By Ken MacLeod
The silence over the phone went on for 15 or 20 seconds. It seemed much longer, because the anguish on the other end was palpable.
Jim Ramsey, head professional for the past 25 years at Arrowhead State Park Golf Course and the park manager at Lake Eufaula State Park, was describing the impact of the loss of Holly, a four-year old golden retriever that was technically his dog, but really belonged to the entire golfing community at Arrowhead. When he reached the point of describing how he still searches constantly when riding his motorcycle, he choked up.
Holly has been missing since April 29. Ramsey last saw her when he was getting in his truck for a quick trip to Crowder and Holly bounded off to greet a young family of hikers, perhaps from Texas. She loved everyone and was trusting to a fault. Ramsey suspects she just hopped in the car with the family and they drove off with her.
But he doesn’t know for sure and it’s eating him up. Holly was used to jumping in vehicles. She would spend her mornings riding the course in a cart with one of the regulars, whoever showed up first and had a biscuit. She learned not to move when someone was putting and not to bark when a shot was being hit.
The rest of the day she would greet every golfer and visitor she could, wrapping them in a hug with her front legs and laying her head on her visitor.
“She was a hugger, not a licker,” Ramsey said. “She knew everybody and everybody had to love on her. We all miss her terribly.”
Ramsey, 56, didn’t think he could ever get this emotionally attached to a dog again after his 16-year-old retriever Maverick passed away five years ago. But Holly, whom they found in a rescue shelter in McAlester, quickly won the hearts of he and his wife Gail.
“I didn’t pick her out, she picked me out,” Gail said of the day they found her in the rescue shelter. “They let her out and she ran up and wrapped her front legs around me. It was, ‘Okay, we’re taking her home.’ “
“She just had the most loving personality in a dog that you’ve ever seen,” Ramsey said. “I’ve had so many people come up and say to me that they know this is hard on me, but that it is hard on them as well.”
If anyone has any information on Holly and her whereabouts, please call the Arrowhead pro shop at 918-339-2769. Feel free to share this story as whomever she went off with may not realize how terribly she is missed.