ASHER, Okla. (KFOR) – Asher, Okla., is a tiny town in Pottawatomie County, where one person is doing huge things.
“She’s never just sitting at home, she’s always helping,” Bryson Gregg said.
Bryson just turned 14-years-old. But instead of focusing on video games or time with friends, the eighth-grader’s focus is on the bigger picture of life – kindness.
“She spends her own time going out for people and getting gifts for people that don’t have the money to,” Bryson said.
He’s talking about Michelle Dusing, who is not only an Asher police officer, the school resource officer, a volunteer firefighter and volunteer coordinator of the community’s Angel Tree program, but she she also acts as the town’s animal rescuer.
With no Animal Welfare in Asher, Bryson’s father and Asher Police Chief Tommy Gregg says Michelle also takes on that roll, saving and adopting out abandoned animals, mostly on her own time.
“She has before went and spent money for dog food, or bedding, and even some vet supplies from her own pocket to make sure that dog has the immediate care that they need,” Chief Gregg said.
Recently, the Asher Police Department was notified of 10 neglected dogs, described as ‘skin and bones.’
Michelle took the dogs to a city barn, housed them in kennels with food, water, warmth and lots of love, especially for 16-year-old Sophie, who was suffering from cancer.
“She kind of, like, formed a bond with Michelle,” Bryson said.
Michelle and other officers helped rehabilitate the dogs, then she re-homed all of them but Sophie.
With tons of attention and snuggles, Michelle gave Sophie what could have been the best weeks of her life – they were her last.
“Under some pecan trees is where we put her,” Chief Gregg said.
Chief Gregg buried Sophie out on his land, with a very special tribute – best friends necklaces.
The Gregg family gave Michelle the other half.
For all that she does, Bryson nominated Michelle for a $400 Pay It 4Ward award from First Fidelity Bank.
In his letter to KFOR, Bryson wrote, “Michelle has a heart of gold that can’t be measured.”
He then arranged the surprise at his school, where Officer Dusing was pulled into the office for a Zoom call with KFOR’s Heather Holeman, with Bryson by Michelle’s side.
“We have a program called Pay It 4ward. Bryson has told us about what an amazing person you are and he nominated you for the award,” Heather said. “This comes with a $400 donation in your name to the City of Asher for animal rescue.”
“I feel pretty special, that’s awesome. Thank you,” Michelle said.
“You’re welcome,” Bryson said smiling, followed by a big hug.
Michelle says the 400-dollar donation will go toward food and blankets for future abandoned animals and those dumped in town.
She has a huge heart for all animals, including Sophie, who spent her final night right by Michelle’s side.
“She was a special dog because after all she’s been through, she was so weak when we got her, she fought, she fought ’til the end,” Michelle said.
Michelle is now training her own dog, ‘Zeke’, to become a therapy dog for schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
She also kept one of Sophie’s companions for her own, and named her ‘Frankie.’
And if she wasn’t already busy enough, Michelle is also going back to college to earn her degree online in criminal justice.
She also loves kids and she reads to them when she can.
And when it was time to deliver the Christmas gifts that she helped organize, she talked her boss, Chief Gregg, into dressing as Santa, and Bryson as an elf, as they passed out presents to those who needed them in a town where Michelle is so needed.
Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.