Our Furry Loved Ones

Each pet that enters our homes has a story—and the Palisadian-Post is shedding some light on these tales of adoption. Those who wish to share a story of their own may do so by emailing mypost@palipost.com.


We first met Ms. Dolly Pawton in January 2014. Dolly had been abandoned in Bakersfield and left to fend for herself on the dangerous streets as a young pregnant pup.

The city “dog catchers” picked her up and brought her to a pound to be euthanized that week. A very caring and loving animal shelter, Mutt Scouts, rescued her. Her pregnancy had to be terminated since they couldn’t take on more puppies.

Photo coutesy of Julie Dresner

Our daughter’s good friends took her in to foster her in their home until a forever home could be found. Our daughter begged us to come meet Dolly and perhaps give her the forever home she so desperately needed.

We made many excuses until finally we broke down and agreed to meet who they referred to as a most amazing dog. We walked in to greet this incredible 1-year-old dog.

She was indeed beautiful. All white with black polka-dot ears. White eyelashes and black eyeliner rimming her expressively large eyes. I knew that moment I wanted Dolly, and we made arrangements to keep her forever.

It was one of the happiest moments for us. She is a treasure. An insightful, intelligent, silly, playful, energetic pup. We had her tested and discovered she is 75% Staffordshire terrier and 25% Dalmatian—hence the black polka dots.

She came into our life at a time when I had recently finished some very challenging medical treatments. I was weak and wasn’t certain I could handle a young dog, but she poured out so much love I couldn’t imagine not having her in our life.

She is now 5 and ½ years old and we love her more all the time. Dolly has been a very indispensable part of our life. We can’t imagine a time without her.

She loves other dogs, children, babies and most people in general. I take her out and she loves greeting people in our village.

Julie Dresner


Our tabby cat, Max, is 13 and ½ years old and more than halfway through his nine lives. He’s been on airplanes, on road trips and gone camping with our family. He’s often seen roaming the trees and rooftops of my neighbors, and we rarely see him on the ground level.

We love our big, 14-pound cat because he defies the stereotypes. He loves to cuddle, he’s super quiet and he’s always ready for an adventure out of the house. He will patiently sit at his food bowl waiting for treats, as long as it takes. My heart always melts, so he gets more than his fair share.

Photo by Jennika Ingram

My son picked out Max one day when we went to the shelter just to “see” who was there. Max was just a few weeks old, but they let us take him home.

Our dog-like cat is now friends with our younger retriever dog, Red, and Max lets anyone pet him like a puppy. The two can often be spotted looking out of the second-floor window at the yard.

We take our pets everywhere we can, and our lives wouldn’t be the same without them. Max is the perfect companion to watch a movie with and snuggle with on a lazy day.

Jennika Ingram

Aldo Raine

I had just lost my dog Jay to a sudden invasion of cancer in his bladder. I was isolated from everyone, angry at the world for taking out its unfair way of life on an innocent creature. The day I found out there was a homeless baby German Shepherd that had been traveling in the back of a semi truck throughout the country, I knew I had the space for him, but wasn’t ready to “replace” my companion of eight years.

Days from being taken to the pound, I felt a moral obligation to rescue him from yet another unfair situation.

Photo by Christian Monterrosa

Coming from a family of police dogs and having a lonely upbringing, I knew training Lieutenant Aldo Raine would be no easy task and a daily adventure.

But since bringing him home in 2017, Aldo and I have climbed the highest peaks in Southern California, captured criminals who jumped into our backyard and even warded off animal control after he bit a lady who got too close to me.

Every day I strive to be more like him—care free, focused and easy to entertain. He won’t be winning any obedience awards anytime soon, but in the two years we’ve known each other, I trust him more than I trust some of my closest human friends.

Christian Monterrosa


Before Taco, I was not a cat person.

Photo by Sarah Shmerling

My dad was allergic, so growing up, we had dogs, rats, mice and lizards, but I did not have much experience with cats—except at my grandma’s house, where her cats would hiss at me.

Taco arrived in our home by way of a roommate who brought her along and needed a place to keep her when she was moving out somewhere Taco could not immediately join.

And then, I discovered I was really a cat person my whole life, disguised as a dog person.

Our dog had recently passed away and we had been discussing whether or not it was time to get a new furry friend. While we still miss the dog and reminisce about him often, Taco has filled a void that is hard to complete.

Taco, who was raised with a dog for a sister, is perfect because sometimes she acts more dog-like than cat-like: She greets us at the door when we get home, she follows us from room to room and she finds us when we call her name.

I will still ask to pet your dog, but now I’m asking my husband for a second cat instead of a puppy.

Sarah Shmerling

Athena + Amor

I wake up to a storm of kisses and jumps, nips, pushes and shoves. My two Boston Terriers are the perfect storm of joy and energy.

The moment I open my bedroom door in the morning, I get hit by a hurricane of love. What a way to start my day, every day!

Athena came to us from Boston Buddies Rescue in Huntington Beach six years ago.  She was given up by her former family, maybe for being extremely neurotic, nervous and with arthritis at 1 year old.

She would dislocate her patella often and eventually tore her ACL on her hind leg. She was able to heal through constant massages, which she wasn’t used to, wrapping her leg as often as she would drop her bandage and this miraculous supplement, Extend, which brought her back to better health than at 1 year old.

Amor was rescued from a breeder in Camarillo, after other families contracted parvo. When his mom and siblings were rescued, we were given Amor at 8 weeks young, also through Boston Buddies.

That was four years ago, and he was just precious and destructive. But with each cushion torn, sofa belly eaten up, walls scratched and new furniture chewed up, I couldn’t stop laughing, after the initial yelp and jaw drop, of course!

He’s the epitome of his name. Amor is just love and passion personified. Loves patient Athena to death, and even after terrorizing her, he’ll come back with a quick kiss and lots of affection. It brings me pure joy to see them play together all day long.

These rescued, beautiful beings have brought us so much love, laughter and, above all, joy.

There are rescue groups for almost every breed. Please adopt, don’t shop. Every time you use a breeder or buy at a pet store, dogs, cats and other pets die in the shelters.

Alicia Albek