On the first night of 2015, a terrible accident happened in i-65 near Elkmont, Alabama. There was one casualty, Tony Besch.
Last Friday, Tony’s family from Illinois got the terrible news of the wreck. His mother began making calls to Limestone County animal shelters. Wall-E, a Labrador Retriever, was with Tony in the crash and was missing.
Cathy Oakley, the owner of Bark Avenue, and the organizer of Peace, Love and Animals animal rescue in the area receives phone calls from people looking for their lost pets all the time. The call from Mrs. Besch just ‘ripped her heart out,” she said.
“I’ve already lost my son; I have to find his dog,” Besch’s mother told Oakley.
“I’ve have sons and I’ve have dogs, and I could imagine how she felt – I knew we had to find that dog,” Oakley said. “When I told her that I was about to run some errands and that I would also look for the dog and let other people know, she couldn’t believe it. I told her, ‘You don’t know how Southerners and animal rescuers are!'”
Just within hours, Oakley’s alerts had put hundreds of people on the lookout for Wall-E. Animal rescuer Jackie Metcalfwent door-to-door in search for the Lab. In the first few houses, she found a big yellow Labradorin the home ofKinnie and Susie Parker.
The Parkers found the dog wandering on the interstate shortly after the crash and stopped to investigate. According to the family, the dog had jumped into their back seat. The family attempted to make some calls about the dog the next day, but the numbers on the Lab’s collar were for Tony Besch, and his phone was destroyed in the wreck.
Metcalf took Wall-E to Bark Avenue, where the Labrador was carefully checked for injuries. Thelucky dog seems completely unharmed.
Debbie Besch, Tony’s former wife, said that the family is making arrangements to pick up Wall-E after the funeral. Wall-E will come to live with her and their daughter, Arianna.
Arianna named him after the star of her favorite movie.
“That is her buddy,” Debbie Besch said. “He listens to her. The foot of her bed is the only furniture in the house he’s allowed on, and he understands that. He’s a smart dog.”
And a lucky one.
“I’m just so thankful,” Besch said.
Image credits: Debbie Wade Besch