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The best Christmas gifts are not iPads, expensive jewelry or the latest winter fashions.

The best Christmas gifts are those we take for granted but to another they mean the world.

I heard a heart-warming Christmas story this week in the Sedona Red Rock News newsroom.

Our copy editor, Constance Israel, became one little puppy’s Christmas angel.

While making her annual winter trek to Bryce Canyon National Park over the weekend, Israel stopped at a dump site in the far reaches of Northern Arizona where she never fails to find homeless animals.

A parking lot full of Dumpsters where people throw out their trash also seems to be where they leave unwanted dogs and cats.

Israel stops here every year armed with food and water to leave for the neglected animals.

This year, knowing she couldn’t leave another young creature behind with what could be one of its last meals, she brought a pet carrier.

On the way home, that pet carrier housed a traveler, a furry puppy now known as Chester.

Rescuing Chester from the Dumpster marked only the beginning of the battle for this young pup.

Wounds as deep as his neck muscles indicate he may have been shot by a gun or an arrow, and the next two weeks will determine Chester’s fate.

News of Chester’s fight spread quickly and donations are pouring in to Golden Bone Rescue, the organization sponsoring Chester’s medical procedures.

Chester’s uncertain fate at the Dumpsters quickly became a Christmas miracle when Israel opened her car door and her home to a little puppy in need.

Golden Bone has already received applications from other caring souls who want to become Chester’s family.

Chester received the best Christmas gift on Sunday, Dec. 18, a week before Christmas. He received a second chance at life, and a good life at that.

Remember all the gifts you’ve received this year, not just those wrapped under the tree.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays.


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