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Festival to celebrate pets

Lehman said he concentrates on the "saves" he makes to mask the difficult times. One of his proudest moments, he said, was when he brought a dog back to life.

"I found a dog back in February of 2002 during rush hour traffic. It was very cold and dark and the dog was clinically dead in the road; it was expireed, wasn't breathinng, but I pumped its chest and massaged it and of a sudden I saw steam coming out of its nose and it tried to wag its tail. That dog is still around today," said Lehman. "Things like that make my job worthwhile. Everytime I save a dog or take it out of harms way, I am happy."

Lehman doesn't always save canines all by himself. Sometimes, he gets a little help from his own dog, Sunny, a 4-year-old Springer Spaniel that goes on patrols with him.

"I do foot patrols in dog parks and Sunny knows all the dogs," said Lehman, who said Sunny has about five saves himself. "A lot of dogs won't come to you and sometimes won't even go to the owner; but they do come to other dogs. I've had dogs nobody could get near, run rght up to my dog and then I can put a leash on it."

The Great American Pet Festival might be all about the pets, but the proceeds will benefit the church's missionary work, area shelters and rescue groups.

Jay Dunkleberger leads a team of church volunteers who are part of a national and international program within the Methodist Church that does missionary work around the world. Recently, teams from the Shen church have offered a helping hand in Haiti, Cuba, Ireland, Nicaragua, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and right in their own backyard, rebuilding after fires or floods.

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