Bella, the dog that saved her family’s life by alerting them from an incoming tornado before it destroyed their house in Tennessee has been found after almost two months.
On March 3, Eric Johnson was asleep when Bella, the family’s 6-year-old miniature Australian shepherd, alerted him and woke him up. Johnson said he noticed Bella being extremely erratically, giving him a vibe that something just didn’t feel right.
After switching the TV on, Johnson knew a tornado was headed toward their town of Cookeville. About 45 minutes later, as the tornado heads toward their home, Johnson quickly grabbed his wife and their children and hid them in a bathtub.
The father of three was looking for their dog Bella when the tornado hit their house, tearing it into pieces, and throwing Bella into his backyard.
In an interview, Johnson told reporters:
“Bella was hiding under our bed when the tornado hit our house.”
“She was thrown into our yard and survived and was missing after that. It was hard for us knowing she had survived but we couldn’t find her. She was the piece of our family that was missing.”
Just as they began to abandon all hope of finding their dog again, a miracle happened for the family. With the help of their church friend Sarah Lang Romeyn, a known dog tracker, Bella was found Sunday in an alley 4 miles from home and got reunited with the family.
Johnson and his wife had left pieces of their clothing around their community in hopes Bella would be able to recognize their scent and find her way back. But Romeyn also set up different cameras from a local animal rescue group in areas where people reported spotting her.
Using the footage collected, Romeyn discovered the spot where Bella was hiding all this time.
Johnson, his brother-in-law, and their pastor helped to rescue Bella. After 54 days of living in the streets on her own, the beloved pup was reunited with her family.
Romeyn, the dog tracker told reporters:
“The whole situation was incredible. I am so very grateful that I was position to be able to help him out.”
“All I am is someone that has been blessed to have the skills that I have — unfortunately, although we use it, I’ve gotten really good at trapping dogs over the years.”
While the whole family got injured during the tornado, with Johnson suffering a head injury and his wife suffering from broken ribs, along with the loss of their beloved home, he says the family is still grateful that despite these bad experiences, they are still finally together again.