It’s always sad when a dog gets lost especially when it comes to a dog that has been in the family for a long time and is close to everyone’s heart.
However, such a situation does not necessarily have to end tragically. Today’s story will show how true bravery and belief can lead to some of the happiest endings.
Their Beloved Dog Was Nowhere In Sight
On June 9, 2022, Jeff Bohnert woke up early to walk with his two dogs, Summer and Abby. However, only Summer was waiting for him at the front door, and he immediately realized something was wrong. Abby was nowhere in sight.
He immediately remembered that the two of them had gone outside to play in the late afternoon the day before. But, Jeff couldn’t figure out what could have happened to her in that area.
Considering she was a thirteen-year-old dog after all, the only thing he could think of was that she might have been overcome by the heat since it was very hot.
Nevertheless, he and his wife, Kathy, tried everything, from knocking on the doors of their neighbors to posting pictures of a missing dog on Facebook. Unfortunately, nothing helped.
And, they slowly started to lose hope.
Surprise On The Underground Journey
About two months later, on August 6, 2022, cavers were on their way into the Missouris Moore Cave System, while on a project weekend with the Cave Research Foundation.
30 people, of whom 5 children with their dads, actually got together to map out some caves ahead of a bigger event in a few weeks.
It was supposed to be a routine task that they would do quickly and easily under the guidance of experienced lead caver, Frank Keene.
And, it was like that until one boy shouted: “Daddy, there’s a puppy!” Dad, like the other cavers, waved their hands at first, but the little one did not give up. Finally, the cavers decided to pay attention and were left in shock.
At the bottom of a 12-foot pit, a dog lay motionless.
Although everyone was in shock, Frank and another member of the team, named Rick Haley, quickly regained their composure and decided to do something to quickly save this poor dog, as it was obvious that it was very weak and exhausted.
A Rescue They Will Never Forget
Frank immediately snapped the picture of the dog, and then exited the cave and began recruiting help for the entirely vertical rescue.
He contacted his good friend, assistant Fire Chief Rob Calhoun, and asked him to try to find the owner of the dog. Rob was knocking on the neighbors’ doors and showing the picture of the dog, when a man told him that he recognized him and knew the owner.
Meanwhile, in the cave, Haley and Keen were preparing for a big rescue operation.
The real problem was that she was too exhausted to walk. However, Haley came up with a brilliant idea. He grabbed an empty duffle bag and lined it with a fluffy blanket.
He placed the bag next to her, and she slowly climbed into it all by herself and almost fell asleep. It was obvious that after a long period of lying on the cold stone, she liked the cozy blanket.
Finally, she was ready to see the light of day after so long. Haley and Keene zipped the duffle bag up with the dog’s head sticking out, then slowly started the process of guiding her vertically out of the cave.
“I’d hand her up, he’d set her down, he’d move up, then I’d move up, then we’d hand her up again,” Haley said.
It was a difficult process indeed, but after almost 90 minutes of climbing, they finally got to the top of the pit with the duffle bag.
Assistant Fire Chief Calhoun reached in and grabbed the duffle bag from the rescuers and held the dog in his arms as he carried her into daylight.
The Most Beautiful Reunion
“She must have fallen into a sinkhole or a hidden entrance,” Jeff Bohnert said with tears of joy in his eyes, while he was holding his big puppy.
Their daughter, Rachel Bohnert, who was away at collage at that time, was over the moon when she found out that her beloved childhood pet was found.
“You can’t imagine the joy Rachel felt when she heard,” her mother said excitedly.
Exactly one week after that beautiful moment of reunion, Haley ran into Abby and her owners again. Although Kathy said they have been slowly adding more calories to Abby’s diet to get her healthy again, she was still very thin and weak.
However, Haley noticed that she, at least, had the strength to bark, as it was the first time he had heard her since they came out of the cave together.
“Shell be okay!,” Haley said with a big, happy, and proud smile on his face.
Miracles do happen if you believe, and this story is proof.