Dear Readers,
      First I would like to apologize for the 15 day delay in getting May’s issue out. For many college students, like myself, the month of March finds us with our nose so far in the books we come out with fine print written all over our face. Needless to say, between semester finals, and other prior commitments I was not able to get the issue out in time. Don’t loose hope however, because I refuse to let this Newsletter die like so many that came before it.

Newsletter Becomes Bi-Monthly
      That in itself poses a problem. Many of our writers have prior commitments, which prevent them from getting stories in on time. Last semester my studies suffered due to my involvement with the paper. In response to this, and lack of writers able to meet deadlines, I have decided to change the news letter to bi-monthly. Which means that each January, March, May, July, September, and November - there will be an issue published. HOWEVER the news letter may not be limited to only those months. For Special events, like the VHR Block Party (August 1-7), Halloween (October), and Christmas (December), I may publish additional news letters between the assigned months.

Staff Rule Changes
      This brings me to my next order of business. While we are always accepting Freelance writers, they will no longer have their name on the front page under Newsletter staff. For the sake of appearance we wish to have a consistent team, which now means since we are a bi-monthly newsletter, team members are required to submit at least one article every issue. This is no different then the previous requirement, writers are still given the same amount of time, but there is no longer a grace window between issues. To be a staff member, writers must show that they are willing to meet deadlines, and must submit one published article for two consistent issues before being added to the list of staff.

Welcome New Editor
      We have had some changes in staff, due to unforseen extenuating circumstances that I would like to address. Alabama, our previous Editor and Chief has officially retired from the newsletter. This means that all edited drafts, suggestions, comments, and questions should be directed to me via VHR Forum, VP Forum, SBF Forum, or Email through the Newsletter. I would also like to take this moment to welcome Kholran to the team. A long time Animal Welfare columnist, she has stepped up to bat as our new Editor. Though I don’t think I’ve told her yet :). Consider yourself informed!

Future Expectations
      I am also striving to make this newsletter more well rounded. The challenge is how do we do that when we cater to a number of Orbis run games. Unfortunately I’m not in a position to be able to please everyone, although I would love to. As a result some games, like Legendera, and VHR 3D have to be set aside until I find a suitable columnist. As designer of the newsletter, I try to keep in mind the different countries we all hail from, or the different reasons we may have our animals. The time of the year also plays a big roll in how I shape that months stories. I wish to keep the newsletter fun and upbeat for you, but I also want my readers to be able to learn something new, different, and even more exciting.

Open Forum
      I would like to welcome our readers to critique, comment, or even add to columns we have done in any of the issues. Have you ever opened a magazine, and there is a little Editors Corner with comments or additions to previous articles? I would like to see what readers have to say, since opinion often varies.
      So aside from my occasional lapse of time management, I hope you readers will find each issue more interesting then the next. If you have anything you wish to contribute, I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank You,


JNFerrigno - Cheif
Kholran - Editor/Writer
Dragon - Writer

Letter from the Editor....................................1
Life Long Friends Success Stories.......................1
Creative Writing Contest.................................1
VP Player Meeting.........................................1
April Contest Results.....................................2
March Contest Results...................................2
Clayton the Clone........................................2
The Kentucky Derby.....................................2
The 135 Kentucky Oaks..................................2
A Word from the Hobbits................................2
Many Faces of Dog Racing..............................2
Derby Day: from the Couch of Swar...................3
The Azawakh Hound......................................3
Question of the Month...................................3
What you need to know Before Adopting a Dog.....3
Herald-Mage Trilogy Book Review.......................3

      Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions (aka Lago Vista PAWS) is unique in the world of no-kill shelters because we focus on saving the lives of stray and abandoned dogs and cats, rather than taking owner surrenders. For the past 12 years, we have accepted the most challenging of rescue missions, and we have been successful with very little in the way of resources.
      Through our small shelter, thousands of animals have found loving, forever homes. Others have found permanent safe haven. Many of the animals that come to us are sick or injured. I would like you to "meet" some of the many animals Lifelong Friends has saved.

      “Here's an update on Magnum, a graduate from Lifelong Friends who became an arson dog for a fire department. Notice that Magnum is wearing a badge. Mags had his first investigation on Fri @ 230am, vehicle fire extended into the garage. 5 alerts, 3 exterior on pickup and 2 interior of pickup. He worked like he had been doing this for years. He likes all of the lights and the fire guys around.” - Matthew (Fire Prevention Specialist/Arson Investigator)

      “I'm thrilled to announce that Granite has a loving, forever home. He has been away on a sleepover. It took him a little while to adjust to a home environment, but he is doing well. As some of you might recall, Granite had a tough time adjusting to life at the shelter. I spent a lot of time working with him to make him feel safe and loved. He is a completely different cat than when he first arrived. If he had gone to any other shelter, he would have been euthanized. Not only because he was terrified and acting out, but because he is a special needs cat with feline AIDS. He has been very healthy with us, and there is no reason why he can't live a long and healthy life.” - Janet

      Barney, Murphy, and Twix were treated and have fully recovered from Parvo. All three have been adopted.
      In the very first issue (September 2008), we shared the story about Coral the Boxer who needed emergency medical treatment due to birthing complications. Well it’s been almost 10 months now and you’ve been long overdue for an update!

