When a lost dog comes back home, it is a cause for great celebration.
In Cookeville, Tennessee, it was roughly an hour after midnight when Bella, an Australian shepherd, woke up her family to warn them minutes before a tornado came. Eric barely had time to gather his wife and children and put them in the tub before the tornado hit their house. He was about to go back to get Bella but the strong winds blew them 50 yards across the backyard.
Eric and his family survived the disaster with a few minor injuries. Unfortunately, they could not find Bella in the debris. They owed their lives to the dog and they could only pray that she was alive and safe somewhere.
The family kept returning to their devastated neighborhood hoping that Bella might return there. They tried searching for her for months, asking for the help of friends and their local church. Although there were several sightings of her, they could not track her down.
After more than seven weeks, they got a call from an animal grooming business telling them that Bella was spotted. The location was about five miles away. They set up cameras so that Eric could confirm her identity. When Eric was certain it was Bella, they made sure that she would not wander off again.
Eric rushed off to get her and reunite her with the rest of the family. Needless to say, they were all very happy to get her back after 54 days. The family was complete again. They were grateful to all the people who made it possible for them to find the missing piece in their family.
The story of Bella’s bravery reached national news. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals recognized Bella’s heroism and gave her the Heroic Dog Award plus a basket of toys and treats.
Photo from Eric Johnson via Facebook