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Anatole France was a French poet, journalist and novelist; and, apparently, he was also pretty fond of pets.

Here’s what France had to say about pets before his death in October 1924.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

France’s words no doubt resonate with lots of people; with anyone who has rescued a fur ball from an animal shelter, or who has experienced the unconditional admiration of a slobbering mutt.

STEVEN BROWNAnimals have always had a way of getting into our lives, of becoming as much a part of our families as our spouses and children.

The Outlook wants to hear about these beloved pets that have made a significant difference to the lives of their people. Perhaps your pet has:

• Summoned help when you faced a medical emergency;

• Found its way home after being lost for days, weeks or months;

• Demonstrated amazing escape skills that would impress Harry Houdini;

• Provided you with comfort at a low point in your life;

• Performed an amazing trick (think David Letterman’s show); or,

• Is trained to provide an unusual service or task.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us the amazing stories about your pets. We’ll share these stories in a special section we’re publishing in mid-May. It’s the same special section that will include the entries in a pet look-alike contest, which offers more than $900 in total prizes.

If you’d like to tell us your amazing pet stories, just write the story using no more than 300 words. We’ll need your name and contact information (phone, cellular phone and email). We’ll also need a photograph of your pet.

Send those stories to Executive Editor Steven Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or you can drop those submissions by at any of our three newspaper offices: The Outlook, 1190 N.E. Division St., Gresham; Sandy Post, 38270 Proctor Blvd. (second floor of the Windermere Building); or Estacada News, 307 S.W. Highway 224 (next to Subway).

There’s still time to submit photos for the pet look-alike contest. Just visit The Outlook’s website at greshamoutlook.com, scroll to the contest button and follow the instructions for submitting the photo.

More than anything, we want to give people the opportunity to boast about their beloved pets. We hope you take us up on the opportunity.

Executive Editor Steven Brown is the owner of Jack, a 90-pound black Lab. He and his family recently adopted Zero — a cocker spaniel — from the Multnomah County Animal Service & Shelter in Troutdale.

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