Hatch and Taylor Graham
02/05/2014 08:46AM ● Published by Style
Photography by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
The Grahams met in 1969,
when Taylor—an aspiring poet with a passion for the outdoors—enrolled in an adult forestry class that Hatch—a Korean War veteran working for the forest service and teaching vocational classes in his spare time—happened to be instructing.
Forty-one years later, the couple is still married, and they attribute their success to a mutual love of poetry, the outdoors, and—in particular—German shepherds. In 1975, when Hatch’s forestry service duties took him to Alaska, the couple adopted their first (of many) German shepherd puppies. They soon became involved in training programs for avalanche and mountain rescue missions. Over the years, the couple increasingly volunteered their time—and their dogs—for rescue missions across the U.S., going as far as Mexico City after the disastrous earthquake of 1985.
Although they’re now retired and living in the Placerville region, Taylor and Hatch still volunteer their time to train rescue dogs, and it’s easy to see why: Both of them remember all of the successful rescues—the times when the dogs found people lost in the woods or buried under rubble. They also remember the importance of finding the people they couldn’t save, and giving closure to victims’ families. These days, Taylor is an accomplished poet, often writing ones that speak to her love and admiration for dogs. “It’s humbling being around dogs,” she says. “They know more than we give them credit for.”
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