I've had Lys the longest. She was abandoned at a 24hour emergency veterinary hospital after being attacked by a pack of beagles. She then went to 2 different homes before I was asked by a friend if I would take her. If I didn't, she would likely have to be put down.
She was declawed (which I would never do) before she was abandoned and has angry scars on her belly. Other than that, I am about the only person she will tolerate - and even then she can only stand small doses of attention.
Fnn came next. I had taken Olive into a pet store where a local shelter had adoptable cats in cages. This silly one-eyed cat was obsessed with getting to Olive and stuck his legs out of the cage at least three inches further than they ever should have reached. Eight months old, the store clerk said no one wanted a big cat with one eye when there were adorable, tiny kittens right next to him. Yes, the kittens were adorable, but they weren't obsessed with my dog.
I went back for him the next day. He was Olive's cat, really, and he stuck by her day and night until her last day.
Wilson sat under my table at a Humane Society adoption event as I painted portraits of dogs. I decided that if he was still at the shelter a month later (which would never happen), I would adopt him. He was adopted and returned twice in the next 4 weeks, and I took Olive to meet him and brought him home on the very day I had committed to.
I have never regretted that decision. Having Wilson when Olive succumbed to cancer rapidly and unexpectedly softened the blow in a way that only dog owners might completely understand. This dog is not for everyone, but I am glad he is for me.
Parker showed up rather unexpectedly. As I prepared to start my last semester of graduate school, I knew I would be home more than previous months and years, as most of my work could be done from home. The Humane Society acquired Parker who had been surrendered in another county (with another name) by her 'owners'. The story is slightly murky, and I don't like to go into details because of the horrific things that happened to her. She is a dog that would never have been adoptable and most shelters would have put her down.
She had a fantastic foster home, and frankly, the Humane Society knew I was a sucker for a German Shepherd Dog -- well, maybe just a sucker. Parker is a project and still has a long way to go, but her nightmare is behind her and I will do whatever is necessary to keep her healthy and allow her to just be a dog.
If, as you read this, you wonder if I would be interested in adopting a puppy or a kitten, the answer is no. It's a zoo in here. What I might want is a new vacuum cleaner.