Photo By Ellie E Bogue / MPW.57

For the past 12 years Marshall resident Carolyn Root has been collecting and caring for stray dogs. Carolyn, 56, keeps nine at her home and 50 at a three acre place in the country.

"Sometimes I like dogs more than people, they always love you and they would never stab you in the back." Her husband Ronnie works full-time at ConAgra Frozen Food as a forklift mechanic. Carolyn works 25 hours a week as a custodian at First United Methodist Church. Ronnie's paycheck pays the bills and puts food on their table. Carolyn's paycheck goes to dog food and supplies to take care of her dogs. "I could buy a Jaguar with all the money I've spent on dog food, but you can't drive a Jaguar on a gravel road."

Their days are long. Ronnie rises at 4 am, Carolyn must be to work by 7 am. After working until noon Carolyn goes home to rest. Root, a 56 year-old diabetic, is recovering from a recent knee surgery. Taking care of the dogs, at the best of times is hard, dirty work. With a sore unsteady knee it is twice as difficult and Ronnie shoulders much of the work load. Everyday, 365 days a year, late afternoon will find them feeding and caring for their country dogs. The process takes a couple of hours; chores finished they head home. Exhausted, they feed their home dogs and head for bed. Carolyn says, " It's our social life, we enjoy it we absolutely enjoy it".