I just saw your article about a Pet Page in The Valley Reporter, which I think is a wonderful idea. There are a lot of good things/events going on here in The Valley that help our beloved four-legged friends: CVHS, Pawsitive Pantry, etc.

I may have a story for your page with some heart and soul and sadness turned positive.

I do animal rescue work, mostly dogs, and have for 30 years. This story, however, is my own personal effort to adopt a dog for my family. I had been looking for the last four months, after losing a beloved Irish wolfhound-pointer mix at the age of 14 in October 2009.

We had adopted her at the age of 7 from a wonderful shelter in Maine. I looked on all the local shelter sites for four months including CVHS, MSPCA in Boston and others. Last week I decided to look on PetFinder.com where there are approximately 150,000 dogs and cats looking for homes. After searching for hours one dog caught my eye and that of my husband who has been mourning the loss of our last dog.

"Sammie" is her name and she lives with a wonderful owner in St. Louis, Missouri. Her owner, Mark, has to give Sammie up because he is a Marine and being deployed for two years. He could not find a family member to take her for that timeframe so after much anguish he decided to contact the shelter where he adopted "Sammie" from two years ago and ask their help in finding her a loving home. Stray Rescue of St. Louis put her adorable picture on PetFinder.com. We applied for her and the owner picked us as positive adopters after refusing about 30 other applications. He liked that I was home with my dogs, had two other rescue dogs, and that I had lots of room to run with them here in Vermont.

I spoke with the owner on the phone and we had a wonderful conversation, though he is filled with heartache having to give up his dog. I assured him my family would do him proud as owners and keep him up to date on "Sammie." The owner is so grateful we are adopting her that he is driving from his home in St. Louis, 1,500 miles, to bring her here on April 2. He has never been to the East Coast and will stay with us for a night before he heads back to his home to deploy on April 15. It will be a very lonely trip home for him.

In any event, I think this story may be of interest in the fact that our men and women in the military sacrifice a lot for our country. In this case, the love of his beloved pet.