Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

Claudia, Michael, Ash and Willow — January 20, 2023

Claudia, Michael, Ash and Willow

~ Claudia, Michael, Ash and Willow ~

In early 2022, Claudia and Michael welcomed Ash and Willow into their home. Since then, they have become a family and bring love and joy into every day. 

Having always been an animal lover, Claudia had always wanted to adopt a furbaby of her own. When she and Michael moved into their new home together, they thought it would be the perfect time to adopt two cats. As they both work long hours, they felt it best to have two cats who could keep each other company. They spent some time searching for two cats who would suit their lifestyle. 

One day, while looking online, Claudia and Michael came across two domestic shorthair kittens and instantly fell in love. They arranged a visit and as soon as they arrived, the two kittens, named Ash and Willow, jumped onto their laps. The kittens were inquisitive and talkative and it wasn’t long before they were on their way to their forever home.

Since adopting Ash and Willow, Claudia and Michael’s house has become a home. Each day, both cats bring so much love and happiness to their humans’ lives. Whenever Claudia returns home from work, she’s always greeted by her feline friends. She loves being able to spend time with them and give them the best life possible. As well as this, Ash and Willow are as good as Claudia’s alarm clock! Every morning, as they eagerly await their food, Ash will walk across her face and make biscuits on her neck, while Willow wraps herself around Claudia’s legs as she gets out of bed. 

Something that Ash and Willow enjoy is going outside and exploring. Willow is the more adventurous of the siblings. She loves climbing up trees and going on adventures and when she returns, she’s very talkative and lets her humans know all about what she did. Ash is somewhat less adventurous but still likes to spend time with Claudia and Michael when they’re outside or doing some gardening. 

The impact that Ash and Willow have had on Claudia and Michael has been immeasurable. They’ve become a family and have truly changed each other’s lives for the better by sharing so much love and happiness. 

Heart of Crystal — November 30, 2020

Heart of Crystal

~ Claudia and Crystal ~

After having gone through cancer at the young age of 3 ½, Claudia had experienced many ongoing health issues. After receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat the cancer, this luckily got rid of the cancer cells, however, left her with some nasty side effects. This has included severe skin damage, and damage to her joints, muscles and bones, which has led to her having to use a wheelchair permanently.

Amid the worst of the side effects, 9-year-old Claudia was desperate to get a cat. She was unable to do this for years as there was a risk of infection. However, as she was worsening and this was the one thing she was desperate for, the registrars finally gave her permission. Upon returning home after this, Claudia went onto the SPCA website to see which cats were currently there. One cat, in particular, stood out to her and she wrote down the information.

The very next day, Claudia and her mother went to the Auckland SPCA. Unfortunately, she had forgotten the paper she had written the information on, so they went and met all the cats at the shelter. After some time spent, Claudia met a small tuxedo cat named Marilyn. She was named this as she had a beauty spot on her cheek, as did Marilyn Monroe. The cat was timid, and had been in quarantine due to having been found with cat flu.

Claudia felt there was an unspoken bond between them both. She felt that as she had been through much herself, as had this cat, that there was a mutual understanding. It was soon decided that this little cat would become part of the family, though with a new name; Crystal.

Once they returned home, Claudia was in a lot of pain. She was crying in agony. After a few days, she found herself in bed and found it difficult to do much else. Then, Crystal, in her new environment, decided to jump onto the bed and that’s where she stayed for the next six months. She left for food and the toilet, but other than that, she remained by Claudia’s side until she was able to sit up.

During this period, Claudia had home-visiting nurses providing care. This involved changing dressings and providing intravenous (I.V.) medications. Every time this happened, Crystal was there. She would start meowing at the nurses and would try to push them away. As she heard Claudia crying, she would jump onto her lap and shoulders, purring.

Crystal would always stay by Claudia’s side. Whether undergoing treatments or experiencing pain and anxiety, Crystal was always there for Claudia. Not long after adopting Crystal, however, the medical team saw how much of an impact Crystal was having. In 2010, the two were invited to help open the Starship Hospital Cuddle Corner. This is an area in the hospital where patients can go and simply spend time with their pets.

In 2018, Claudia welcomed mobility dog, Wren, in her life. Although this was an adjustment for Crystal, both animals now enjoy spending time together. When it is cold, they enjoy snuggling up together in Wren’s bed.

It has been 11 years since adopting Crystal, and they has remained a very important part of Claudia and her family’s life. The two share a very strong bond. Claudia is now in a better state and no longer experiences the same pain or ongoing treatments. Crystal has been able to retire from her protecting duties, and now spends a lot of time playing, sleeping, and cuddling. Although, if anyone is upset, hurt, or unwell, she is there by their side to help.

Canine Companion — October 5, 2020

Canine Companion

~ Claudia and Wren ~

In 2004 at the young age of 3 ½, Claudia had cancer. After undergoing many treatments, she received a bone marrow transplant. However, this led to some horrible side effects. Most notably having immense skin damage and effects on her bones, muscles, and joints, meaning she permanently uses a wheelchair.

Ten years later in 2014, it was recommended to Claudia that she look into getting a mobility dog. Mobility dogs help those with physical disabilities. At age 14, she was interviewed about her needs and limitations so she could be properly matched with a dog.

At age 17, Claudia was given the news that a dog had been found as a match for her. At the beginning of 2018, she attended the Mobility Dogs training camp to learn how to work with her new mobility dog, Wren. They instantly formed a bond.

Claudia found new freedom by having Wren at her side. Having someone to focus on and to care for allowed Claudia to find more confidence and happiness. Waking up to every morning to an excited Wren always allowed for a good start to her mornings.

For Claudia to know that she had her four-legged partner at her side, it was life-changing. Wren aided in Claudia’s mobility; if she dropped something, Wren could pick it up, press the crossing buttons, open doors, and more. Not only this, but Wren became an amazing companion to Claudia.

During Claudia’s secondary school graduation, she and Wren both received graduation certificates. It showed that Wren had become not only a valued member of Claudia’s life but also of her community.

Having Wren helped Claudia to find happiness in each day and to have more independence and confidence within her community. Unfortunately, at the end of 2019, Claudia ended up in the hospital unexpectedly. Thankfully, the hospital allowed her to keep Wren in her room during her stay. Throughout this ordeal, Wren stayed by her side. Wren slept at the end of Claudia’s hospital bed for the stay. Whenever anyone entered the room, Wren would greet them. Once she had established who they were, she would go back to Claudia’s bed.

The two have become an inseparable pair. Due to her love for Wren, and animals in general, Claudia decided to pursue this and further her knowledge by studying animal psychology. This was to gain a better understanding of animals and especially so of Wren.

With Wren in her life, Claudia is more confident and has more independence. Wren encourages Claudia to go for walks, to play, and most of all just they make each other happier. Wren brings Claudia a lot of comfort and makes her feel safer. When times may be tough, Claudia enjoys watching Wren – especially when Wren runs around at the park. If the two feel a bit tired, Claudia enjoys resting with Wren and having a good snuggle.

When Claudia is struggling, she knows that Wren is there. The two have a mutual understanding of one another. There have been many times when Wren has bettered and improved Claudia’s life and even saved it. From bringing in so much happiness and love, Claudia says having Wren has been life-changing, and cannot imagine what not having her would be like.