Tucumcari, NM - Much goes into saving the lives of homeless animals. There are those who network, those who pull, those who foster, and the behind the scene, unsung heroes who transport.
Catherine Bugg was one such unsung hero - a woman who volunteered her time to transport rescued dogs as often as she could.A woman who channeled her love of animals into life saving action.This morning started out innocently enough for Catherine.Her task for the day - to drive an 8 wk-old puppy named Elyse on one leg of a transport from Tucumcari, NM to Amarillo, TX.But things did not go as planned.
The first inkling of a problem came this morning when the scheduled hand-off did not take place.Kerin Hanson of Rescue Road Warriors reached the individual who was supposed to meet Catherine in Amarillo. She was told that Catherine never showed up.
Worried, Hanson phoned the state police where she heard the devastating news.
Catherine Bugg, and the puppy who she was transporting, had been involved in a terrible accident.
Bugg had encountered an unexpected ice storm along I-40.Within moments, freezing rain coated the interstate and the vehicle that Bugg was driving spun out of control and slammed into the center median.The vehicle burst into flames.Catherine Bugg and the 8 wk-old puppy, Elyse, were killed.
Catherine Bugg's friends and family are devastated by the tragic news. But the mourning extends beyond her immediate family...the tendrils of sorrow are also winding through the rescue world.
Catherine had another family - those individuals who know her through Rescue Road Warriors are just learning of her death, as are her rescue friends at the City of Tucumcari Animal Rescue.
Catherine Bugg touched many people...her volunteer efforts saved many lives.
Those who knew her personally describe a warm, friendly, cheerful woman who was absolutely dedicated to animals.
Those same people have stated that Catherine died doing what she loved best.
A touch of solace in an otherwise devastating tragedy.
There is also mourning for the other life which was lost - the puppy, Elyse.
At just six weeks of age, Elyse had been dumped in a shelter. There, she was frightened and alone.
Strangers sprang into action to save the terrified puppy from a dismal fate.
Those same strangers worked to put together her extensive transport - working together to organize a journey which stretched across the nation.
The people who had the chance to meet Elyse described a smart puppy who liked to cuddle.
An unforseen storm claimed two, beautiful lives and the world is a bit darker today as a result.
Please light a candle in memory of Catherine Bugg and little Elyse - two lives gone much too soon.
It is not said often enough - every day is a gift not to be taken for granted.
Rest in Peace Catherine Bugg and Elyse.
Condolences to all of the lives touched by Catherine and Elyse.
Anyone interested in making a donation in Catherine's memory can do so:
Tucumacari Animal Hospital, 101 N 10th Street, Tucumcari, NM 88401, (575) 461-3900