Johnna Hale, one of 59 victims profiled in the Kansas City Star Saturday, was prepared when the tornadoes struck on May 22. She’d phoned her daughter, stocked up on water and taken her border collie mix, Star, into the bathroom.
They were both in the tub when Star darted out of the bathroom, and out of the house.
Hale ran after her.
Apparently she caught Star and ran into a nearby building for shelter, where her daughter would hear from her, by cell phone, one last time.
She was found nine days later in the rubble of the building, with Star in her arms.
Daughter Miranda Hale told the newspaper that her mother was devoted to animals.
Things were looking up for Johnna Hale, her daughter said. She’d recently received a promotion at work. She’d redecorated her apartment, and seemed happy as her 50th birthday approached (June 15). She’d planned to treat herself to an expensive haircut, and she’d just bought Star a gate to keep her confined on the patio.
“My mom loved animals. She grew up on horses, we always had a cat or a dog around,” Hale told the newspaper. “We always joked about how our animals were better fed than we were. She had a border collie mix named Star, she was about 6-8 years old. I remember when she got her as a puppy and was really excited, she had adopted an older dog that just passed away, and was feeling sad from that.
“Star always slept with Mom, even if I went to visit, she had a full sized bed that the three of us, plus a cat, tried to fit on.
“When they had finally found my mom, they said that Star was in her arms.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, border collie, chasing, disasters, dog, dogs, fatalities, johnna hale, joplin, kansas city star, missouri, mix, pets, profiles, rescuing, saving, star, tornadoes, victim
Exactly three years ago, Joplin residents helped raise about $2,500 to have a pacemaker installed in Molly Brown, a chocolate Lab diagnosed with a heart blockage.
The surgery led to a full recovery, and allowed Molly to continue her career as a search and rescue dog.
In recent weeks Molly and her owners, Allen and Alicia Brown, have been assisting in the search-and-rescue efforts in the aftermath of a tornado that devastated neighborhoods not far from their home.
After helping injured residents, Allen, a paramedic, Alicia, a nurse, and 9-year-old Molly spent the next eight days helping search crews recover 12 bodies, according to the Columbia Tribune.
Alicia also has been taking the dog to visit local children, as therapy.
“The community has been really good to her,” Alicia said.
“It’s always great to be able to help anyone’s pet, but in particular a dog like Molly who’s both a pet and a working dog who helps other people is incredibly fulfilling,” said Deborah Fine, one of theUniversity of Missouri veterinarians who performed Molly’s surgery.
The animal shelter in Joplin has rescued 817 animals since the storm, the Tribune reported, and so far 215 have been claimed by owners.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alicia brown, allen brown, animals, disaster, dog, dogs, joplin, karma, missouri, molly brown, pacemaker, pets, rescue, search, surgery, tornado, tornadoes, university of missouri, veterinarian, veterinary
Normally — being cynical and wary of being manipulated — we carefully scrutinize anything that falls into the category of “inspirational.”
Normally, we sidestep the sappy.
Normally, what inspiration we do draw is from dogs.
But every once in a while, humans come through.
This story is two years old, and I’m surprised it hasn’t become a TV movie yet. It’s about a high school football game between Grapevine Faith Christian School and Gainesville State School, which is located within a prison facility for juvenile offenders.
Gainesville State School hadn’t had a win yet that season, and — security being a concern – has never had a home game. As a result of playing only road games, its team — in addition to having only 14 members, shabby equipment, armed escorts with handcuffs at the ready and little hope of winning, on or off the field – had never had any fans to cheer them on.
In the season of 2009, Grapevine Faith coach Kris Hogan showed some — and in the other team.
He sent out an email asking students, faculty, parents and other supporters of Grapevine to root for the team that returns to a maximum-security prison after their games, the Gainesville Tornadoes.
“Here’s the message I want you to send:” Hogan wrote. “You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth.”
The Tornadoes, being cheered on by the opposing teams fans and cheerleaders, didn’t win (that would have been sappy), but — once they got over being stunned — they played their best game of the season.
Then they celebrated, showering their coach with squirt bottles, even though they lost.
ESPN columnist Rick Reilly wrote a fine piece about it as well back then, and it recounts how, as the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.
Gainesville coach Mark Williams, before his team departed, told Hogan, “You’ll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You’ll never, ever know.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: cheering, christian school, christianity, coach, faith, football, gainesville state school, gainesville tornadoes, grapevine faith, high school football, home team, hope, humans, inspiration, inspirational, juvenile, kris hogan, losing, offenders, prison, report, texas, tornadoes, video, visiting team, winning
First, he was swept away by the April 27 tornadoes when they passed through North Smithfield.
He survived, but with two broken legs, and managed to find his way back, using his two good legs to drag himself home, or to what was left of it. But by then, his family, who’d been searching for him and had all but given up, wasn’t there.
When they showed up the next week to sift through the debris, they found Mason waiting for them on the front porch. But the tornadoes had left their life in such disarray they didn’t feel they could care for him, and brought him to a shelter.
At the Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control Shelter, he was diagnosed with two fractures, according to WBRC.
Vets at the Vulcan Park Animal Clinic offered to lend a hand.
Last week vets performed surgery, using plates and pins to mend the legs and getting Mason started on what’s expected to be a long road to recovery.
The animal shelter was prepared to start seeking a new home for Mason, but now comes word — according to the clinic’s website — that his family, still in the process of rebuilding their lives, is ready to take him back.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animals, birmingham, broken, crawled, disasters, dog, dogs, dragged, home, legs, mason, north smithfield, pets, rescue, shelter, tornado dog, tornadoes, vulcan park animal clinic