- Posted September 10, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
Missing Dog in Fatal Car Crash is Found After 26 Days
A local woman, Dani Curliss, organized a group of volunteers and started a facebook page ("Finding Bella Dog"), and members of the community began searching for the missing little black dog who had stolen everyone's heart. There were many sightings but Bella remained elusive and would not come to those who saw and called her name. Everyone thought she would be caught within days but after two weeks on the run, surviving on her own in the rugged mountains near Missoula, it was clear that there needed to change tactics, so live traps were brought in and set up in the areas where Bella had been spotted. The community volunteers spent many days and nights searching for Bella and became very emotionally attached to the missing dog and became obsessed with finding and returning Bella to this family who had lost so much.
Just after 7 am on August 31st, the call came in that everyone was waiting for...Bella was caught! Tears of joy ran down the faces of all the people involved and Bella was finally safe and ready to go home! She was happy to be caught and not have to run any longer. Bella was taken to the vet and given a clean bill of health (she was thin and had lost 15 pounds, and a bit dehydrated, but no worse for wear), and by noon a small group of people who had worked so hard to find Bella were on their way to Washington to reunite her with her family. The family, (Bill Cox, Charlotte Gamble and surviving son, Eli) left immediately to meet us half way at Medical Lake, WA, along with two local news crews (KECI and KPAX) to be reunited with the dog they loved.
When her family arrived, Bella looked at the people walking toward her and there was no doubt she recognized them...her ears perked up so high they nearly touched and the moment recognition set in she stopped breathing for several seconds, then began to tremble with excitement. She jumped on her boy, Eli, and his mother, Charlotte, giving out many kissess to all! The reunion was caught on tape by both news stations and you can watch it on the website for KECI and KPAX in MT. For more information, pictures and video on this amazing story, visit "Finding Bella Dog" on Facebook.