Dog Beats Odds To Return To Family - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Dog Beats Odds To Return To Family

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"Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole." It's a quote animal lovers will tell you is true. 

After all, dogs are man's best friend, for their ability to show us unconditional love. As NewsChannel 5 photojournalist Nathan Sharkey and reporter Jeff Tang tell us a Rottweiler named Ella is teaching us all, the true meaning of loyalty.

How fitting is it that in the town of Only, Tennessee there is a dog with only one wish.

"She's somebody's baby you could tell," said animal rescuer Kathy Wilkes-Myers. "If her eyes could talk, speak words I mean they'd speak volumes."

Sitting on the front porch of Myers' house Ella is happy but not at home. Ella is waiting for something.

"She seems happy but she has this look in her eye like this is okay, but where's my family?" said Myers.  

Most humans would say that Ella is lost, but she'll tell you it's the other way around. Her family has been missing ever since the accident.

"She slammed the breaks and we went into a spin," said accident survivor Joe Kelley.

On July 1, the Kelley family nearly died in a horrific car accident in Hickman County.

"I just remember slamming right into the mountain and I thought to myself well this is it God," said accident survivor Michelle Kelley.

A frightened Ella watched as the medics took Joe, Michelle and their three children away to the hospital.

"The last thing I've seen was her looking straight in the eyes before she ran up into the woods," said Joe.

The family pet, Ella, got scared and ran away from the scene.

"Couldn't find my dog - couldn't find my dog," said Michelle.

She could have wandered east or west, north or south, but she did not. Instead, for 13 days Ella waited.

Kathy Wilkes-Myers drove by the accident the day it happened and two weeks later she spotted a dog near the same spot.

"That's the last spot she saw her family and she was going to stay there," said Myers. "She was starved and covered with ticks."

Kathy brought Ella back to her rescue ranch where the two became quick friends. She also brought back a plastic bag full of clues hoping it could lead her to Ella's owners.

"I found another little nest where she had put all these personal items," said Myers.

Since Ella could not find her family at the crash site, she decided to find everything that belonged to them.

"It just blew my mind and I thought this dog was just trying to find some comfort," said Myers.

While searching the area, Kathy also found a notepad that led her to insurance agent April Bowers.

"I knew exactly who it was, whose dog it was - what's going on," said Bowers.

Just like that the pieces came together. Despite all they've been through, the Kelleys never once forgot their dog and Ella never forgot them.

Myers brought Ella to reunite with her family.

Every member of the Kelley family was expected to make a full recovery. Though the family has faced some major medical and financial setbacks since the accident they said getting Ella back makes it all worthwhile.

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