      “We thought we would send y'all an update on how Coral is doing in her new home. She has been adjusting surprisingly well. We couldn't have hoped for a better homecoming week. She has had no accidents in the house and no stomach upset. From the first day, she has let us know when she needed to go to the bathroom. She has quickly learned what “outside” means and where the door is that gets her there. We are slowly working on her basic obedience (Sit, Stay and Down). She really loves the outside. She gets walked twice a day and is quickly adjusting to her new neighborhood. She suffers very little from separation anxiety and waits for us to come home either in her crate or on the living room dog bed where she can see all three doors into the house. She had a little problem with getting used to the linoleum in the kitchen. But a runway of bathroom carpets helped her overcome that fear and she now walks through the kitchen like she owns the place. We decided to change her name to Penelope Pitstop (Penny for short). It comes from an old 1960's cartoon called Wacky Races. She loves her new backyard and often gets the zips when she's out there. She loves to run laps and figure eights at full speed until her big old tongue is just hanging out of her face. We tried to capture some of that on video but, just like car racing, there's nothing like seeing it live and in-person. This weekend she has really started to come out of her shell more and more. She's exploring more and more and found her way up on the bed with us Saturday morning. She also discovered the office and how tasty an

The Animal Rescue Site
      Help Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions win the 2009 Shelter Challenge Award. Click on the button above to help rescued animals, and then <b>vote in The Animal Rescue Site $100,000 Shelter+ Challenge</b>. Both of these actions are absolutely free! You can vote once a day, every day, from April 13 through July 26,2009. Every time you vote, or tell a friend to vote, you are making a huge difference for us.
      Eligible organizations with the most votes could receive a weekly prize and/or one of the other grants below! More than 60 grants will be awarded for a total of $100,000 going to eligible Petfinder.com members by the end of July 2009.
      Weekly winners will be announced throughout the contest. Fifteen weekly prizes of $1,000 will be awarded to eligible Petfinder.com organizations.
      Winners of the following will be announced on July 29, 2009. Prizes will go to the eligible Petfinder.com organization with the highest accumulative votes for the duration of the Challenge as specified in the rules.

      Grand Prize: One $20,000 grant!
      Second Prize: One $5,000 grant!
      Third Prize: One $3,000 grant!
      Honorable Mentions: Two $1,500 grants!
      State Winners*: Fifty-one $1,000 state grants
      (50 U.S. states and Washington DC)
      Canadian Winners*: Two $1,000 grants will be
      US Territories Winner*: One $1,000 grant will
      be awarded.

Vote today!
office chair can be (while I was sitting in it!). But two quick a-a's changed her mind about that and a Nylabone has become her favorite chew toy. She is a very sweet, loving, smart, and eager to please. Thank you for helping us find our new fuzzy family member. We will definitely keep in touch.” - Allison, Rick and Penny
      "Summer came to Lifelong Friends extremely malnourished and had to have an emergency C-section in November 2008. She gave birth to 10 puppies, but she did not have any milk. We bottle fed all of her babies. Sadly, three of the puppies were not strong enough to make it. The other seven (Autumn, June, River, Ike, Willow, Thunder, Sycamore) had to be treated for a skin infection when they were a couple weeks old, but they have all recovered and are doing well. The pups are now 4 months old. All but two of these babies have already found loving homes. Summer will need to be treated for heartworms before she is ready to look for her special someone."
      "Every year, Lifelong Friends takes in orphaned kittens like Rosemary, who came to us when she was just days old. Because this is a very labor-intensive job, most shelters opt to euthanize bottle babies. Rosemary's rescue story has a happy ending. She has been adopted."
      "Lesa was rescued by a volunteer at Lifelong Friends. This kitty had a rope tied around her neck. It was probably placed there when she was a kitten. As she grew, the noose tightened to the point where she could barely swallow. The rope became embedded in her skin and had to be surgically removed. Lesa is waiting for a wonderful adopter, someone who will cherish her and keep her safe for the rest of her life."
      "Leona was rescued from a truck engine in the middle of the night on New Year's Eve, 2008. Lifelong Friends got a call from the Lago Vista Police Department. The dispatcher reported that a stray kitten was stuck in the engine of a resident's vehicle, and it was injured. Two shelter volunteers raced to the scene. After some maneuvering, they were able to get hold of the kitten and pull it out of the engine. They named the kitten Leona as they rushed her to the vet. She was emaciated, weighing less than 2 pounds at 6 months of age. She had a grievous injury to her eye that was severely infected. Thanks to the tender loving care that Leona received, she has made a full recovery. Her eye could not be saved, so the vet removed it. Leona has a pending application for a permanent home with someone she can snuggle with and purr for. As soon as she gets a clean bill of health from the vet, she will go to her forever home."
      These were just a few miracles made possible by your donations of compassion. Please feel free to donate and help us create a better life for another animal in need. Or vote for us every day, and help us qualify for grant money.
Creative Writing Contest
      The Creative Writing Contest we hosted a few months back, was our guinea pig project. It was the first project were we offered pre-paid game credits for. Unfortunately we didn't get the kind of response we were hoping for. I want to thank the few participants for their efforts, any inform everyone else that the contest has been canceled. We do plan on doing other contests in the future, however I do not believe we'll be doing game credits again.

VP Meeting
     There will be a VP player meeting in chat on Tuesday May 19th at 7pm CST (that's 8pm EST and 5pm PST). Nef the game developer, will be there to give VPers updates and answer player questions as well as discuss changes some want in the game. The time is subject to change and will be confirmed in this post.