To many gay and lesbian people, pets are the closest thing they will ever be to having children. To many, that is just fine with them. We asked readers to meet us at Dogs R Us one Saturday and do a family photo. We will be making a donation to the Fuburbia, the Friends of Animal’s adoption center in Park City for all glossy prints bought for this shoot. Fuburbia is a unique adoption center where trained specialists are always on hand to help visitors select the perfect dog or cat to take to a forever home. And there is never a better time to adopt than now, when shelters all over the valley are overflowing with canines and felines — and kittens in particular. Furburbia’s page at foautah.org allows you to search for a fluffy companion by photo and species, and provides handy information about pet adoption, dog training and even volunteering. Thanks to Laurie Kaufman for all these wonderful shots!
Erik and Dori Gonzales
I cannot begin to tell anyone how much my daughter, Dori, means to me. In 2004, my sister and I picked her out. I remember sitting on the grass, surrounded by a few different puppies. All of the sudden, this little puppy hopped over to me. At that moment, I knew she was coming home with us. Not knowing what to name her, we waited until we got to know her personality. Yes, she was named after the character from Finding Nemo. Her name could not fit her any better. In 2006, life changed for me, and I was no longer able to care for her as she needed. Her mother, Shannon Vigil, cared for her over the next few years with unconditional love. I was able to take her on the weekends every so often, but I have never felt so alone in my life without her. In 2009, life changed again for me, and I have been able to care for Dori again in my new home. Having my best friend and the light of my life back with me has changed me in so many ways. Dori loves me for me, in good days and bad days, she is always there to remind me that she loves me. I love you Dori!
Kevin and Stir Fry Christensen
He was renamed Stir Fry after I woke up one morning to find a favorite light fixture completely shredded. He enjoys playing with birds, mice and kitty porn.
Shay and Bella Harvell
It is weird to tell people that the first time I ever felt truly loved was when Bella smiled at me. Often times our most happiest memories happen on nice sunny days, and this was no exception. I was feeling really down about life and was wondering if I was loved. I come from a good family and I know that my family loves me, but outside of that I was unsure. I took Bella for a walk to Memory Grove and while she was playing off leash I was pondering. Without warning, Bella comes and gives me the biggest smile and licks my toes. I don’t know why this was different, but it was! The sun felt warmer and that three-second moment lasted so much longer. For the first time in a long time I felt that I was loved — truly loved. Bella is the most special person/thing to me. We have been through a lot including a phase when she ate my toys, (As a lesbian, this is bad news) but we are sticking together. I am hers and she is mine.
Mike Romero and Coco Chanel
This little chocolate Schnauzer lost her home due to the economic downturn. A good friend who works for CAWS contacted me because she knew I was a Schnauzer lover. It was love at first sight and she gets to stay at Ben Williams Schnauzer house in the day with 3 doggie friends and comes home to her townhouse to relax &
sleep. She’s a lover.
Ladd and Fidd McClurg
Fidd came to me six years ago on a lark. Halloween 2004. We were having a Halloween party and a friend said in a Wicked Witch of the West voice, “I’ll come and get you and your little dog, too!” I said I don’t have a little dog. I only had a Boxer. So I immediately went to Retland to look at Cairn Terriers. He was in the cube with me not more than 20 seconds, dropped a ball at my feet and I knew “You are going home with me.” He’s been with me ever since.
Ken and Kimie Walker
I recently divorced and was lonely. I knew getting a dog would help. I wanted a small dog because I lived in an apartment. The Humane Society had very limited small dogs and nothing I wanted. I found Kimie on KSL classifieds. It was love at first sight and she has an awesome personality. She is the favorite wherever she goes.
Michael Ganthrop & Kevin Hutchins with Hades & Hera
Found both as stray in the Humane Society shelter. Named after the family tradition of Greek Gods. (Previous names in the family are Zeus, Apollo and Athena.)
Mark, Emi and Oliver Canrell
Emi & Oliver were found on the Humane Society website & rescued from the South Salt Lake Shelter. They are both very swee pups. Emi is 9 months and Oliver is 12 months.
Eric “Taco” and Mocha Hurtado
Mocha, my Himalayan cat, and I first met three years ago this Thanksgiving after he was abandoned and put on the street by some uncaring human. He showed up near my home at Trio restaurant and brought to me by a friend. He is so good natured and full of love. Not to mention gorgeous!
Honey Rachelle and Faith Graham
My doggie’s name is Faith! She will be three on August 28th. I was dog-sitting my friend’s dog for about a year when she wasn’t able to take care of her. When this fluffy dog had to go back to her owner, I could barely eat, walk or sleep. I went the following day to go out searching for dogs, even though my dad, who is also my landlord , told me I had to wait a few months. This tiny wide-eyed puppy stared back at me with the most eager expression on her face. The assistant frowned when I told him I wanted to see that dog. “Have to warn you, this one snaps at people she doesn’t know. In fact, she snaps at all of us here at the store. She doesn’t let anyone go near her.” “I’ll try.” I said, not even caring if I got bit.
He gladly moved away and let me reach in to get the miniature dachshund. She immediately wrapped up in my arms, like she belonged there without the slightest form of aggression. She stayed in my arms for a long time as the sadness in my heart started to soften. About a half hour later, I reluctantly placed her back into her cage.
I went back three times that same day. My sister, store clerk and my mom finally talked my Dad into relenting. The store clerk even lied and said she as potty-trained. A fact everyone found out later as she pooped wherever she wanted. This tiny joy ran all over the house, sniffing and checking out every crack and corner. The best part was I had the energy to run with her. We shared a large hamburger in front of the family’s indoor movie screen and then went off to bed. She spent most the night too excited to sleep, chewing on her edible pig ear. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep that night with her hyperness and loud chomping, but I didn’t mind. Its never possible to replace a dog because they all have such unique personalities. Still she brough hope back into my life and that is why I chose to name her Faith.
Craig, Gus & Sadie Morrison
We love camping and walks. Gus thinks tomatoes off the plant, ripe or not, are great chew toys and treats! They
both love carrots. Gus is a year old Poodle- Pekinese- Schi-Tzu mix (aka Poopshit), while Sadie is a 5-year-old
black & silver miniature schnauzer. Dad loves cooking & spoiling us.
Cleopatra du Pris and Tony Fantis
I found my owners while shopping. Go figure. In my spare time, I like to chat with my friends on Facebook. My
sister, Trixie Licorice Canasta is also on Facebook. She’s the bitchy one but I love her anyway. My dads, John and Tony, give me pedicures and let me sleep all day. When I grow up, I want to be a dentist.
John, Pumpkin & Bandit Bennett
Both my dogs were rescue dogs. I got my girl, Pumpkin, from the Humane Society seven years ago. A couple of years later I learned from one of the seniors I work with of a three-legged dog that was to be put down by its breeder owner who no longer wanted Bandit after his hind leg became infected and amputated. We took him in, and Pumpkin and Bandit have been inseparable ever since.
Troy and Kona Hunter
I rescued Kona from a puppy mill in Utah County because she was not in good shape. She’s now my whole world
and love of my life — for a girl.
Michael and Vixen Aaron
Vixen is a Humane Society find and it was apparent she was not fond of some children in her previous household. She lacked trust, chewed on every piece of footwear I had and had severe kennel cough when I first got her. The first three weeks were a bit of a challenge. A few days of positive reinforcement later, everything but the runny nose was over and we have been best of friends since. I can’t imagine life without her.