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Rottie Waits for Family at Crash Site
A horrific car accident leads to a tearful reunion.
Ella reunited with her family.

On July 1 in Tennessee, the Kelley family lost control of their car and slammed into a mountain. An ambulance took Joe and Michelle Kelley and their three children to a nearby hospital as their Rottweiler, Ella, watched. Scared and alone, she ran into the woods.

Thirteen days later, animal rescuer Kathy Wilkes-Myers drove past the crash scene and saw a skinny, tick-infested Rottie drinking from a puddle on the side of the road. Ella had patiently waited where she had last seen her family. Wilkes-Myers was astonished to discover little piles of personal items--such as toothbrushes and a comb--that Ella had collected. Within one such pile, she discovered a notepad from an insurance agent, giving her the clue--and contact information--she needed to find Ella’s family.

You can see the tearful reunion here. My favorite part is when Ella is excitedly whining and licking Joe Kelley and their young baby on his lap.

In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of keeping your dog secured in a crate or harness while driving. Another way to ensure your dog’s safety is to create three information cards. One should be posted on the crate, the second in your glove compartment and the third carried in your wallet or purse.

On the card, include a photo of your dog and contact information for you, your vet, and family or friends who would be willing to take your dog or help find him if he is loose. Otherwise, the authorities will call animal control to take your dog to the shelter. If you’ve been seriously injured, you will want someone notified who can claim your dog. Or, if they can’t capture or find him, someone who will be willing to search for him.


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.


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