Prepare to reach for the tissues as we bring you some of the most heartfelt and moving animal tales.
Since we launched our Animal Tales competition, thanks to Village Vets Australia, we have been inundated with some truly beautiful and amazing animal stories. Take a look at 12 of The LifeStyle Team's favourites, so far, here.
1. Blossom sent in by N. Long from SA.
Meet Blossom, a female western grey kangaroo who was orphaned because her mother was hit by a car. She enjoyed constantly licking your face / arms, attempting to steal food and chewing on hair. She loved to go for runs on the grass, but she would also happily cuddle on the couch. Unfortunately, blossom ended up getting bloat of her intestines - a common problem kangaroo joeys suffer which can be caused by multiple reasons. This was fatal and I had to get her put down. This broke my heart, but she inspired me to pursue my keeping career in natives. People are unaware of how intelligent and affectionate our native animals can be. My aim is to educate others about our beautiful native animals and work towards preserving them and conserving their natural habitat.
2. Priscilla - sent in by L. Farmers from QLD
This is a photo of little Priscilla who we had to feed and look after when her mum died giving birth to her. This photo was taken when she was a little poddy and she is now about 10 months old and running around out in the paddock with weaners the same age as her and is as happy as can be!
3. Khaleesi - sent in by C. Ayres from NSW
This is my girl, Khaleesi (yes named after Game Of Thrones - Queen of Dragons). She was abandoned by her biological mum and was going to be put down by the lady who had the stray cat turn up and give birth in her garage. But I pleaded with her to wait a few more days until I could fly back from Queensland. My plane landed at 10.30pm on a Sunday night and I drove home to get a box and then back to the other side of Sydney to pick up Khaleesi and her sister. They were 3 weeks old.
What makes Khaleesi so special is that she was the runt of the litter and no matter what I did, I couldn't get her to feed. I had bought a doll's bottle and purchased kitten milk and warmed the milk but Khaleesi just wouldn't take it. She scratched my hands to bits trying to feed her. I had to wrap a towel around my hand every time I tried so that I wouldn't bleed.
I was so frightened she was going to die. She was getting frailer and frailer. I went up to a pet shop in tears asking for help. The guy behind the counter told me to forget kitten milk and buy full cream cows milk. I tried it. It worked. Khaleesi has never looked back. This photo was the happiest moment when I looked at her big belly a few weeks later to see she was growing and developing and so happy. She has made up for it now and is a bit on the large side but I always look back on this photo of her lying in my lap and finally full.
She is my Queen of Dragons (well.... more like Queen of Lizards) but she will always be my baby girl.
I love her sister too by the way! Her name is Tarquin and a ginger too like her big sister. They are my family..... my world.
4. Brando - sent in by K. Thomas from VIC
This is Mr Brando Hellkat my French Bulldog puppy. I got him when I was in the middle of Chemotherapy, 8 months after I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 34. When I was in hospital recovering from a mastectomy my Labrador Bella passed away in her sleep, she was 12. I miss my gorgeous silly Blondie. On the morning of my second Chemotherapy session I had a phone call from my parents to find my gorgeous 9-year-old Aussie Bulldog was fighting for her life after she was found with a twisted stomach, she passed away while I was hooked up to the drugs that saved my life.
My little Sausie (Brando) is the sparkle in my eye after a year and a half of absolute hell. He is my best friend, the only therapy I need and could well be my saving grace.
5. Chochi - sent in by T. Marcucci from QLD
This picture of Chochi and I was taken just minutes after meeting him on a street corner in Santiago Chile in April 2015. A street dog who has endured the difficult life several 100 thousand dogs suffer who live alone and abandoned in the city of Santiago. He approached me from behind and I offered him something to eat. We spent some time together and he touched my heart deeply. After fearing for him due to his apprehension of men and his need to constantly bark at them, I decided I had to find him a home before he suffers any further unjustly. The fate of a hungry and cold street dog is a cruel one. And a crisis which I am deeply passionate about. Its been a long road which has not yet ended. Its included, vaccinations and blood tests to pass Australia's strict quarantine laws, desexing and lodging for what will be more than 9 months. Chochi is currently in quarantine, awaiting the day when I can bring him home to find a forever home in Australia so that he can live a life full of love, comfort and safety just as he and every dog alive deserves.
6. Smokey - sent in by B. Reynolds from NSW
Since our son River arrived our Dog Smokey has been his protector.
7. Matilda - sent in by B. Slee from NSW
Meet our beautiful chihuahua Matilda. She overcome a massive dog attack that caused air to develop under her dermal layer all over her body from a tear in her windpipe. After two weeks in the vet she has overcome all her health issues and is now a house dog. Very determined little fighter.
8. BBQ Sauce - Sent in by L. Van Der Molen from VIC
They say animals know... Well coopers pet hen named by him BBQ sauce knows that coopers special and is in a wheel chair. She is happy to let 6-year-old Cooper give her a cuddle or two!
9. Rocks - sent in by I. Peterson from NSW
We had a two day old calf that was born with dummy or silly calf syndrome. She couldn't get up to feed off mum, so we led her to mum. She had two drinks that were vital to her, then we had to bottle feed her. We put her in our car drove three hours back to our home from our farm and made her comfortable on our back verandah. My two blue heelers took a liking to her they kept checking on her to make sure she is ok. She is adorable and we hope she will survive.
10. Josie - sent in by C. Gillett from NSW
This little girl was thrown out of a car window onto the road. She was just 10 days old at the time. We picked her up and hand reared her, naming her Josie. This picture is one of her first attempts to lap milk on her own. She is now 12 weeks old and is doing great! We have had her vaccinated and she will be desexed in due course.
11. Milo - sent in by A. Lee from WA
This is our rescue kitten Milo saying hello to our newest rescue kangaroo joey. He loves to greet newcomers and reassure them they are safe.
12. Ume - sent in by M. Koh from VIC
Ume was a Siberian Husky who was inspirational in her resilience, strength and positive attitude. When she was 9-years-old, her rear legs gave way suddenly, was rushed to the specialists and subsequently underwent CT scans, surgery and physiotherapy. However, her paralysis remained permanent and we were advised by the vets to put her down as her quality of life would be compromised. It was discouraging the vets were not as positive as Ume, who ate with gusto and her blue eyes were more full of life than the words coming out of the vets' mouths. We knew what our girl wanted and that was not the choice to die. We continued with hydrotherapy, reflexology, expressed her bladder without fail, kept her on watch 24/7, run regular UTI tests on her urine samples and not once did our gorgeous baby falter. She went for walks on her wheelchair, bright-eyed and lived her life no different to non-handicapped dogs. In fact she relished her life and gave as much love as she received. About 3 years later, Ume developed epilepsy and we became even more obsessed with monitoring her. She was probably being smothered by all the attention but she was tolerant of her pesky parents. We have to clarify that despite the fact one of us had to give up a full-time career to care for her over the last 3.5 years of her life, it was the most satisfying and unreservedly worthwhile time of our lives. We continue to mourn her passing, but we celebrate her spirit and her unforgettable blue gaze.
Which touching story is your favourite? Don't forget, to enter your pet in our Animal Tales competition, which will be judged by Vets James Carroll and Anthony Bennett, for your chance to win!