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Found a friend

I am writing a letter to everyone reading this from my home in St. Helens and beyond.

My husband and I recently moved to St. Helens and I had been looking for a dog for quite some time. I started with one of the best resources I know to find any pet. I went online to www.petfinder.com. There I typed in my zip code and saw dogs at the Columbia Humane Society for adoption. I saw a picture of a German shepherd that I wanted to meet.

I went down to the Humane Society and met the dog and found out a little more about the dog and the shelter. The Humane Society of St. Helens is a 'no kill' shelter while Columbia County Animal Control is not. They are both located in the same building.

Usually the dogs at the Humane Society are there because their owner could no longer keep them. The dogs usually have some history about them. However, Animal Control, which is located on the other side of the building, has dogs with little or no history that were picked up roaming free and wandering homeless and lost. The Animal Control side is where I found the dog I adopted.

I saw my dog before Thanksgiving and inquired about him but there was no history, except where they picked him up and maybe he was about 3 years old. He had a great disposition and was one of the most obedient dogs I have ever met. I went home and discussed it with my husband, as a dog is a household decision and a lifelong commitment. We decided he would make a wonderful addition to our home.

We adopted the dog for only $45, which is the best $45 we ever spent. He is a wonderful and loyal friend who is truly grateful for the friendship that we extended him.

I am writing because dogs at Animal Control are only there until there is no more room and they have to be euthanized. Because of county cutbacks, Animal Control is only open M-F from 1-5 p.m. They do not have time to even post pictures of the dogs on their Web site.

If you have a moment it is worth it to visit the shelter and see for yourself how many wonderful dogs they have waiting for a great home. The shelter is overflowing with dogs, as is every shelter, so I urge you or someone you know to visit this or any shelter. Please spay or neuter your pet so a precious life will not be euthanized needlessly. There are not enough homes for them all.

Lisa Bloom

St. Helens

Seeds of doubt

I read with interest the article, 'A lifelong Republican turns blue' because I also went through a similar metamorphosis. When I was in college in the late 1950s I was a committed conservative Republican. Our walking hero was Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona. His book 'The Conscience of a Conservative' was our political bible. Over the years I thought he was right about how to institute change, about paying your bills as you spend the money. During Vietnam I really agreed with him when he said if you're going to fight a war, fight to win. If you're not going to fight to win, don't fight at all! Our young Republican group was so active that we were voted Colorado Campus Young Republican Group of the Year.

That said, I can remember who and what planted the original seeds of doubt in my mind and resulted several years later in my leaving the Republican Party and registering as a Democrat. Ronald Reagan asked, 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?' I can remember asking myself at the very moment, 'Isn't that to endorse and encourage greed?' It certainly caused me to track more closely what I believed to be the Republican philosophical base and what was happening to it. Over the years I watched Republicanism distance itself from my Republican roots. I finally reached a point that I decided I could not lend my good name to this anymore. So, today I'm an involved Democrat. Involved. That's probably the key to having our parties be what we would have them be.

D. Kent Lloyd

Gladstone