Six month Atmore anniversary

Published 7:22 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
In last week’s Lifestyles section, I wrote about Kirby’s Rescue Haven, an animal shelter for abandoned and abused animals.
To me, the work they do there is an amazing sacrifice. These two women have completely unselfishly taken in these animals to care for them and protect them, giving up what some would see as a typical life to be there for these animals.
Of course for them the animals are just part of their family that they love. The passion they feel about their own animals and just those in general is obvious and infectious when you are speaking to them.
Not only do these women know every single one of the animals’ names, but they know their personalities.
It’s pretty easy for me to get personally involved with stories, and I’ve found myself crying right along with people and this was no different.
Tears may not have actually fallen, but my heart broke hearing the stories of how most of the animals came to the haven. Some were tossed out on the side of the road perfectly healthy and left to fend for themselves and others were beaten and left to die.
It was unnerving to walk into a yard full of dogs, but at no time were the dogs aggressive or was I uncomfortable.
There was one dog that my heart especially melted for. Her name was Stacey and she had just recently been dropped off and had mats all over her fur.
Then this past week a coworker called me to come outside and there was Kristi and Crystal with Stacey fresh from the vet, where she had been groomed and shaved. She bounced around like she was the happiest dog in the world, and it really hit home what good they are doing for these animals. As a reminder, their Web site is
I’ve just recently had my six month anniversary of living in Atmore, and it still seems like just about every other day someone asks me how I am liking it.
I’ll be honest and say when I first got here, nothing against Atmore, but I just had to grin and nod and say it was great when asked the same question.
Now though, I can honestly say I love living in Atmore. Of course, not seeing my friends and family is hard, but I’m really relishing being the most independent I’ve ever been and taking care of myself. Plus, I’m really beginning to feel like part of the community, and getting to know more and more people.
This was especially nice Monday night when I actually knew who everyone was that spoke to me at the Relay for Life Celebrity Waiter event. Plus, it didn’t hurt when my one of my new friends, Walt Butler, secured me a steak cooked by one of the nation’s top barbecue teams.
The steak was of course delicious, and now it has me wishing for summer, but until then I’ll just be happy with knowing I’m just an hour from the beach.
MaryClaire Foster is news editor for the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at (251) 368-2123 or via email at

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