View Full Version : Emporia, KS - Blue heeler helped after accident

09-04-2008, 12:26 PM

Helpful folks rescue lost,injured dog

By Bobbi Mlynar (http://www.emporiagazette.com/staff/bobbi_mlynar/) (Contact (http://www.emporiagazette.com/staff/bobbi_mlynar/contact/))

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 (http://www.emporiagazette.com/photos/2008/sep/03/7125/) Leia, a 2-year-old blue heeler, is back home in Gardner after being lost for 12 days on the Kansas Turnpike after her family was involved in a one-vehicle accident. Leia underwent surgery and a stay in a veterinary hospital before coming home.

With help from a persevering Emporia woman and others, 2-year-old Leia is finally back home with her family in Gardner.
The young blue heeler — thinner and with a badly injured leg — spent 12 days foraging for herself along the Kansas Turnpike about 25 miles south of Emporia.

Leia was a passenger in her owners’ truck when it hydroplaned and wrecked on Aug. 9 during a heavy rain at mile marker 106, about 21 miles south of here.

Linda Clarke, former president of the Lyon County Humane Society, noticed the dog along the roadside the morning of Aug. 21 as she drove to El Dorado. She called a friend, who immediately recognized the dog as one described in The Gazette’s Lost Pets section of the Daily Report.

In addition to an advertisement about the missing dog, the dog’s owner, Steve Settle of Gardner, had come to Emporia several times to search for Leia along the turnpike without success.

Settle talked on his cell phone about the accident and Leia’s disappearance as he drove the dog to the veterinarian to be examined the day she was found.

He said that after the accident, he was checking on his children when passersby stopped and asked if everyone was all right. The children were not injured.

“I said, ‘I’ve got two dogs in the back,’” Settle said. “And they said, ‘Well, there’s only one dog here.’”

Leia and a chocolate Labrador were riding in cages in the cab, he said, and Leia’s cage was destroyed.

“The chocolate Lab was up in the cab and she was shaking, but the little blue heeler was gone,” Settle said.
Settle stopped at the turnpike toll booth and called the Humane Society of the Flint Hills.

“Actually this whole last week, I made three trips up to Emporia because there was a little blue heeler up by the Casey’s on East Sixth Avenue,” he said in the interview last month.

When he finally got a glimpse of the dog, he realized it was not Leia.

“We’d kind of given up, and I got a call this morning from the Humane Society,” Settle said on Aug. 21.

After Clark spotted the dog sitting near a rock around mile marker 102, a series of phone calls got the information to Judy Dieker at the Humane Society, who got in touch with the Settle family.

Clarke had tried to call the dog over and had offered her a biscuit, but Leia would not let Clarke get close.
“She’s real skittish around strangers,” Settle said. “As soon as we heard about it, we hurried up as fast as we could and got here around 10.

“We walked all the way from 102 to 99 basically and couldn’t find her,” Settle said.

With a few more phone calls, the family reached Clarke, who met them at the turnpike to help in the search. Clarke pointed out where she had seen the dog, who appeared to have left the area. After more walking along the roadside and calling out for the dog, the group returned to the bush where Clarke had seen her.

“She was laying under the thicket. I actually looked right at it,” Settle said, adding that the shrubbery had hidden Leia from view.

“I think she was at the point of exhaustion,” he said. “She was happy to see us. Thirsty and hungry. But she’s pretty skinned up and she might have a broken leg.”

The opportunity to heal from those injuries is something Leia would have missed without the persistence of Clarke.

“We were actually probably going to head back, but Linda was nice enough to come down and show us exactly where she’d seen her last,” Settle said. “We were going to make one more pass driving, but we’d have never seen her.”

When Leia reached the veterinarian’s office on Aug. 22, her initial prognoses ranged from setting the leg if possible, amputating it, or euthanizing her. She needed to rest, eat and regain some strength for a few days before any surgery could be done. After the procedure and a long period of healing, she made it home this week, tired but happy.

“You could just tell that she was now at ease and knew that all was going to be OK,” Settle said this morning. Make sure you let everyone up there know how much the boys and I appreciate all the help in finding Leia.”

09-04-2008, 07:57 PM
:happytears::happytears: oh what a wonderful result. Thanks for sharing this story.