

Recently BlogPaws, the premiere pet blogging and social media network hosted a contest on Instagram.  You had to leave a comment about how you first discovered BlogPaws and why the annual BlogPaws conference is important to you.  The prize was a $200 Pet Travel Kit from  I was so excited when I found out We Won the contest!!!

Dog toy we won from BlogPaws &  Contest winner. Dogs, Pets, pet products
I think Phoebe was more excited than I was about all the great dog products we won in the contest!
As most of my readers know, we travel a lot with our dogs, Icy and Phoebe.  When planning vacations I always search for pet friendly destinations.  If we can't bring the dogs I pretty much don't want to go there!  As far as I'm concerned, Pets Are Family and you don't leave family behind when you're going on a fabulous vacation!  Well, OK sometimes you need to leave family behind when you take a holiday, but most of the time I want my fur kids with me if I'm traveling to a great vacation spot.

A few days after being notified that we won the contest, this box full of wonderful dog goodies from Chewy,com arrived on our front porch.

We Won the BlogPaws & contest and a fabulous Pet Travel Products prize!  Travel products for dogs, Pet travel, pet products for travel, dog treats,
We won the BlogPaws & Pet Travel contest on Instagram!  Here is the first half of the winnings Chewy sent us.

I am so thrilled with all the wonderful pet travel gifts we got from  Natural Balance treats, a giant Nylabone chew stick, Kong toys, a treat bag and more!  Here's a closer look at these wonderful pet products from BlogPaws and!

As if this wasn't fabulous enough, the next morning another box from Chewy was sitting on the front porch!  The dogs and I were so excited, it felt like Christmas morning!  This second box contained car travel safety harnesses for the dogs, a fabulous travel bag that will fit all of the dogs' travel gear, travel bowls, a beautiful pet blanket and more.

The Pet Travel products we won from BlogPaws & will be so useful on our road trips with the dogs. Pets, Pet travel, Dog travel, pet friendly travel, pet travel products, dog car safety travel harness for dogs
The second box of pet travel goodies from had everything we need for  great road trip!
Here's a closer look at the wonderful pet products in the second box of pet travel gifts from BlogPaws and!

When we travel with our dogs it's almost always by car.  Phoebe is a small dog and can fly in the airplane cabin with me.  But Icy is a Siberian Husky, way too big to fly in the cabin of an airplane, and I won't put my pets in airplane cargo.  When we moved to Phoenix years ago, we thought it best to find a home and settle in before bringing our cat Maggie over.  That meant I had to fly my cat by herself in airplane cargo.  I hired a company to do all the necessary work needed for a pet to fly in cargo but I can't tell you how worried and stressed I was!  Flying with your pet in the airplane cabin is a bit of a process, but  I didn't realize how complicated it would be to fly pets in cargo.  Never again, so now we load up the car and road trip with the dogs!

All these wonderful pet travel products will be so helpful on our trips, including the road trip I'll be taking to the BlogPaws 10th Anniversary Conference in April!


Will we see YOU at this year's BlogPaws Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference?


What Happens To Your Pet If You Can't Pay the Vet?

It's a pet parent's worst nightmare.  Your dog or cat has a terrible accident, gets attacked by another animal, is hit by a car, or gets a devastating health diagnosis from your Veterinarian.  And you never did get around to buying Dog Health Insurance like you planned.

Once the shock and pain have set in, the fear comes.  Not just the fear of Will my pet be ok, but the fear of How in heaven's name am I going to PAY for this?!  What if I can't pay and the Vet won't treat my pet?  After all, Veterinarians need to make a living too.   With medical school, malpractice, staff payroll and other mounting costs, they can hardly be expected to act as charity institutions.  Many people are turning to Pet Health Insurance to help ease the fear of being blindsided by a hugely expensive Veterinary bill they can't afford.

Finding good Pet Insurance can be mind boggling, Consumersadvocate can help.  Dog Health insurance, Cats, Pets,
Finding good Pet Health Insurance can be a daunting task
Pets are Family, and every family member deserves medical treatment, especially in the face of an emergency or life threatening illness.  The fear of not being able to pay for Veterinary services in the event of a serious pet injury or illness has led to substantial growth of the Pet Insurance industry.

This post is sponsored by Consumers Advocate® . I am being compensated to share information about Consumers Advocate's  information and reviews of the Pet Insurance landscape and product offerings.  As always, we only share information we feel is relevant and helpful to our readers.

In 1982, Lassie was the first dog in the U.S. to have a pet insurance policy.  Since then, along with the rise in pet health care costs, the pet health insurance industry has exploded.  According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), the governing body of pet insurance in North America, the North American pet insurance industry is estimated to be upwards of $774 Million!

According to Statista, a large statistics and studies organization:

🐶 There are nearly 90 million dogs and over 96 million cats in the U.S.

🐈 The cost of Pet Care in the U.S. is estimated to be $47 Million

🐶 The estimated annual cost of medical expenses for a pet in the U.S. is $425

The pet business as a whole is a more than $66 Billion industry!  Included in that $66 Billion, is a hefty chunk of change that is spent on providing medical care for pets.  With that kind of potential revenue in all areas of pet care it's no surprise that more companies want to claim their fair share of the pet insurance pie! 

