A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Tornado Victim Had Dog in Arms

Joplin resident was devoted to animals

As the tornado sirens sounded across Joplin, Missouri, Johnna Hale did everything by the book, stocking up on water and taking shelter in the bathroom with her Border collie mix, Star.

Johnna called her daughter, Miranda, as the tornado approached, but the last thing Miranda heard before the phone failed was her mother saying that Star had bolted, that she’d managed to run out of the house, and that Johnna was going out after her.

Nine days later, Johnna was found in the rubble of a building where she’d taken shelter.

Star was with her – in her arms.

“My mom loved animals. She grew up on horses, we always had a cat or a dog around. We always joked about how our animals were better fed than we were.”

Star was about 7 years old and Johnna had adopted her as a puppy. “Star always slept with Mom,” Miranda said. “Even if I went to visit, she had a full sized bed that the three of us, plus a cat, tried to fit on. We always dreamed about going to Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. She dreamed about owning a ranch and being a cowgirl, out on the open range on her horse, with her dog, and sleeping under the stars.”

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