Local Rancher Writes Children’s Book about a Dog’s Journey Home

BROKEN BOW–Local rancher turned author Yvette Mannon will be visiting Broken Bow this month for special book signing for her new children’s book “Cookie, Where Are You?”

Yvette Mannon never planned to become a children’s author but with the support of her family, her faith in Christ, and the incredible journey of her dog, Cookie, she is now a published writer.

“It really isn’t anything that I ever set out to do. Honestly, I just sat down at the computer and recorded the miracles that had happened for my own edification,” Mannon told KCNI/KBBN.

A book signing is scheduled for Friday, February 25 at Broken Bow Floral from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Labor Day weekend a few years ago is when the story begins. Yvette and her family were enjoying their annual trip to South Dakota while their dogs stayed behind in Nebraska at Yvette’s parents’ home (four miles north of Eustis). Cookie had other plans and on day four of his vacation, he set out to return to his home at the Mannon ranch.

The blue heeler’s journey home is miraculous given the distance and his inexperience around car traffic. However, Cookie’s instincts to return home led him to cross bodies of water, major highways, and multiple railroad tracks.

“The story is about his adventure. It’s written from his perspective and the reason that I sat down to chronicle those miracles is between his ranch and my parents’ farm, he had to cross the Platte River, Interstate 80, Highway 30, and three sets of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks,” Mannon said adding that their ranch is at the end of a mile-long driveway and therefore the dogs are not usually around traffic.

With the help of KRVN radio station, phone calls from community members who had spotted Cookie, Facebook, her church, and other sightings from the public, Yvette and her family were able to follow Cookie’s tracks and locate their furry family member.

“Part of the book is my gratitude that people would stop and take time to call in and help us find our pet. You’ve got to love where we live. You’ve got to love that people care enough to stop and do that,” Mannon said.

“Cookie, Where Are You” was published by Christian Faith Publishing and is available at Rustic and Red in Cozad, Brewbakers in Arnold, and Broken Bow Floral. You can also purchase the book directly from Yvette or on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Christian Faith Publishing was recommended to Mannon by another local author, Haylee Stryker. Between Cookie’s journey home, ranching and calving, COVID, and the writing and  reviewing of the book, the process took about two and a half years. Yvette gave thanks to her friends in Texas who are reading specialists and helped review the book.

Cookie is now 12 years old. Yvette Mannon is originally from Eustis and has lived in Gothenburg, but now resides on a ranch south of Broken Bow, near Pressey Park where she has been for more than 20 years with her husband Troy and their 17-year-old son Matthew.

Through the endless stories that people involved in animal agriculture have, Yvette is passionate about taking those stories and encouraging kids to read.

“I hope that kids will want to read it because they’ll get kind of an emotional attachment to the animal so maybe that will help them want to stay hooked to finish the story,” Mannon continued. “If we can take those stories and turn them into something that helps kids read, wouldn’t that be awesome?”

Mannon will also be making appearances at Eustis and Lexington schools this month.