If you read the Payson Roundup's stories about pets available for adoption from the Payson Humane Society, then you have seen Diane Brown's work. She takes the pet photographs and writes the information about them, hoping a good-hearted Rim Country family will open their home to one or more of the great animals at the shelter.
Brown has volunteered at the PHS shelter since 1998.
She started by walking the dogs, which was followed by her photography work and writing, which she continues today. More recently, she started maintaining two Web sites -- petfinder.com and pets911.com.
Brown has adopted three pets from the shelter -- a dog and two cats.
She said, she would do anything for the animals.
Brown and her husband, Dave Hallock, are winter residents in the Rim Country, spending the warmer part of the year at their home in Eldora, Colo. She is involved in fund-raising in Eldora, helping to get money to buy old mining claims in the hills around the community to create a nature preserve.
Another great love in Brown's life is travel.
She has been to Germany 12 times. Before taking early retirement, she taught German and took small groups of students to Germany, so they could practice the language in "the real world."
"We did our own tours. We took bikes and hiked," she said.
In addition to her dozen trips to Germany, Brown has traveled through Scandinavia, in other German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland, and in the eastern parts of France.
She has been to Greece and visited Yugoslavia while it was still one country and Russia when it was still the U.S.S.R.
Brown also spent five months working on a kibbutz in Israel. She came to Arizona in 1996.
"It's a funny story," she said of the move. "I have always loved Arizona and there was an obituary in our paper at home (in Colorado). The woman died in Strawberry. I didn't know where Strawberry was, so I looked it up on a map and when I saw all the National Forest land around it, I told my husband we had to check it out."
Brown took a vacation with her dog and came to the area. After seeing it, she and her husband decided it was the perfect place to spend winters.
Beyond her love of animals and travel, Brown also dabbles in botany, calling herself an amateur botanist.
"I love the native plants around here," she said.
She has done some transplanting to encourage native landscaping on her property and has worked to discourage non-native plants.
"We don't use water (in our landscaping). We're not here in the summer to water anyway, so it doesn't make sense to try and grow roses or apple trees," she said.
Brown is a self-appointed steward of the forests that brought her and Hallock to the Rim Country. When she is hiking, she picks up trash in the forests and keeps the picnic area clean at East Verde off Highway 87.
Hometown: Eldora, Colo.
Occupation: Retired German teacher
When did you move to Payson and what brought you here? We came here in the fall of 1996 after exploring the area.
What's the biggest risk you've taken recently? I'm not a big risk taker, but I guess it would be taking early retirement at age 50.
Three things you want people to know about you: I'd do anything for animals. I'm hardworking. I don't mind getting my hands dirty.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Languages were my forte. I wanted to work as an interpreter at the U.N.
Book: "On Walden Pond" by Henry David Thoreau
Song: "Born to Run" by Emmylou Harris
Food: Enchiladas or chocolate
Vacation spot: Lake Constance in Germany
Recreational activity: Hiking and cross country skiing
Movie: "French Kiss"