Mr. L. W. describes last Friday's reunion
in Falls City as "unbelievable." And he's right. Because if events hadn't played out just as they did, Mr. L.W.'s fears of
losing his best friend would most likely have been realized.
That best friend is "Daisy," Mr. L.W.'s Golden
Retriever, a friendly 7-year-old that Mr. W. has had since she was just a puppy. Her friendly nature is no doubt what triggered
the series of events that culminated with the reunion between Mr. W. and Daisy at the home of a Richardson County Humane Society
It was the evening of March 11th when Mr. W. discovered
that Daisy, who likes to roam during the day, was missing. She didn't return home to sleep in her kennel. Some preliminary
detective work revealed that neighbors had seen a man with a backpack walking in the area the preceding day. More evidence
began to be gathered. A bridge crew working in the area was hauling dirt to the work site when they saw a man with a backpack
and a yellow dog walking westward.
"She's such a friendly dog," Mr. W. said. "She
probably saw the transient and went to visit him, then followed him." It's likely the transient, who has not been identified,
used Daisy as a warm companion as he slept under the bridge that night.
Mr. W. continued to try to track the
transient and Daisy, hearing from a work crew that they had seen the two south of Maitland, Mo. Mr. W. got in his truck and
drove to the area, stopping along the way to "talk to neighbors." He also went to Mound City, but was unable to get any information
that would help him in his search.
Flyers were printed and ads were placed
in the area newspapers, including the Mound City News. Missouri authorities were contacted. Eventually, a lead surfaced.
The transient and Daisy had been seen in the Mound City area. Mr W.'s son-in-law, who is familiar with that area, began to
search for the missing Golden Retriever, but found nothing.
Then came information from Mound City
authorities, who said they had picked up a transient and a dog that fit Daisy's description and transported the two to Rulo,
So the search had taken a bit of a
twist, moving from Missouri, across the river to Nebraska. Several Rulo residents said the transient with a dog had spent
some time there, but had in the meantime, left the area. However, a key bit of information was discovered in Rulo. Some Rulo
folks told Mr. W's daughter and son-in-law that they had heard on the scanner that a "dog had been picked up" by authorities
in the area of Indian Cave State Park.
Mr. W, who had lost hope of ever seeing
his pal Daisy again, began to allow a little optimism into his outlook.
Enter Richardson County Sheriff's Deputy
Joe Rehrs and the county Humane Society. On March 13, the Humane Society was contacted by the Sheriff's office about
caring for a Golden Retriever that had been picked up at the Indian Cave boat dock. The dog had been traveling with
a young transient, who, when approached by Deputy Rehrs, hightailed it up the river bank.
Deputy Rehrs whistled to the dog, figuring
the man would come back for it. But the transient continued to run and the dog, weary from its travels and missing Mr. W.,
jumped into Rehr's patrol unit.
The Sheriff's office contacted
the Humane Society and arrangements were made to release the dog to the Humane Society, which took the dog to Animal Health
for an evaluation, shots and surgery on an abscess on her neck.
RCHS began to search the area
newspapers and was about to call the Mound City News when they received a call from Mr. W's son-in-law, who hadn't given up
the search and was at the Courthouse in Falls City. He had contacted the Sheriff's office to try to confirm that Daisy may
have been found.
It took little time for the identification
to take place. The dog that had been more than happy to jump into Deputy Rehr's patrol unit, was indeed, Daisy.