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For years, I've dreamed about having a home for all my stories to live in, no matter the format or subject. I've finally taken the plunge and started my own website devoted mainly to animals in general, and humane education in particular.

You can find it attached to my Fuzzy Town website. Here's a direct address to the animal stuff, but I'll also be loading stories about humans, and pretty much anything else that catches my eye, into other parts of the site. There will also be

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Have you ever had an otherworld experience?

Larry McClure did. And it wasn't just a flash of the otherworld. It was underworldly, too.

The experienced diver was hanging off his boat's swim ladder treading water 30 miles into the Gulf of New Mexico when an indigenous resident of the seas came calling.

The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin circled the boat for 45 minutes before the retired United Airlines pilot figured out what she was angling for.

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Some days I'm scared to leave my house. But not because of agoraphobia.
It's the animals.

Everywhere I go, I find animals -- dumped, lost, frightened, injured. I regularly encounter horrific suffering that doesn't escape my mind once I leave the scene.

I'm not the only one who has this affliction for finding animals in trouble. Most of the rescuers I know report the same phenomenon.

It's gotten so I can't leave the house without a

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I was waiting to catch a Southwest flight out of Kansas City when I had a familiar sensation.

I’m referring to the uncanny magnetism between animal rescuers recognizing their own kind. It could be called animal attraction, this bond cultivated from common experiences in the trenches.

This time, it was Kelly Baxter-Osborne who crossed my radar. The 32-year-old was traveling back to Seattle from her hometown in Missouri, and we promptly struck up a

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When I'm interviewing animal rescuers, I've stopped asking if something horrible happened to them in the past.

Instead, I ask what happened.

Was it abuse? Neglect? Violence at the hands of human beings?

That's because I've noticed that people who risk their livelihoods, their health, even their own lives to save animals have usually been victims of trauma themselves, often from experiences that stretch back to their tender childhoods.
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Recently I was telling you about all the mouse casualties I’ve been encountering around the house.

And then, when I least expect it, there comes an unexpected save.

I wandered into the bathroom a couple of mornings ago and immediately noticed something was amiss.

Little Carreen -- who spends her nights safely tucked into this room -- was sitting on the countertop watching me as I investigated. The fleecy brown blanket that feathers her

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Right on schedule, Buddy pads into a guest appearance that’s going to save his life. But the Beagle-Basset mix is completely oblivious to the significance of the meeting. Instead, he concentrates on sniffing his way around the room, as hound dogs tend to do.

The lack of focus on his future won’t hurt Buddy’s chances. He’s free to be himself. His sniffing habit will be presented to potential adopters as an endearing quality.

Meet Buddy’s promoters: Mrs. Davis

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Lexi the Chihuahua snuck into her home the way many animals do -- she started out as a foster dog. Then Zoey and her human mom fell in love with this bitty dog, and couldn't bear to say goodbye. She's become firmly entrenched as part of the family.

In dog lifestyle vernacular, Lexi's hit the jackpot. Her guardian Beth just opened a doggie daycare called Go Dog LA. Life will be endless socializing and constant fraternizing for this

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Sometimes I power down all the modern sounds inside the house and just listen to nature playing outside. Without stereos, TVs, telephones, microwaves, and vacuum cleaners, I can hear a whole other world happening out there.

My favorite birds to listen to are the owls, who don’t just stop at a simple “hoo-hoo”. It always sounds to me like they’re chattering out a conversation.

Tonight the little birds were trilling so enthusiastically that it sounded

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I was headed into a pristine snow-capped Pacific Northwest mountain range today when I came upon an accident waiting to happen.

I slammed on the brakes when I noticed two young deer shoving their noses through barbed wire looking very much like they wanted to jump the fence.

But it wasn't the barbed wire fence that foreshadowed danger.

It was the highway they were trying to cross.

Mount Baker Highway, a winding two-lane road leading

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