“We have a mini zoo at our house,” says Replacements, Ltd. Internet Services Associate Linda Carson. “We have 4 dogs, 3 cats, 1 parrot, and an aquarium full of fish!” Some of their pets found the Carsons, rather than the other way round.
On a trip to the local K-Mart, the Carsons’ daughters saw a couple outside in the parking lot giving away puppies for adoption. Little “Bianca” was the last puppy in the box. “Our girls came running into the store yelling for us to come. We followed them, and there they stood, holding a puppy. They had already given her a name. So we drove home from K-Mart with Bianca, who’s now almost 10 years old.” Their dog “Lacey” also found the Carsons. “Someone had abandoned her,” Linda says. “She was a 6-week-old puppy when we saw her running in our yard in the middle of winter. We took her in. Lacey’s 8 years old now.” Next up? A cat. “I had always wanted an all-white female kitten. A friend’s cat had a litter. Sure enough, there was one, and only one, all-white female kitten. Her name is ‘Princess.’” The next addition to the household was “Sunny the Parrot.” “Eight years ago, Sunny was a Christmas gift to my husband from the children and me. Sunny doesn’t like my husband, but he loves me! And he talks with a Pittsburgh accent, just like me.”
The very first pet in Linda’s family, a cat named “Lucky,” passed away 5 years ago. “My husband really missed Lucky, who always liked to snuggle,” Linda says. Then Linda heard that the mother of a fellow Replacements, Ltd. employee had a small-breed dog with a litter of puppies. “That’s where we got ‘Tiki,’” Linda says. “She’s the smallest of our dogs – she weighs just 12 pounds. My husband is completely attached to her because she is such a lap dog!” Then along came “Cuddles,” a cat brought back by Replacements, Ltd. employees who drove south to help rescue pets from hurricane Katrina. “Her name is very appropriate,” Linda says. “She competes with Tiki for lap time.” Next on the list? “Molly” the dog. “My husband rescued Molly in December 2005. Neglected and abused, she was only 8 weeks old. It took a while to gain her trust, but now she is a very loving dog.”
With Molly, the Carsons thought their adopting days were over. But in July 2008, when they were out watering their garden, “we heard sounds coming from my husband’s work trailer,” Linda says. “We looked inside, and there was ‘Gabriella,’ a 1-week-old kitten.” The Carsons went to Petsmart and bought the supplies they thought they would need to save the kitten. “Gabby” was bottle-fed, burped, and cleaned every 4 hours. Their veterinarian said Gabby looked healthy, but it would be touch-and-go until she was old enough to wean. The Carsons prayed she would survive, and Gabby now weighs 6 pounds.
“Working at Replacements definitely has its advantages,” Linda says. “I was able to bring Gabby to work to make sure she was monitored and fed. I don’t bring my animals to work everyday – it would be too much! But they all get along great with each other. I’m honored to be an employee of Replacements, Ltd. – not only because of the great pet-friendly policy,” she says, “but also because of the friendly and caring atmosphere. And I feel especially blessed to have a job in these challenging economic times.”