OKLAHOMA CITY – You know that panic feeling you get when you lose something important?
What about your wedding ring?
Gary McNeill laughed, “You lose your ring, it’s not a good omen.”
However, the local Veterinarian lost his during the rush of emergency surgery on a dog.
Dr. McNeill said, “I take my ring off and sit it on the corner of the surgery table.”
With that motion, the wedding ring was gone.
“It was terrible,” said McNeill.
Little did he know, his ring was on a journey.
A journey he would soon be taking himself to the city landfill.
His ring fell off the surgery table and landed in the trash.
He came back to work the next day to look, and realized it was in the garbage too late.
Dr. McNeill said, “I went out to check the dumpster, and they’d dumped the dumpster.”
His ring was on a truck on its’ way to make a life long commitment with waste.
The landfill was windy.
The seagulls were swarming the piles of trash as bulldozers cover it with dirt.
Drivers drop off 2,000 tons of garbage there every day.
So to find his ring, Dr. McNeill had to call to get a little help.
Shawn Cockrell with Waste Management picked up the phone.
He has only had two of these “lost ring” calls in 17 years.
Cockrell said, “It’s not very often, but when we do, we do what we can to help them find it.”
He found the truck the ring was traveling on and told the McNeills to head over.
McNeill joked, “Of all the places, I take my wife to the trash dump!”
His wife had to make light of the high stress situation.
Barbara McNeill said she started “cracking jokes and laughing hysterically.”
All they could do was laugh and dig.
After an hour, “The ring fell out right on the corner of that box,” said McNeill. “I said, ‘Yes!’ It was a big time thing for us to find it. We really wanted it bad.”
The ring was special because Dr. McNeill designed it himself.
It represented his Celtic heritage and his life with his wife.
Now that they have it back, they say the adventure at the dump makes it that much sweeter.