INTERVIEW INTRO – Betty Richter, a Sitka High English teacher, uses a microphone to address representatives from 20 local businesses sitting at tables in the Sitka High School commons Wednesday morning as students from two English classes wait in the background to be interviewed by them. This is the second year for the mock interview program Richter organized to get students ready for life after high school. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Wedding Ring Found After Dog Gives it Up



Sentinel Staff Writer

The Balovich family’s mastiff Halli has a habit of scooping up small items in her droopy lips.

So when Nikki Balovich’s platinum wedding band went missing in January her thoughts went right to the 90-pound puppy.

The dog regards household items that end up on the floor as her toys, Nikki said. “She picks them up, and carries things around – hair clips, rocks, hair ties. She’s always spitting them out.”


Nikki Balovich shows her recovered ring. (Sentinel Photo)

Nikki was pregnant at the time, and would take her rings off at the end of a long day when her fingers would be swollen.

“My husband was always saying, put them away, put them upstairs – you’re going to lose them,” she said.

Nikki looked everywhere for the missing wedding band, including in Halli’s poop when they took the dog outside, but she knew that it was a long shot.

“I gave up, I thought it was long gone,” she said. “We take the dog everywhere with us, on hikes, on the boat – what were the chances we were going to find it?”

But on Tuesday this week she saw a Facebook post on Sitka For Sale: “FOUND! Beautiful wedding type band. If u have lost a ring, no matter where, call and describe! Found in an unusual place.”

“It’s been so long, but I had a gut feeling,” she said. “I thought I’ll call, why not?” On Wednesday she made the call, and described her ring –  a platinum band with 10 round diamonds – and sent a photo to the person who posted the message, Bob Potrzuski. (He and his wife had already tried without success to find the owner by calling the police department, putting an ad in the Sentinel and going on Problem Corner.)

It turned out that Bob’s wife, Carol, and her friend Julie Schmitts, a few weeks ago decided to do a good deed, and were picking up dog poop on the ballfield behind Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary, in preparation to the start of the baseball and softball seasons. As they made their rounds, Carol spotted something glittery in the waste, and it turned out to be a ring with diamonds. 

As for how it got there, Nikki Balovich explained that she was also volunteering at the ball field recently, organizing the equipment shed in preparation for the season, while the dog ran around.

“I feel very lucky,” Nikki said.

It was also the same day as her husband’s birthday, making the find a nice birthday surprise for him as well, since the couple had been considering buying a replacement.

Nikki collected the ring from Carol on Thursday, put it on, and said it will take some convincing to get her to take it off again.

“It’s been on my hands ever since – my hand was feeling naked without it,” she said.






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