-- Lost Dog Never Gives up on Finding Its Family, His Story is Heartbreaking

To many people, dogs are more than just pets: They are family, and they are treated as such. Dogs are also unwaveringly loyal, and they love their owners as much as their owners love them
But how far does a dog's loyalty go? Is it possible that they might be too loyal? One woman found out just how loyal dogs are when she spotted a dog in a ditch along a highway. She assumed the dog had been abandoned, but the story was much stranger than that.
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The Jogger

There were three things that Kathy loved most: running, being outside, and taking care of animals. She tried her best to involve those three passions in her life as much as possible, and she could often be seen running outdoors.
When she wasn’t spending time outdoors or running, she spent her time volunteering to work with abandoned dogs at Love Me Tender Animal Rescue in Tennessee. She loved working with them and helping them find the families who would adopt them and love them forever.
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Always Watching

Her work with abandoned dogs meant she was always on the lookout for abandoned animals who needed saving. She knew how to spot a lost animal, and when she did, she tried her best to help it.
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She often ran along the side of the road near forests, and that was when she was most aware of looking for abandoned animals. A lot of pet owners chose to abandon their animals on the side of the road instead of surrendering them to shelters.
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A Scared Shadow

One day, Kathy was out running along the side of a highway. As usual, she took the opportunity to scan the edge of the forest for abandoned animals.
Kathy didn't always see abandoned animals on her run, but this run was different. On this particular day, she spotted a shadow in a ditch near the highway. Its movements suggested it was scared, but Kathy couldn’t tell what the shadow was.
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A Sad Sight

Kathy was experienced enough to know that the shadow was most likely an animal. Even though she thought it was probably a wild animal, she moved closer to it to make sure it didn’t need any help.
When Kathy was closer, she saw that the shadow was actually a thin, starving Rottweiler. Kathy was relieved that it wasn't a wild animal, and she wanted to rush to the Rottweiler’s side to check on it, but she held herself back. She didn’t know the full situation.
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Evaluating the Options

Kathy's experience working with animals helped her know how to handle the situation. She scanned the area and saw that the dog was by itself near the highway. It was clearly malnourished.
She knew she needed to help the dog, but she was worried that the dog might run away from her into the forest or into the dangerous highway. Although Kathy loved dogs, she knew that this one could be dangerous since it was alone and hungry.
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Meeting the Dog

Kathy was familiar with encountering abandoned animals and knew that approaching rapidly was reckless and could result in injuries to her or the animal. She knew that the dog would show her if it wanted her to come closer.
Kathy continued to slowly move closer. Eventually, the dog noticed her and began to wag its tail as she got closer. Kathy understood that the dog was telling her she could approach. There was no danger for her to worry about.
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Not a Stray

Kathy noticed that the dog had a collar around its neck that said “Ella.” Like Kathy had thought, the dog clearly wasn’t a stray, and she was obviously used to being around humans.
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From looking at Ella as the dog drank from a nearby ditch, Kathy could tell that she had been trained and taught by someone to be well-behaved. Kathy felt bad for the dog who clearly had once had a family.
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An Unknown Story

It was clear to Kathy that the dog had once been someone’s pet and now she had been left at a common location for abandoned animals. Kathy quickly felt her anger rise as she thought of an owner leaving Ella on the side of the road all alone.
Without hesitating, Kathy took the dog back to her house where she fed her. Kathy then took Ella to a nearby animal shelter to see if she could figure out what to do. She also hoped she could figure out the dog's story.
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Surprisingly Healthy

Kathy took the dog to the veterinarian for a checkup to see if she was sick. At the vet, Kathy was told the dog was healthy and didn’t seem to have any problems.
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The vet said she needed food and water, so Kathy left Ella there for a few days. When she picked her up a few days later, Kathy took her back home where she watched her begin to come back to life.
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An Unhappy Dog

Despite being with Kathy, Ella still seemed unhappy. Kathy had expected her to perk up, but the dog seemed just as sad as she had been when Kathy found her in the ditch.
Kathy was confused. She was used to abandoned dogs perking up once they had been rescued, but Ella seemed nervous and distressed. Kathy couldn’t understand why, since Ella had everything she needed.
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Returning to the Ditch

Kathy continued to watch Ella, but the dog stayed upset. She seemed to want to escape and go find something. Kathy finally decided that she would take Ella back to where she had found her.
Ella perked up as soon as they neared the ditch, which surprised Kathy. She didn’t understand why the dog would be attached to a ditch where she was seemingly abandoned. Kathy thought that maybe it had become a home for Ella since she had been there for a while.
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A Pile of Trash

Kathy followed Ella as they walked along the highway. Kathy tried to look for signs of why Ella wanted to be at the ditch. Maybe she had missed something the first time she saw Ella.
It was then that she noticed a pile of objects where the dog had been saved. As she got closer, Kathy could see that she had overlooked the random objects that Ella appeared to have been collecting. Ella seemed excited to be reunited with her collection, which made Kathy wonder why they were so important.
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Mysterious Glass

The pile was mostly personal items, such as bits of paper and other toiletries. They seemed insignificant to Kathy.
She couldn’t understand why Ella would want to keep items that people had thrown out. What would make her interested in that kind of trash? Kathy continued to look closer, which is when she noticed all the broken glass.
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The Car Crash

