Several hearts were broken when they learned Lady’s story.
She is the Labrador who was given up by her original family to be replaced by a new pup. She was later adopted by a new family but she ran away and walked 30 miles back to her original family’s home.
Unfortunately, they still didn’t want her and she was again brought to the shelter.
Helen Rich, heiress to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune, read about Lady’s story and sent her assistant to adopt Lady. They boarded a private jet to go to Lady’s new 11,000 square foot home with a big and loving family to welcome her.
Two months later, Lady is now familiar and has bonded with her new pack and family.
“It’s just like I suspected,” Rich said. “She was born to be my dog. It just took a while for us to get together. This is her pack. They were like, ‘What took you so long? … Where have you been?’”
Lady’s story reached Rich in late July, when Rich was in Hawaii. She saw a Facebook story about Lady. The senior Lab’s determination touched Rich’s heart.
Rich has survived breast cancer twice. She’s also survived a stroke. She even had her right knee crushed in a car crash. She’s been through a divorce.
“(People) think I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” Rich said. “Well, I wasn’t. My life has been very, very tough.”
She has the tattoos to remind her of it. Every time she overcomes a challenge in her life, she gets a tattoo on her left arm to celebrate her strength.
One says, “Endure.”
Another reads, “Don’t just survive it — SING!”
While another states, “Tempered by fire I will not bend, I will not break.”
According to Rich, her initial attraction to Lady was the dog’s perseverance in walking 30 miles.
“Just keep on going,” Rich said. “Put your head down and bull your way through. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That’s how you get through the tough stuff.”
Rich has her indoor pets. Aside from them, she also has more than 300 animals on her property. She takes care of horses, pigs, cattle and chickens. She also grows her own vegetables and herbs.
“I’m a self-sustaining farm,” Rich said. “I raise everything I eat.”
She created the non-profit organization, On the Wings of Angels Rescue, two years ago. The nonprofit takes blacklisted dog breeds such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepherds and gives them new homes. She rehabilitates the dogs, trains them and has them adopted.
Many people take adopting a puppy too lightly, she said.
Whena dog becomes a headache, or when a new dog comes home, the old dog is often ignored, or leftat a shelter, Rich said. Dog owners need to realize that adopting any animal means taking responsibility for the life of the animal.
“These are living creatures,” Rich said. “They have souls.”
According to Rich, her love for animals has been a part of her since her childhood.She grew up in Illinois, Arizona, California and Wisconsin.
“I was born this way,” Rich said. “This has been my mission from God. He programmed me, put me down here and off I went.”
Lucky Lab Lady now leads a fairly idyllic and charmed life. She wakes up around 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. with Rich and the other house pets. Then, she goes outside with her fellow house dogs, including two German Shepherds, two Chihuahuas and a blind Rat Terrier named Jill.
Lady goes wherever Rich goes. When Rich travels to a horse show, she takes a camper with her so Lady can come along. When she flies to her California home, Lady also comes along.
“It’s been so normal and loving,” Rich said. “Nothing extraordinary. The extraordinary thing is that we hooked up.”
“She’s a fairy tale,” Rich said. “She’s a living fairy tale. Does there need to be anything more than that? I don’t think so.”
Rich is aware that a lot of people were mad at the Kansas family who wouldn’t take Lady back. But she asks people to use the incident to turn a negative into a positive.
“I want people who have any kind of anger to turn that anger into prayer,” Rich said. “And thank God that those people did that to turn this story into what it was that got Lady to where she needed to be.”
Image and article source: TBO