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Our annual pet issue features the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, the Pet Foster Network, a special Wake SPCA cat awaiting adoption and a selection of our readers' favorite animal stories.

Dog Days of Summer 2006 

By George, I got him!

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Yes, I adopted that sweet kitten from last year's Dog Days of Summer cover. He's the cat I always wanted ... and the kitten I almost lost.

I was wrapping our first Christmas gift of last year. The boys (my girlfriend and I also adopted Giles, a British blue) wouldn't leave me alone, so I gave them each a piece of curling ribbon. Ten minutes later when I'd finished wrapping the gift, both pieces were missing. Since the boys love to hide toys, we didn't worry much about it until the next morning when George starting throwing up, and continued to do so throughout the day. That night, we canceled our vacation to visit family and instead spent our holidays nursing an 8-month-old kitten back to health after major emergency surgery.

We were lucky with George. What happened to Maxie, the kitten J.P. Trostle and Maura McLaughlin had adopted only one month before her surgery, was my worst nightmare during George's ordeal. Read the heart-wrenching (and, be warned, graphic) tale of this "Maximum Cat."

When our little Roomba didn't stop eating anything and everything off the floor after his surgery, we started planning for his next. Since I moved to the Triangle six years ago, I've heard a lot about the NCSU vet school, but I have no idea how it works. Reporter Sylvia Adcock toured the specialty and emergency vet for us; read "Cutting-edge care for fur-kids."

Adopting wasn't my first choice; I'd wanted to foster. After we got George and Giles, however, we learned that our apartment complex only allows two pets per home. If you have some extra space and love and would consider fostering, read Amy Loeffler's story about the Pet Foster Network, "Foster some love."

I'd also considered adopting an older cat or a black cat, because they often have a much longer wait for homes, and some never get adopted at all. In "The scariest cat at the SPCA?", Mondy Lamb writes about Butterscotch, the heartbroken elderly cat who's waiting right now at the Wake County SPCA.

This year, 45 of you sent us your Dog Days tales--stories about your animal companions: Readers tell tales. (Additional readers' stories are here.) Thank you for sharing your furred and feathered friends with us; I'd adopt them all!

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