The items reminded Kathy of something that had happened a few weeks before along the same highway. She had been driving when she was stopped in traffic.
Apparently, an SUV with a family inside had been in an accident on the side of the highway and flipped into the ditch. The accident had been brutal and the car was on its side. It looked like no one would have been able to survive such an accident.
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A Sad Conclusion

Kathy realized that Ella must have belonged to the family in the car crash. Somehow, she had survived the accident and was now waiting along the side of the ditch with their possessions.
Based on the damage, Kathy believed the family must have perished, making Ella the only survivor. The items Ella collected were what remained of her family.
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Finding the Truth

Although the SUV had been removed from the site, the scent of gasoline and broken bits of grass remained. Kathy could picture the crash right in front of her.
Kathy decided to look up the accident, and she learned that the SUV had crashed 13 days before. Kathy was devastated as she imagined the dog waiting in the ditch for two weeks hoping her family would return.
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Contacting the Police

Kathy contacted the authorities after she and Ella returned from the ditch. She wanted to know what had happened to the family.
She assumed that the crash was too deadly for anyone to survive, but she hoped that the dog could be returned to some of the family. She was shocked when the police said that the entire family had survived the accident. That was news she never expected to hear.
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A Brutal Accident

Kathy was able to discover that three young children had been riding in the car with Ella and their parents, Joe and Michelle Kelley.
While driving down the highway, Joe had somehow lost control of the SUV, causing it to flip into a ditch. The family was trapped inside, and when the first responders arrived, they freed the family and took them to the nearest hospital.
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Happy News

Surprisingly, none of the family members had been seriously injured, and they had all been released from the hospital.
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Kathy was thrilled. She contacted the family as soon as possible to tell them that not only was Ella alive, she had also been looking for them.
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Searching for Ella

The Kelley family had looked for Ella in the two weeks since the accident. They had even told the police that the dog had been with them in the car.
Despite this, rescuers weren’t able to find Ella, so the family guessed that she had either died or run away. They were so excited to hear that she had somehow survived.
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An Unanswered Mystery

It was still unknown what had happened to Ella after the accident and why she hadn’t been found sooner. The authorities had told the family that she had probably been thrown from the car in the accident.
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They assumed that she had either been unconscious or run far away out of fear. Regardless of what happened, she had managed to return to look for her family. Where she had gone seemed insignificant now.
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A Heartbreaking Collection

Ella’s family was shocked when Kathy told them Ella had been living in the ditch and waiting for them. They were even more surprised when Kathy told them Ella had kept a pile of their things.
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But this didn’t surprise Kathy. She understood that Ella had returned to the only place where she thought her family would be: right where they were when she left them. And she had probably collected those items because they smelled like her family.
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A Scary 13 Days

Perhaps Ella was collecting the personal items because she thought she had lost her family? Or maybe she was trying to get them to return.
Either way, Kathy could tell that Ella’s injuries were more emotional than physical. She hated to think about how lost Ella must have been for 13 days while waiting for her family. She tried not to imagine her wandering through the forest and near the highway.
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An Unforeseen Problem

Kathy was relieved that Ella's family hadn't abandoned her. After contacting Ella’s family, Kathy assumed they would come to pick her up immediately, especially since they had been trying to find her.
But that didn’t happen. The family was facing financial problems after the medical bills from the accident, and that made it difficult to bring Ella home. They could barely support themselves let alone a dog.
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A Harsh Contract

After the accident, the Kelleys were no longer able to pay the rent for their current home, so they had to move to a cheaper place.
While the place they chose was affordable, it came with a rule: no dogs allowed. The Kelleys signed the lease because they thought Ella was gone forever. They hadn’t expected her to return, and now that she had, it looked like they couldn't even keep her.
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A Possible Solution

The Kelleys couldn’t lose Ella again, so they tried to come up with a way to keep her. They finally figured out that they could apply to let Ella be allowed to live in their new place despite the contract that didn’t allow dogs.
But that wouldn’t solve the problem right away. The landlord required several weeks to make the decision. During that time, the landlord would meet Ella to see if she could be allowed to live in the rental house. During those few weeks, the Kelleys couldn't do anything.
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A Grateful Savior

Kathy knew she had to help the family while they waited for the landlord to make a decision. She told them she would let Ella stay with her.
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They all knew Ella couldn’t stay in a shelter after all the stress she had already been through. Kathy agreed that she would keep Ella until the Kelleys could take her home. She had saved her once, now it was time to do it again.
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A Warning

Rescuing Ella had been a safe and easy decision for Kathy, but this isn’t the case for all animals. Some animals who have experienced what Ella experienced become scared and may lash out.
Some of them are even aggressive after an ordeal like that. Approaching them and trying to save them as Kathy did with Ella may not always be a good decision. It could put everyone in more danger.
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Saving an Animal

Kathy was trained to work with abandoned animals, but most people are not. If you do come across an abandoned or hurt animal, call either the authorities or animal control. They will be able to safely assess the situation.
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Ella’s story has a happy ending. The landlord agreed to let her live with her family, and she was able to return back home. Because of Kathy, she was able to be with the family who really loved her.

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