It’s always heartbreaking when a dog goes missing, but for one family it happened at the most devastating possible time: after losing their home and possessions, it seemed they had lost their beloved pet, too.
Eric and Faith Johnson, from Cookeville, Tennessee, were the victims of a devastating EF-4 tornado that struck their area in March, but they survived, thanks to an unexpected alert from their pet Australian shepherd, Bella.
“At 1:15 [AM] my dog woke us up going completely insane and she never does that,” Eric wrote on Facebook. Waking in the middle of the night, he turned on the news and found there was a tornado warning.
“I told my wife to just rest I’m going to stay up until the storm passes by just to be safe,” he said.
This decision ended up being a life-saving one: he was able to see the tornado coming, and sensing they were in danger he rushed to get his wife and children into a bathtub to protect them.
The tornado tore through their home, destroying everything, but the family was safe, only sustaining mild injuries.
But sadly, it didn’t seem like the dog had made it. Amidst the rubble of their destroyed home, Bella was nowhere to be seen.
The couple looked everywhere, hoping she had fled and that someone would find her.
But weeks passed, and their hope was running out. It seemed that the dog who saved their lives was tragically lost.
“To say that I wasn’t starting to lose hope in ever finding her again would be a lie,” Eric wrote. “Me and my wife would pray daily that god was keeping her safe out there until he brought her home to us.”
But after searching for 54 days, their prayers were finally answered. Friends alerted the couple of a possible nearby sighting, and they went to search the area.
They tracked Bella down to an alley, finally finding the missing dog.
After getting cleaned up and checked up on…
…she was finally reunited with her loving family:
“I started losing hope. This is amazing because to have her back with us, it completes our family now and puts a missing piece back,” Eric told NewsChannel 5.
“This dog saved our lives. She’s the one who gave us a chance to survive.”
He says it’s some much-needed good news, given everything going on in the world right now.
The family is so happy to have her back, and after nearly two months out on her own, this dog is very happy to be back in her own bed.
What a beautiful reunion… we’re so glad this heroic dog is finally home safe and sound with her loving family.
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