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“OKIE’S STORY” by Ardis Ramsey
  As the sun begins peeking thru my window I yawn & stretch and look around. Yep! It is no dream. As the sea gulls dip to the ocean around the boat I know I am one of the luckiest dogs on earth. Where else could a "senior" cattle dog wake up in her own stateroom bed on a 65 foot steel trawler converted into a 1200 sq. ft. home on the water?

  My name is "Okie" and I am an 11 year old cattle dog from Falls City, Ne. & this is my story. When my family had to move & could not take me or my buddy, Snickers with them, a kind neighbor said she would foster us for the Humane Society until a home could be found. Snickers was adopted but no one seemed interested in me. I guess due to my age & not being "cute". That was ok as my foster care Mom treated me special, took me for walks & gave me lots of love. I even learned to be "nice" to her cats.

  Then one day she told me that some people wanted to adopt me. I had been in foster care for 1 1/2 years and I was kind of nervous about what might lie ahead. She told me about Michelle & Bill and that they live on a big boat that is moored at Michelle’s mom’s house on Bainbridge Island, which is 6 miles off the coast of Seattle. Living on a boat?? I had no idea what a “boat” even was but water I was not to thrilled about.

  The day Michelle & Bill arrived at my house I knew right away that these were some special people & right away my nervousness was gone. They were gentle people & quite impressed with me I might say!! “Senior” dog or not I have a lot to give & they as smart people recognized that.

  It was a long road trip to Seattle but Michelle rode with me in the back of the SUV & talked to me & we even napped together. I was glad when we reached our destination but when I got out I thought this is not the world as Okie knows it. Michelle & Bill were patient & reassuring as I learned about EVERYTHING.

  There was the gang plank leading to the big boat. There was the 600 sq. ft. of outside deck which had a 3 ft. high secure railing so no danger of me slipping off into the water. So much to see & so much to learn but I was definitely up to it (as long as Bill or Michelle was with me). I trusted them & wanted to please them & perhaps impress them a bit too. We cattle dogs are very smart you know.  


  I have been here for a while now & talk about a great life. There are several daily walks on the beach where I can run off leash & even chase squirrels. Haven’t caught any but the chase is the most fun. At first I was shy meeting other island dogs but they were friendly & welcomed me. I usually accompany Bill or Michelle where ever they go or visit Michelle’s mom. My days are very full & I am a happy dog.


When I am tired from my adventures I take a nap on my window seat which was raised so that I could view gulls, ducks, & other boats.  

  I hear my Humans talk about a place called Alaska & that once a year they make the trek there. Hmm, should be interesting as I have never been to an “Alaska” before!


  Well, this is my story up-to-date. Quite a tale for a senior cattle dog from Nebraska. Who would of guessed that fate would of made my older years perhaps the richest of my life? Thanks to all who cared & never gave up on this ole girl. “Okie”


Ceasar's Miracle
by Ardis Ramsey
It was one of those phone calls the Humane Society gets too often.  Two dogs were missing from their home. One was a male black Labrador about 12 years old, with a faded brown collar. While the other was a little 4 month old, male white Labrador pup.  The owners live 1 miles north of Falls City and had searched with no luck. These dogs never left the property. Hope for a safe return was dimishing. 

The Humane Society's advertising had turned up no leads on these dogs whereabouts. A call from Don, the owner, gave us hope when he found the little white pup.  He just happened to be going down the highway when he spotted the little guy in a field near the Muddy River bridge in the Preston area.  The pup was ok, but there was no sign of his beloved dog, Caesar.  Many thoughts crossed Don’s mind—had he been hit by a car?  Was he somewhere hurt or dead?  Further search turned up nothing.

 Marian was on her way to Hiawatha to do some shopping. When she got to Reserve she decided to take the “back way” through Padonia, a way she rarely if ever took.  A few miles south of Reserve she spotted a dog lying in the drainage ditch panting.  “Don’t stop, Marian”  her inner logical voice told her, “you can check on the way back!”.  But instinctively her foot was already pressing the brake pedal.  She backed up & carefully approached the big black Labrador who was making no effort to move. He was just lying there looking sadly at her and panting heavily.  She spoke reassuringly to the Labrador & coaxed him to his feet to see if he was injured.  He walked slowly to her car and awkwardly climbed into the passenger seat.  “Now what do I do?”, Marian thought.  

After driving to the neighboring farms where no one knew the dog then back to Reserve, she took him to the Brown County Animal Clinic in Hiawatha. But they do not accept dogs unless brought to them from the Tribal Police or the local Police.  So “Mr. Lab” was on his way to Marian’s home in Falls City until more options could be explored.

When Marian called me, my heart skipped a beat. Could this by any remote possibility be Don’s missing dog, Caesar?  It was very, very unlikely that this 12 year old dog suffering from arthritis could cover that distance. Maybe he'd had “help”.  Perhaps he had gotten loose and was trying to find his way home.

An immediate call to Don & Mary Ann was made. They happened to be out of town, but as soon as they got back Don was at Marian’s house to see if by some miracle this was his “Caesar”.  The smile on Caesar’s face (yep, this dog could give a big toothy smile) was as big as the smile on Don’s face when they saw each other.  Hugs, pats on the head and rubs were met with joyous tail thumping. Don was indeed grateful to have his “buddy”  again as Caesar got to ride home in the front seat of the truck. No pickup bed this time!
Marian, a life long member & vice president of the Humane Society, went against prodical in how procedures are followed but she followed her heart.  Chances are Caesar would have been “lost” forever had it not been for a lot of “coincidences”.  Or maybe they were not “coincidences". Maybe Caesar had a Guardian Angel who guided Marian down that road, made her glance in the ditch and tugged her heart with compassion to stop.

We know which one we believe!

"Sandy" found herself in the Falls City pound after the death of her owner. She was originally adopted out along with her mother, but things didn't work out and she had to be rehomed a second time. Now known as "Boston", this sweet girl is living in her new home with a young couple who gave her a second chance.

Sandy in the pound.

Boston enjoying her new home.

 Here are some of my favorite pictures of Boston. We have been so happy with her and she seems to be very happy with us. She is truly a member of our family and we just can't imagine what we ever did without her. Thank you so much for bringing her into our lives.
Most sincerely,
Barb Fritts


Boston and family.

Some pet owners will go that extra mile to locate a missing pet. They make phone calls, place ads in area newpapers, put up flyers, talk to people in the area the animal was last seen and even drive long distances to check out a possible sighting.
The following story, written by Ardis Ramsey and Scott Schock, appeared in the March 22, 2005 Falls City Journal. It is about a man and his family who did everything they could to find "Daisy". It is a missing dog story with a happy ending!

   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 volunteer.
   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, Ne.
     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.

Daisy ended up 57 miles from home but traveled approximately 117 total miles!

On Friday morning (March 18, 2005) a joyous reunion between Daisy and Mr. W. took place. Both dog and owner were smiling ear-to-ear. Daisy was joyously barking from the pickup as they headed for home. Thanks to some guardian angels along the way, Daisy is home where she belongs. A story with a happy ending!

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."

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