A bittersweet reunion after 53 days in desert
A Salt Lake City woman, critically injured in a car crash that claimed her husband and one of her dogs, has reunited with her other dog, who bolted from the scene of the crash in the Nevada desert and survived on his own for 53 days.
Barbara Bagley says she never gave up hope that her 4-year-old Shetland sheepdog, Dooley, would be found alive.
The dog was tracked down Feb. 18, the Associated Press reports.
Dooley’s weight had dropped from 44 pounds to 20 pounds when he was found, after nearly two months surviving on roadkill. He was once spotted devouring a dead coyote along the roadway, and, after he was found, a long bird bone was pulled from his throat by a veterinarian.
Bagley hadn’t seen the dog since Dec. 27, when she suffered a concussion, broken ribs, a shattered wrist and two punctured lungs in the single vehicle accident on Interstate 80 near Battle Mountain, about 225 miles east of Reno.
Delaney, the family’s other sheltie, was killed in the wreck. Her 55-year-old husband, Brad Vom Baur, was critically injured, and died Jan. 6.
That was the same day that a dog’s remains were found near the interstate — presumed to be Dooley’s.
“It was a horrible day for me,” Bagley recalled. “But something inside me told me Dooley was still alive out there. I wasn’t 100 percent sure, but I didn’t grieve for Dooley like I did for my husband and our other dog.”
Three weeks later, though, Bagley’s spirits were lifted when a woman reported spotting “a Lassie-type” dog near the accident scene. Bagley joined in the search that followed, but it turned up nothing. In mid-February, there was another sighting, by a member of a railroad crew.
Finally, the dog was cornered and taken in by friends and others who had joined in the search and reunited with Bagley.
“I was overjoyed that I was going to have him back in my life. I think he felt the same about me,” she said.
Bagley, while still grieving her husband’s death and recovering from her injuries, said Dooley’s presence has helped in the struggle.
“He’s the physical and mental affection that I need to recover,” she said. “I owe him so much for the hope I have now and the renewed faith I have in prayer. Dogs are so great because of their unconditional love.”
(Photo: Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, barbara bagley, battle mountain, car, crash, dogs, dooley, grief, interstate, mourning, nevada, pets, reunion, reunited, road kill, roadkill, search, sheltie, shetland sheep dog, sightings, survival