June 20, 2012
Clay and Timalynn Matthews were enjoying their secluded home in the foothills northwest of Fort Collins after moving here recently from Florida. Their kids and dogs loved it here, they were expecting their third child… life was good.
Then on June 10, just one day after the High Park fire began, they were notified that the fire was closing in on their home, they were in danger and needed to evacuate. They gathered a few things, scooped up their two sons and two dogs. They borrowed a horse trailer and begged the man at the checkpoint to let the trailer through despite the emergency road closure.
They were relieved to learn at the evacuation center that Larimer Humane Society would care for Olive and Ling, their 12- and 4-year-old border collies, free of charge, until they could get back in their home.
The next week brought stress in several different forms. As if a growing wildfire wasn't enough, they also traveled to visit Clay’s mom who had open heart surgery and were preparing for their youngest son Kamper’s tonsillectomy.
On June 17th they were joyful when they heard the news―they could return home. They picked up Olive and Ling and were happy to see their home intact. However, weather was not on their side and with record-breaking heat and 50 mph winds, the fire took some unexpected turns. They were home only a few hours when they were given another evacuation notice. Clay called Larimer Humane Society and staff was there with an open door at midnight when he dropped Olive and Ling off for their second stay.
On June 20 they were told they could return home, but tomorrow is Kamper’s surgery. They have elected to wait until Friday to pick up Olive and Ling and return home. Until then, Larimer Humane Society staff and volunteers will continue providing a safe haven for their loveable, tail-wagging border collies.
“We are so grateful to Larimer Humane Society for loving our dogs and providing them great care," Matthews said, "I want everyone to know what an amazing job you have done in taking care of our family.”