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Your best shot

Readers submit their best photos to All Animals magazine

All Animals magazine, September/October 2017

Photo by Patrick Wine

In October 2016, I visited Rocky Mountain National Park. In autumn, Rocky Mountain elk leave the high-altitude tundra for the luscious meadows below to begin the annual mating season. Bull (male) elk display their antlers, bugle and occasionally fight to win over cows (females). As an avid environmentalist, conservationist and wildlife photographer, I wanted to capture the beauty of this "ritual.” As I hunkered down in the bushes by a river, two bulls began to cross. Not more than 15 seconds after entering the water, the younger bull turned in my direction, gave me a quick glance and walked across the river toward the herd. I captured a few photographs of the bull's gaze before he moved on. Shortly after, he managed to win over a young cow from the rear of the herd.

The events that took place to capture this photograph would not be possible without the conservation of wild places and the protection of species who live within them. There is something spectacular, something hard to explain, about the experience of viewing wildlife in their natural habitat. In the end, viewing wildlife in the wild gives one a brief glimpse into his or her own place in the world.

Patrick Wine, Boulder, Coloradobr />

Photo by Chloe Stutz

My cat Louise was originally a stray. When I found her in February, she was being followed by a larger cat who kept picking on her, and I was worried she was going to get hurt. I took her into my car to protect her and soon decided to keep her.

When I first found her, Louise was scrawny, matted and obviously hungry. But now she’s fluffy and gaining pounds every day. Overall, she’s doing great in her new home! She lives with my two other cats and a dog, and all of them love her. She's loving and playful right back. I think she’s much happier than the day I found her!

Chloe Stutz, Highland, California

Photo by Emma Reichl

We rescued our dog Brutus in 2010 after he peed on my dad at the shelter, making it clear that he was the one. Bru grew up with us in Florida where he absolutely loved to go "fishing" in our backyard bay. He would walk around in the shallow water for hours, his head down, occasionally pouncing at an imaginary fish. Bru also loved to visit our neighborhood's private beach, where he could run freely, chasing herons who chose the wrong beach to land on. Besides being fun-loving, Brutus was a smart dog: He knew plenty of words that always got him very excited, like "paddle board," "jeep," "dog park," "ball," and other basic dog words like "walk" and "treat."

Bru moved with us to Arkansas and then to Minnesota. That’s where I took this photo. In August 2016, Brutus and I went to the Mississippi River for a walk. We didn’t know it at the time, but he was just a few months away from being diagnosed with cancer. Even though he was sick, he never let his cancer control him. Brutus' big, genuine smile conveys his personality perfectly. He never stopped smiling, and he definitely never let his cancer get in the way of going on a walk. This photo captures the pure happiness he was filled with and the smile that lit up any room.

We found out he had cancer in November, and he passed away a couple months later, in January. I know he is back in Florida “fishing,” and it makes me so happy to think of him back in the place that made him the happiest.

Emma Reichl, St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Do you have an inspiring photo of a favorite pet, rescued farm animal or wild animal? Please share it!

 

Submit your photo to us for possible publication in All Animals or on our website, along with an explanation of 250 words or fewer about why it's meaningful to you.

Submitted photos should be at least 300 dpi at a size of 8" by 10" and at least 2MB. (You may also send hard copy submissions to All Animals—Your Best Shot, The HSUS, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037. Hard copies cannot be returned.)

Questions? Email allanimals@humanesociety.org »


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