By Jane Parnell
Several months before having my right knee replaced, I adopted a puppy, my first ever. I purchased her from a rescue organization that specializes in stray dogs on the Navajo Reservation. She was seven weeks old. They said she was a husky-German shepherd like my previous dog, a stray I rescued myself on a hike in the mountains. I named my husky-shep Beast in hopes of transforming him into a beauty. Once he was neutered and trained, he turned out to be the best dog I ever had. He accompanied me on more than 100 peak-bagging ventures, and as the therapy dog for my department at the university where I used to teach, he developed a loyal following of students in need of unconditional love.