‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Accidentally Killed Her Dog Before a Date With Ladd

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond loves animals. She’s a proud pet mom with a soft spot for basset hounds. Here’s the heartbreaking story of how Drummond accidentally killed her dog Puggy Sue when she was fresh out of college.

All Ree Drummond could think about was Ladd

Ree Drummond | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hearst
Ree Drummond | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hearst

In her book Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, the Food Network star spoke about the day she accidentally killed her dog. She says she was excited about her plans for that night. All she could think of was Ladd and how she was about to go on another date with him.

The only thing on my mind the next morning was my date that night with Marlboro Man. It had become my new hobby, my new vocation, my interest in life. Marlboro Man had invited me to his ranch; he said he’d cook dinner this time.

I didn’t much care what the plans were; I just wanted to see him again. Spend time in his presence. Get to know more about him, to kiss him good night for an hour. Or two. That was the only thing on my mind when I pulled out of my parents’ driveway that morning to run a few errands.

Ree Drummond, ‘Black Heels to Tractor Wheels’

Ree Drummond knew something was wrong right away

Drummond says her car began shaking. At that moment, she knew something wasn’t right. She says when she looked into her rearview mirror, she discovered the horrible mistake she made. Her beloved dog Puggy Sue had been run over.

“When my car suddenly shook from a series of unsettling bumps, I knew something dire had happened,” wrote Drummond. “To my horror, when I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw that I’d run over Puggy Sue. Puggy Sue, my fat, prognathic canine who’d settled into my arms the day I’d returned from California and had become, in effect, my child during my time at home, was now lying on my parents’ street, squealing, writhing, and unable to move her hind legs.”

Drummond’s mother took the dog to the veterinarian’s office, but it was too late. The Accidental Country Girl received a call from her mom, letting her know that the dog was dead. “Puggy Sue, my little package of fawn-colored love, was dead,” wrote Drummond. “I spent the next several hours in a fetal position, reeling over the sudden death of Puggy.”

Ladd Drummond had a confession to make

During her date with Ladd, Drummond says she tried to act as if nothing happened. She didn’t want to be a downer, but she couldn’t contain her tears. She said once she arrived at Ladd’s home, she broke down into an “ugly cry.” Ladd comforted Drummond with a confession of his own.

“He continued holding me in his kitchen until my chest stopped heaving and the wellspring of snot began to dry,” wrote Drummond. “I opened my eyes and found I was in a different country altogether, The Land of His Embrace. It was a peaceful, restful, safe place. Marlboro Man gave me one last comforting hug before our bodies finally separated, and he casually leaned against the counter. ‘Hey, if it makes you feel any better,’ he said, ‘I’ve run over so many damn dogs out here, I can’t even begin to count them.’”

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