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Lab's 30 Mile Journey Sends Her From Rags to Riches

Lady and her view from the jet! Photo courtesy of Chet Ragsdale.

This story starts in 2012, when the owner of a Black Lab named "Lady," also called "Ma Kettle," passed away, leaving the elderly dog headed to a shelter in Sedan, KS.

Lady was soon adopted and enjoyed a happy year and a half with her new family. But changes in the house became difficult for Lady to adjust to; Lady didn't get along well with the family's small dogs, and in particular, a new puppy. The family returned Lady to the shelter, where she was adopted again by a woman from Independence, KS.

Lady had other plans, though. She escaped from her new home and made the 30 mile journey from Independence back to Sedan to be with the family that had given her up. The Sedan family found themselves bringing Lady back to the shelter, while the woman from Independence also decided she wouldn’t be a good fit. Lady was up for adoption again.

Her journey and return to the shelter inspired her story to be shared by nearly 7,000 people on Facebook, and was picked up by an online news source, sending it viral.

The simple act of sharing her story changed Lady's fate of living out the rest of her life in a shelter to a much happier ending. Dozens of requests for Lady came in, but ultimately the shelter decided to allow her to be adopted by a woman from Florida named Helen Rich, an heiress to the Wrigley Gum Company and the owner of a 120-acre animal sanctuary and farm in Odessa, FL.

Not long after, Lady found herself on a private jet, flying from Independence, KS to Tampa, FL with two of Rich's assistants and then on her way to her new home in the woman's 11,000-square foot, three story house.