October 10, 2016
Your best shot
Readers submit their best photos to All Animals magazine
I have been photographing the landscape and wildlife around California’s Channel Island National Park for about 20 years now. I also spend about 100 days a year as a kayak guide and six months lifeguarding there. The five islands in the park are rich with wildlife. San Miguel Island has one of the largest sea lion rookeries in North America. Santa Cruz Island has spotted skunks, peregrine falcons and bald eagles. And during the whale migration in winter and early spring, gray whales hug the islands on their southbound journey and you can hear them spouting from the cliffs.
Three islands have a unique species called the island fox, which is monogamous, catlike and able to climb trees. The subspecies on Santa Cruz Island is the smallest, weighing only 3 to 5 pounds. They’re everywhere on the island, especially in the campground, where they steal food as well as socks and shoes left outside of tents by unwitting campers.
I spotted these two foxes one summer on Santa Cruz. I’d been shooting for about half an hour when they began nuzzling each other. They looked like such a happy couple.
— Chuck Graham, Carpinteria, California
We adopted Stewie about nine years ago. I’ve been an art teacher for about 20 years, and my art club raises money for our local humane society and animal control. We were at the shelter for a project when I saw Stewie. He was just a puppy and had been dropped off along with his siblings and parents. I actually wanted to adopt his dad Stanley because he was so ugly I was sure no one would want him. But someone did adopt Stanley, and we got Stewie.
My mom, dad, uncle and I had all been diagnosed earlier that same year with different types of cancer. We adopted Stewie in the midst of everything to brighten everybody’s mood. My dad always had Labrador retrievers, and when he was sick he would look at Stewie and say, “That’s the ugliest damned dog I’ve ever seen.” I found out later from one of his friends that he would wink at him as he said it.
My mom and I survived our cancers, and Stewie has been my light through it all. He’s sweet but definitely has “little man syndrome” and tries to act all tough sometimes. He sleeps in my bed every night and loves to rest his head in my lap and roll over on his back for belly rubs.
— Christine Woolsey, Boonville, Indiana
Sam is a former farm cat adopted by my parents. He’s one of five cats, two parrots, one parakeet, one cockatiel and two greyhounds. I pet sit for them whenever they go camping and love spending time with the animals. I live in an apartment and can't own any pets, and it’s such a wonderful treat. Everyone keeps me active, and they always bring a smile to my face. The best part is cuddling and playing with them.
I took this photo in 2012, when Sam was 2 years old. He was watching the dogs outside and his face was too funny. He always seems to look right into your soul with those big bug eyes of his.
— Amanda DeNamur, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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.)
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