Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Feel-Good Story

If you can read this story and not get teary-eyed then you have no heart.
It started in June, when Kathy and Jerry Armstrong of San Antonio made a trip to Red River, New Mexico. While there, Bobo — a black dog with a white star on his chest — slipped his collar and wandered off. When he didn’t return, they feared he had become lost and couldn’t find his way back to the cabin. They searched for days but finally had to leave without him.

In November, Bill Ewing was helping a neighbor install kitchen cabinets in Eagle Nest, about 20 miles from Red River, on the other side of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Glancing out the window, he was startled to see a dog, just skin and bones. He called his wife, Stacie, who ran over to help bring the animal in.

“He was nothing but a shadow of a dog,” Stacie Ewing said in a phone interview last week.

The dog was wary of the humans. She offered him dog food. Whining, the dog ate from her hand but snapped at her when she tried to get a hold on him. He ran off.

Eagle Nest is a small town, population 290. Ewing took to her Facebook page to alert her neighbors, asking them to keep an eye out for the obviously needy animal. Soon the entire village was looking for him. For a couple of weeks, there were sporadic sightings. Resident Jamie McCaslin said she had fed the dog in July when she was visiting Bobcat Pass, some 9,900 feet up the mountainside. Eagle Nest is at 8,300 feet.

Then the sighting stopped. The Ewings feared coyotes had gotten him; they knew of a friend whose pet went missing and the only remains found were a collar and tuft of hair. With increasing snowfall and single-digit temperatures, Ewing and her husband redoubled their efforts to find the dog.

Then came the call from a friend who said he had just seen the dog on the end of town Friday after Thanksgiving. Ewing headed out, driving through snow-covered streets. She spotted him and stopped. This time, he didn’t recoil. Weeping, she wrapped an arm around his chest, scooped him up and carried him a half a mile to her house.

“He was coming with me whether he liked it or not,” she said.

The dog they started calling Buddy appeared domesticated to the Ewings, so when they took him to the vet, they asked about the possibility of a microchip, which led them to the Armstrongs in San Antonio.

Photo sent to Kathy and Jerry Armstrong by Stacie Ewing, who found their dog, Bobo, 20 miles from Red River, New Mexico, where he was separated from the Armstrongs while on vacation. Ewing and her friend, Laura Bowers, drove Bobo to San Antonio to be reunited with the Armstrongs on December 7.
The Monday after Thanksgiving, Stacie Ewing called Kathy Armstrong and told her the good news. Stunned, Armstrong answered,“What did you say?”

Jerry Armstrong, who has terminal cancer and is in a hospital bed in his home, immediately told his wife, “Gas up the car. We’re gonna go get him.”

That wasn’t feasible, Kathy Armstrong knew. But the good Samaritans who had cared enough for Bobo to save him weren’t done yet. Stacie said she and her friend, Laura Bowers, would take Bobo home.

They made the 12-hour trip to San Antonio by truck. The town collected $250 to help pay for gas, and local restaurant Calamity Jane’s donated food for the trip.

About 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Stacie and her friend walked Bobo into his San Antonio home. He promptly slathered Kathy’s face with his tongue, then went to Jerry. Lacking strength, Bobo needed help getting up on the bed, but soon he was licking Jerry’s face and then curled up beside him.

Stacie Ewing watches as Bobo the Dog greets Jerry Armstrong as his wife, Kathy, hugs Ewing's friend Laura Bowers. Ewing and Bowers, residents of Eagle Nest, New Mexico, drove Bobo to San Antonio where he was reunited with the Armstrongs.
“To experience love from total strangers, you have to know that there’s still good left in the world,” Kathy Armstrong said,. “These women are an expression of God’s love for mankind.”

Bobo is still weak; his back legs are nearly withered and tremble when he sits on his haunches. But he’s gaining weight and strength every day.

Meanwhile, the residents of Eagle Nest are eagerly awaiting to hear from Stacie and Laura when they get back home to New Mexico, probably on Tuesday.

“Everyone in Eagle Nest is dying to know the end of the story,” Stacie said.”They want to know that Bobo made it home.”
What a great story. We spend so much time wallowing in the gloom-and-doom dominating the news these days that it is refreshing - not to mention uplifting - to be reminded that there are still good people out there who will sacrifice to help others.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if this holiday season we all emulated the good people of Eagle Nest, New Mexico...


Bag Blog said...

Red River is my old stompin' grounds - lots of good people there. I'm surprised that the dog made it. Coyotes are a problem, but bears and mountain lions are a bigger problem. It is a good story all around.

Randy said...

thanks for this one

Old NFO said...

That is great, and it sure is dusty in here...

CenTexTim said...

BB - Yes, it is a good story. And yes, the people in and around Red River are good folks.

Randy - Glad you enjoyed it. It is a feel-good story, isn't it.

NFO - Yeah, I know. It's dusty here too...