Brian Neben Lexington Clipper-Herald
LEXINGTON — Students at Sandoz Elementary were treated to a four-legged visitor on Monday, Feb. 28. The owner is a local author who wrote a book about a true story of his dog’s incredible 25-mile journey back to his ranch.
Author Yvette Mannon, a resident of rural Custer County, traveled to elementary school to share the book she wrote about her dog, Cookie, a 12-year-old Blue Heeler who went to school. ‘adventure.
The title of the book is “Cookie, where are you?”
On Labor Day weekend, while Mannon and her family were on vacation, Cookie was taken to their parents’ home near the Eustis countryside to stay while the family was away.
The story is told from Cookie’s point of view and in the book; he becomes anxious and has to return to his family. Cookie left for his family’s ranch just hours before Mannon returned to pick him up.
Mannon said they thought Cookie might be heading for Johnson Lake, but instead he took Route 755, Darr Road, and managed to cross the Platte River Bridge, the I-80 overpass, Highway 30 and Union Pacific Railroad tracks.
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Mannon said it was a miracle that he stayed safe going through so many dangerous obstacles.
As Cookie was heading north, a woman stopped him and called KRVN to report that a dog was on the road and likely missing its owner. A worker at Darr’s feedlot then spotted Cookie and took stock of her location.
Mannon said KRVN was instrumental in finding Cookie, as they gave updates on her location as if it were a search and rescue mission.
Eventually, Cookie was found by Mannon’s neighbors, who drove him off the road in their vehicle and waited until his family could pick him up. In all, Cookie had been gone for 36 hours and had covered about 25 miles.
Feeling the story was “too good not to tell”, Mannon began writing a children’s book about Cookie’s experience in January 2020. After working on the illustrations and other elements, the book was was released in late 2021, but Mannon got the first copy in time for Christmas to share with his family.
Mannon and Cookie visited Sandoz Elementary on Monday to share the story with the students. Sandoz teacher Lori Pflaster read the story aloud while media specialist Jamie Gruntoard showed the illustrations to the students.
After the story was read, students had the chance to pet Cookie and take class photos with the star of the book.
Mannon said she is currently working on a second book about Cookie which will also be told from her point of view. The title is “Cookie meets Johnny, the white-tailed deer”.
“Cookie, where are you?” can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble; or can be found locally at Rustic & Red in Cozad; in Arnold or Broken Bow. Mannon said she can also be contacted directly for a purchase.