My family and I had an unexpected outdoor adventure on Wednesday July 7th when we awoke to find our daughter Kimberly's horse Ruggy gone from his pen. He had gotten out a couple times before but never wandered off too far so initially we really never had too much reason to be alarmed when we noticed him gone. We started driving all the roads in the Murwood area as well as talking to friends and neighbors near our home. We also drove Gaswell; Echo Lake Road and West Poppy talking to everyone we saw in their yards but no one had saw anything. To make matters worse we were unable to find any tracks that gave us an idea which direction he had left in.
As time went on we started to wonder if perhaps he had not just wandered away but maybe was stolen sometime during the night. To back up this theory son Travis and family friend Colt McDonald went out of the house at 10 PM and brought Jake the family dog to their room. So now our watchdog was not even at his post to warn us if someone or something was here. We contacted the Alaska State Troopers, the local Radio station, and the kids began making posters on the computer with Ruggy's picture on them and hanging them up at all the local businesses. Friends began calling and even strangers showed up to join in the search. Randy and Shawnacee Brooks showed up with horse trailer and horse to search the surrounding area. The phone rang almost non-stop as concerned people called offering to help. Proving once again that the Alaskan people are the most gracious in the world whenever help of some kind is needed.
We drove mile after mile searching and asking every person we saw but each stop came up empty, no one had seen anything of Ruggy. We started exploring new theories but it began to look more and more like he had been stolen. No tracks, no clues, and no one saw anything, and unable to find any clue as to where he was. The children even had a few theories of there own from bears, bad guys, stray dogs to simply falling and injuring himself. With all the bear sightings in the area lately it began to make one think perhaps a bear was involved. On the evening of July 6th we watched a brown bear walk through Ted and Della Knights property on Beaver Loop. I went door to door trying to find some type of a lead to go on but as evening approached we could come up with nothing.
One of my wife's associates, Dr. Jayne Hempstead, arrived up to pick up Kimmie to take her to the Kenai airport and take her plane up to search the surrounding area. Around 8 PM we got we got our first lead, a horse was spotted running from the air near Gaswell that somewhat resembled Ruggy. We drove to the area only to be disappointed, as the horse was not Ruggy.
A short time later we got another phone call from Jayne that they spotted another horse at the end of West Poppy. Unfortunately when we tried to follow where they said he was we were stopped by a fence across the road. Thinking we were at the wrong place we headed back to another road when Kim called for us to meet her at the Soldotna Airport. Sisters Jessie and Alea and friend Casey McConnell stayed to search the area. My friend Wally Hickle and I had to leave this adventure to go to work, all the while wondering how things were going to turn out. Kimberly planned on going around the fence by Murwood but had a surprise call from her sister while enroute that Ruggy had in deed been behind the fence and they had retrieved him and already had him haltered. My wife Taby and Kim picked up Brittney Morris and her horse trailer and took a very tired horse and a very happy cowgirl home. He was unharmed and appeared to be happy to be back home.
We want to thank everyone that was instrumental in returning Ruggy to his home. This is one of the greatest places and these are some of the greatest people on earth.
See You next Week!
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