Lady is a black Labrador Retriever getting on in years, with a graying muzzle her age shows, but when you see her walking around with that dangerous tail wagging and that doggy grin she still shows the Peter Pan complex that the breed is famous for — they never really grow up, remaining puppies all their life. But for the last two years Lady, who was previously known as Ma Kettle, has not had a particularly good life.
Her original owner died in 2012 and when no one in the family wanted to take her in she was sent to a shelter in Sedan, Kansas — eventually being adopted by a family who felt that she was too rough with their puppy. They returned Lady to the shelter saying that they could not keep her.
Again, Lady was adopted by a woman from Independence, Kansas, 30 miles from Sedan, but Lady had developed an attachment to the first family who adopted her and so, despite her arthritic joints, she made the trek back to their home 30 miles away.
They once again returned her to the shelter which then contacted the woman whose home she had run away from, but she too had decided that she no longer wanted the dog.
Kelsey Lloyd, a worker at the shelter said that she was an amazing dog.
“Super dog. Gentle, calm dog,” he said. “If I had to pick a dog, this would have been the dog I would take.”
Things looked bleak for Lady, no one wanted this lovable beast. Enter Cathy Barclay Powell who posted Lady’s story on Facebook imploring someone to adopt this aging dog writing in her post:
“The senior lab walked nearly 30 miles to come home. Is there anyone out there who can give this girl a home? She may not have many years left. She is spayed, house broken, leash trained, mellow, having problems walking (so her travels back to Sedan amazed me).”
The post was shared 7,000 times, going viral after the Examiner.com picked the story up.
Now Lady is assured of living out the rest of her days in the lap of luxury. When Wrigley Gum heiress Helen Rich Rosburg learned of Lady’s plight, she sent her assistant on a private jet to Sedan to collect Lady and bring her back to Rosburg’s Florida estate, a 120 acre farm where she houses 300 rescue animals including rabbits, pigs, and goats. She has a staff of 15 who care for the animals and she even has an on site home for a trainer who works with dogs who have behavioral issues.
She eventually adopts some of the animals out, including some that have been trained as service animals.
Chet Ragsdale, the assistant sent to rescue Lady said that she will “think that she has gone to heaven.”
He said that it is a pleasure to work for Rosburg who has done a lot of good things, not just for the animals but for the community. She has certainly done a lot for one old Labrador Retriever who no one seemed to want.