Idaho – StoryCorps
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Dawn Burke and Don Burke

Burke_PongoandDonThere was a time when Dawn Burke considered rats to be filthy animals. That was until a neighbor introduced her to them as pets. Eventually she brought a rat home from a pet shop and from there her collection of pet rats began to grow.

At StoryCorps, Dawn and her husband, Don, discuss their love of a rodent many others vilify, and the sanctuary they have opened to care for mistreated, sick, or unwanted rats.

Originally aired October 4, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Liza Long and “Michael”

One day after the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, Liza Long wrote a blog post urging people to focus on providing treatment for mentally ill youth. In it, she shared the story of her own son, “Michael” (not his real name), who she says she loves, but “he terrifies me.”

At StoryCorps, Liza and “Michael,” 13, have a conversation about her post, which described an incident with “Michael” weeks earlier in which he pulled a knife on his mother and threatened to kill her and himself after she asked him to return his overdue library books.

Click here to read Liza’s post, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” on The Blue Review.

Originally aired August 2, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition.