An aging black Labrador retriever who walked 30 miles back to a Kansas family who didn't want her took a private jet to her new home with a Tampa Bay area heiress.
Once called Ma Kettle but now known as Lady, the slightly grizzled dog has struggled to find a permanent home since she was taken to the Chautauqua County Animal Shelter after her owner died in 2012.
Kelsey Loyd has twice cared for Lady at the shelter. She told KWCH-TV that the first family who adopted her returned her because she was rough with their puppy. Then she escaped from the backyard of the Independence woman who had subsequently adopted her, trudging the 30 miles back to the family's home.
Neither the family nor the woman wanted her back, so she was returned to the shelter.
Loyd described Lady as a "super dog, gentle, calm dog" and struggled to understand why no one wanted the friendly lab.
"If I had to pick a dog this would have been the dog I would take," she said.
Lady's life changed when her story was spotted on Facebook by Helen Rich, an heiress to the Wrigley gum company who lives in Lutz and has an animal sanctuary there.
Rich sent her assistant, Chet Ragsdale, to southeast Kansas in a private jet to retrieve the retriever. He made the trip to Independence Municipal Airport on Thursday, arriving back in Tampa with Lady late that night.
"She going to think she's gone to heaven," Ragsdale said.