Tuesday, February 05, 2008

yes a 3rd serious topic in a row...please read

Some of the details below you are not going to agree with, I will never own a gun.....but it is good to be aware of you surroundings no matter were you live. Kathy's story just may help you in a situation.

This is from my friend Kathy Hooper in Riverton. She does Rottweiler Rescue. In a message dated 1/27/2008 6:20:18 P.M. Mountain Standard Time, Kathy writes: Hello Everyone - It's Sunday evening January 27th and I'm sitting at my house realizing how close I came today to dying. I tell all of you this simply as a reminder about what can happen when we are out andabout transporting animals. I have been transporting dogs for 30 years so feel like I've always been safe - with my son being a deputy he insists that I have a concealed weapons permitand carry a "9 mm Lady Smith and Wesson" - this is the same small handgun that is a favorite of Highway Patrolmen because it fit's well in their boots. Anyway, years back Brady tookme to the gun shop and bought me a gun and insisted that I pack it in my vehicle - I've always done that but, today IT was in my vehicle when it should have been in my coat pocket ! Anyway, I was transporting a dog to Dubois today from our Riverton shelter to meet a lady from Jackson - only a 1 1/2 hour drive one way for me, so not a real big transport per se!! I went toDubois and had timed things to be back to Riverton to a birthday party for one of my office girls' one year old baby - her house is outside of Riverton, so it was on my way back from Duboiswithout going into town.I don't normally stop at rest areas when I am alone - which is most of the time - I seldom have company on my transports as for some reason I haven't been able to convince anyoneelse that spending one or more days every weekend hauling dogs around in the car is a fun way to spend time! So, there is a rest area which is basically on the reservationbetween Riverton and Dubois. I had gotten a cup of hot chocolate at the gas station before leaving Dubois, it was just starting to snow and was cold and really windy - I was warming up!When I got to the rest area I decided I'd better stop there so I didn't run into the birthday party having to run to the potty right away. I am always aware of my surroundings most timeslike this, again because of my son - so I noticed only one truck there - wind was blowing snow around and it was pretty dreary looking. What the hell, I only needed to run in and pee andbe on my way. I did. On my way out of the bathroom there was a man - who wasn't there when I went in. I started to walk past him and he turned aroundand asked me if I was from Lander, to which I replied no, I'm from Riverton but I was born and raised in Lander. ( You all know me, and as my son says, I have diarrhea of the mouth.) He startedasking me for instructions to Bloedorn Lumber in Lander. I began to explain, and he kept saying "my memory isn't very good, I'll never remember." I kept saying it's really easy, go to Lander,stay on the road and take a left on 1st Street and you'll run into it. I thought at the time that it was strange that he kept trying to make such a simply thing so confusing. Anyway,I started to walk out the door and he was behind me, and I said have a safe trip. He caught up to me and said hey, would you tell me those directions again. As we walked to our vehiclesI again told him - we got to our vehicles which were parked close - maybe a car spot in between his and mine. He said, walk with me to my car and I'll write it down. We walked around tohis car (my mistake) and he opened the door - it wasn't locked - and he reached in I assumed to get paper and pen. Turned back around and said I can't get the paper - could you just jumpin there and write the directions down for me so I don't get lost - that was enough for me. I said no, I need to get going. I started to turn around to go to my vehicle and he grabbed myarm (bruised it) - I yelled, jerked my arm away and started to run around the front of his truck. Just at that time I heard another car coming, and when I got to my vehicle and gotit unlocked and inside and locked the doors - I turned around, he was in his truck and the small SUV had pulled up beside him. I immediately started my car and left. I was scared todeath but once I got down the road I was worried about the people in the other car. I turned around - feeling more confident because I now had access to my gun - as I pulled intothe parking lot his truck was gone. I waited for the three passengers in the SUV to come out and rolled down my window and asked them if they had a problem with him - they saidno that he left as they were getting out. I had no cell phone service - out in the middle of no where. It was over a half hour before I could call my son - by then I was about 10 minutes from Riverton. He asked me to meethim at the fire station where he was and his good friend, who is also a deputy and was on duty. I went there, of course, started bawling, everything finally hit me about how close Ihad really come to him shoving me into his vehicle, etc. etc. They took a report and called it in right away. Deputies from Dubois headed to the rest area and Deputies from Landerheaded towards the rest area in the hopes of finding him and his vehicle. I could give them a pretty good description of him and his vehicle - EXCEPT I didn't know the license platenumber, only that when I drove in I noticed it was a Utah plate. They have yet to find him - did find a truck, with two guys, matching the description but it had Idaho plates. If theyfind him I will have to go in and identify him. Guess all I'm saying is, my first mistake was to walk near his vehicle with him and the second mistake was to not have paid more attention to the license plate number - they couldtrace him with those simple numbers. So, be careful out there gals, and pay attention to your surroundings. I'm fine, pretty shaken up, stressed myself to the point that I'm workingon a good migraine headache tonight, but after thirty years it was probably a pretty good warning - I tend to see the best in everyone and forget that not everyone has good intentions Kathy

Please be aware and be safe!

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