Back in 2012, a sweet black labrador named Ma Kettle was left with no one to care for her after her elderly owner passed away. Like many dogs in her unfortunate position, she was forced to trade a life of love and affection for the cold kennels of an animal shelter in Sedan, Kansas.
Then one day, hope arrived. A family looking to adopt a dog met Ma Kettle and offered to take her home. For a while at least, the aging dog had the chance to experience what it felt like to be cherished. But the love she received from her new companions evidently wasn't as unconditional as hers was for them.
A few weeks back, Ma Kettle's life was uprooted yet again. Her adopted family, who had recently introduced puppies into the home, decided that the older dog was just too unaccustomed and played too rough with the new arrival. One of the dogs had to go, they thought, and they chose to keep the puppies.
There's no way Ma Kettle could have understood what was happening as she was loaded into a car and driven to live with a lady she'd never met, far from the people she'd grown used to. And there was no way for her to know that they no longer wanted her.
So, Ma Kettle did something remarkable -- she escaped to reunite with the family that had just given her away.
"The senior Lab walked nearly 30 miles to come home," writes the Sedona shelter where she had first been adopted out. But despite all her effort she was rejected again.
"Her ‘family' can not take her back," they write, "because of the little dogs."
Over the last few weeks Ma Kettle has been languishing once more in the shelter's kennel, older now and by most accounts less likely to be ever adopted again. Meanwhile, however, her sad story began to spread, share by share, across social media, and soon offers came pouring in from folks who wanted very much to give her a truly forever home.
Today, she found one, with a family in Florida who the shelter are certain will provide her with the love she deserves -- a happy ending to a story that's been so full of heartbreak. And it's almost as if she knows what's coming.
"She's a happy, happy girl!," writes the shelter. "Love you, Ma!"