MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Taiwan authorities Will Kill 80,000 Dogs This Year

It is heartbreaking. Approximately 80,000 dogs will be killed this year alone by Taiwanese authorities according to a July 6, 2012 Denver Post Associated Press article by Tassanee Vejpongsa. I was so moved by this special photographer who let the plight of these shelter dogs in northern Taiwan impact him, and the way he decided to make a difference. By capturing these shelter dogs last moments, this Taiwan man hopes to raise consciousness of their seemingly hopeless plight. He sees himself and his photography as a medium to help people become more aware of this horrible issue. I can only hope to do the same by sharing it here.

Read the full story here: Taiwan photographer captures shelter dogs' last moments

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Legal Voice for the Animals

Do you need legal assistance for an animal-related issue, like fighting a breed ban in your locale? Have you had a pet who has been harmed by pet food?

Her name is Jennifer Reba Edwards. She is an attorney, and her unique law practice focuses only on animals. "We are the only full-time Colorado law practice dedicated solely to animal law," says Edwards. In 2007, she filed one of the first lawsuits against pet-food maker Menu Foods after pets began dying from their tainted pet foods.

Her firm has also helped in disputes with cities who ban certain breeds, including pit bulls.

See the full story in the August 6, l2012 Denver Post article by Monte Whaley here: Law firm supports animals

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Modern Day 'Lassie Come Home' Miracle

This is not a story I wrote. It was written by Scott Craven on September 7, 2012 . But you see, one of the heroines in this heartwarming story, Daisy Pettem, happens to be my neighbor, 2 doors away. She blessed us at the dinner table 3 evenings ago with this miraculous story of Timber the dog and his guardian, Rusty.

Military veteran Rusty Reed was overjoyed when he received the call that his lost dog, Timber, was safe with a Colorado family.
Photo by Stephen Root/12 News

"When Rusty Reed opened the camper door for the second time that morning, he felt his heart drop from his chest.  His best friend and traveling companion was nowhere to be seen, the 50-foot leash leading to an empty collar. The vast Utah landscape that had been so welcoming the day before now appeared daunting. It could swallow up a wayward dog in the blink of an eye, and Reed had been asleep for hours.

All the military vet could do was grab his cane and start looking. And so he walked along the only trail he knew, the one he and his malamute-shepherd mix had hiked frequently over the last few days...

Rusty Reed is familiar with the label most people use to describe him. Homeless military veteran ... Arizona was his home, summering near Flagstaff, wintering in Lake Havasu City (where he rents a mailbox at a UPS store), moving among campgrounds that welcome visitors.

It was on one of his occasional trips three years ago when Reed ran into an acquaintance in Washington who owed him money. The man offered Reed a choice: cash or a dog.

"The dog," Reed says now, recalling the moment he laid eyes on the puppy he would call Timber. "A dog lasts longer than money."

Adjustments had to be made. He glued a Big Gulp cup to the floorboard for a water bowl. Some of his military pension went to canine maintenance, including food, leashes, a collar and the occasional vet visit...

In the evening Timber would relax under Reed's mattress, propped on a makeshift platform. And when Reed crawled into bed, Timber jumped in beside him. But Reed's favorite moments came when he pulled the keys from his pocket and Timber danced at his feet waiting for those magic words: "Wanna go for a ride?"

...In April, as Reed camped outside Ash Fork, west of Flagstaff, a woman camping nearby approached and introduced herself and her two dogs. They talked about a shared love of the road. In April, Reed thought it was only a chance meeting."

Her name was Sue Rogers and she has a blog, She described their chance encounter in her blog, and how phone numbers were exchanged.

"It was a bit of a surprise when, four months later and almost a thousand miles away, Reed's name lit up her cellphone screen. They chatted a bit, with Rogers mentioning she was in Oregon, and Reed suggesting places to see. Rogers asked about Timber. The story came pouring out.

It started in southern Utah... Early on July 9, parked on a hilltop outside Loa, Utah, Reed says, he woke to Timber scratching at the back of the camper. He let him out, clipping the dog's collar to his 50-foot leash. Reed climbed back into the truck for just a few more minutes of sleep... a few hours later ... He opened the back to find only the leash... "

Reed searched for Timber for three days, as smoke from a nearby wildfire began to fill the air. Finally the smoke thickened and made it hard to breathe. Before he returned to Arizona, he scattered 8 pounds of dog food and cut open a 5-gallon jug of water...

"The only thing Sue Rogers could do was listen and offer a shoulder to cry on... But she did one more thing. That night, she typed up the story of a grieving friend... she had more than 450 followers... Shortly after midnight on Aug. 26, she posted Timber's tale. By 6 p.m., the post had nearly 90 comments. Most expressed sympathy. But a handful were from someone who identified herself only as a retired police officer living in New York...

 At 2:19, she (the police officer) posted a report of a shepherd mix found July 10 near Loa, Utah, but there was no photo to go with the description.

At 4:49, Rogers ... called the people who found the dog near Loa. She was sending them a photo of Timber and waiting to hear back.

At 6:20, a post from Rogers: IT LOOKS LIKE WE MAY HAVE FOUND TIMBER!

... Daisy Pettem looked at the photos attached to the e-mail. She looked at the rather skinny dog at her house in Boulder, Colo., then back to the photos...

'Timber?' His ears went up...Pettem knew the rambunctious pooch as Willy. Her father had found the dog as he camped outside Loa, Utah, in early July.

The dog approached to check him out, as well as his two dogs. Its friendly demeanor hinted at an owner, but a search of the nearby area proved fruitless. He checked with forest-service personnel, but no one had reported a missing canine. Pettem's father couldn't leave the dog behind, so he took it to California, where he would visit his ailing mother...

A week later, the crew was back in Colorado... She (Pettem)  was sure this dog had belonged to someone. He got along so well with people, and he was neutered. Someone, she knew, was missing Willy.

Which is why Pettem scoured the Internet in the days following Willy's arrival at her home, searching for posts about lost dogs matching his description. She found nothing, so she posted a 'Found dog' notice on She put the description, added her contact information, and waited. And waited."

As July passed, Willy played with Pettem's 9-year-old son and their terrier. Later, Willy went with Pettem and her father on a trip to see family in Canada. Then, on Aug. 26, she received an e-mail from Soon, she was on the phone with a woman named Sue. Then she got an e-mail with photos of a missing dog. The lost dog had the same build and coloring. He had a slash of white on his forehead. Just like the dog at her house...

Rusty Reed remembers his heart was nearly beating out of his chest...

Here it was, almost September...

But Pettem and her father were almost 700 miles away. A trip to Arizona would take time and money they didn't have, she said..."

Go to to read the full story and the rest of the story about Timber and Rusty Reed's incredible reunion and the people who made it possible. You may also wish to read more about Rusty and Timber on Sue Roger's blog called

"Daisy Pettem remembers watching it all, the smile never leaving her face. She and her son were going to miss this rambunctious dog, but she could not deny one thing: Timber was home."

Dailsy, thank you so much for brightening our lives with how you, your dad, and the others made such a HUGE positive difference in the lives of Rusty and Timber! And for making us shed tears of joy! And, thank you for sharing your video with us!

Click here for Rusty and Timber slideshow

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