In January 2000, my husband spent a weekend with two playful dogs and decided we needed an addition to our family. At the time we had been married for almost three years and did not have any children. He would graduate from college in the spring, so the timing seemed right. We began doing dog research online to find the perfect breed for us.

We determined that a beagle fit us pretty well. Just the right size, submissive, smart and not a yapper. We also decided it would be best for us to start with an adult dog because he/she would be through the chewing stages and also be somewhat house trained.

Online searches led us to Austin Hound Rescue and Laura Putzke's Bolthole Beagles. We immediately fell in love with Winston's picture and, after talking with Laura, decided he was the dog for us.

After being approved for adoption, the next step was actually getting Winston. We live in South Dakota and that is a long way from Texas. We believe that God wants to be involved in even the doggy parts of our lives and had been praying about adopting Winston. Our prayers were answered with some neat circumstances and generous people.

In the end, Laura and her husband brought Winston to Austin where he was housed for a night by another friend to AHR. The next morning that man was up at 5 to bring Winston to the airport. A Texan vice president of my employer at that time was making a trip north for an annual meeting. He had agreed to have Winston loaded as part of his baggage. I met the VP at the airport in South Dakota... and thus began our beagle loving days.

As with any new member of the family, we had some adjustments to make with Winston. We learned all about beagle traits and are still learning about Winston's individual needs and preferences. Sometimes it has been frustrating and challenging, but we wouldn't trade Winston. He is part of our family and we really enjoy what he brings to our home.

Since that time, Paul's job has brought us to Minnesota and back again to South Dakota. We are now happily settled in a permanent residence and have added a baby to our ranks. With all the changes we have experienced in the last 18 months, we have had to be sensitive and patient with Winston and he has repaid us by being equally patient and flexible.

Our experience with AHR was great. The time we spent talking to Laura about beagle ownership was very helpful and put our minds at rest from the beginning. We have been in contact with her ever since and occasionally ask her advice on training issues. The process of adopting a dog is taken very seriously at AHR. The application process and time that takes allows the new owners to really understand the investment a dog can be. AHR should be proud of its efforts to make sure every dog gets to a good home.

We had a great experience and will refer other people to AHR.

Thank you,

Paul, Sandy, Abigail and Winston Peterson