Each year more people are purchasing health insurance for their pets, especially in the U.S.  According to NAPHIA, by the end of 2016, nearly 1.6 Million pets in the United States had pet health insurance.  The majority of those pet health insurance plans cover both illness and accidents.

Understanding Pet Health Insurance can be difficult, there are so many differences in companies & plans. ConsumersAdvocate provides information & ratings for pet health insurance companies.  Dogs, Cats, Pets, Pet health, Dog Health Insurance.
Pet Insurance companies and plans vary widely but finding the right health insurance plan for your dog or cat is vital. 
It seems so simple, just go out and buy a Pet Health Insurance policy and you'll never have to worry about being hit with Vet bills you can't afford.  Right?  If only it were that simple.  

Although there has been a huge increase in the number of pet owners purchasing health insurance for pets, not all pet insurance plans are alike.  In fact, navigating the Pet Insurance landscape can be mind boggling.  Prices, which illnesses and accidents are covered, when and why a claim may be denied, and what Veterinarians you can go to, vary widely from one pet insurance company and plan to another.  

Consumersadvocate does a great job of explaining the benefits and limitations of the many Pet Insurance companies and policies out there, on their web site.  Check out this video to see how Consumersadvocate can help you find the right Pet Health Insurance plan for your pet.

Years ago when Icy was a puppy, I won a year's worth of Pet Insurance.  It seemed like a good thing to have in case of an emergency, but when I read the policy I saw that we would have to leave our beloved Veterinarian and use a Vet from their list of participating Veterinarians.  Because of that restriction, I wouldn't use the insurance.  Our fabulous Veterinarian was too important to us!

A financially devastating injury or illness can strike at any age in your dog's life.  Pet Insurance can help ease the fear of not being able to pay your pet's medical costs.  Pet health, Pet medical care, dogs, cats, pets, pet health insurance.
A financially devastating illness or injury can occur at any stage of your dog's life.
Since then, I have thought about getting Pet Health Insurance for Icy and Phoebe but it seemed so confusing to me.  There are so many companies and differences in policies that finding a pet insurance policy was overwhelming!  The years ticked by and now my girls are both senior dogs over 8 years old.  

Thankfully my dogs haven't had health issues we couldn't afford to pay for, but I have friends with pets who have had prohibitively expensive medical issues.  Pet Insurance can be a Godsend in those instances, IF you have the right policy. 

Visit the Consumersadvocate Pet Insurance page on their web site to figure out what questions to ask and see which companies offering Pet Insurance are rated the best.  They provide so much great advice and insight about pet insurance in general, pet insurance companies, and policies on their web site.  

If you're thinking about getting health insurance for your pet and want to learn more about how to go about finding the right plan, their web site is a great primer.  I suggest you go there first to start learning about pet insurance and the top pet insurance companies available.  

If you're lucky you'll find a great pet insurance plan that can help pay for unexpected and expensive medical issues that come up for your pets.  If you don't, you'll end up like some pet parents I know who were totally blindsided when they found out that their pet's medical treatment wasn't covered by the pet insurance plan they bought.

One of my blogger friends at McSquare Doodles has beautiful Goldendoodles.  As a young puppy, her dog Bernie was diagnosed with atypical Addison's disease. Certainly an unexpected, serious illness for which you'd want your pet insurance to provide coverage.  Unfortunately, simply because Bernie had been to the Vet once for vomiting 2 months prior to his diagnosis the pet insurance company denied coverage for any costs related to his Addison's disease, claiming he must have had a "pre-existing condition"!  It's no surprise that she dropped that pet insurance, but the "damage" of being denied coverage was already done.  Learn more about Addison's Disease and how Irene is dealing with her dog Bernie's atypical Addison's Disease on her blog.

Conversely, my friend Jodi at Kohl's Notes, got insurance for her dogs, Felix and Kol.  She was lucky to have a great insurance plan that, over the years, covered several thousand dollars worth of treatments for Felix' torn ACL's and Kol's IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease) attack.  In fact, this week Jodi just told me that Felix hurt his back and her pet insurance company once again reimbursed her - for 80% of the cost!

You want to make the right choice and find a pet insurance company and plan that is reliable and provides great coverage.  One that won't look for a reason to deny your insurance claim just when you need it most.  There is some leg work involved, but Consumersadvocate is a great place to start your research!

With the rising cost of Veterinary care for pets, many pet owners are buying Pet Health Insurance. The right Pet Insurance plan can be a life saver, but finding a great company & plan isn't easy.  Here are some tips for finding great Pet Insurance for dogs, cats, and other pets.  Pet Care, Pet Health,  Dog Health,  Find a Pet Insurance Plan
Choosing a reliable Pet Insurance plan that will be there for you when your pet needs it most is vital!

 Consumersadvocate provides reviews and ratings of companies across 110 different industries so you can make informed decisions when choosing a company or product.  Pet Insurance is just one area in which you can find helpful information and ratings to help you make informed choices.  You'll also find information and thorough reviews on Mortgage Refinancing, Travel or Car Insurance, Home Security and much more!  They make it easier for you by doing the legwork!


Have you ever had, or thought about getting, pet health insurance?  Tell us about it in the comments, we'd like to hear about your experience with pet insurance.