A Golden Retriever named Bailey is an important family member to the Popiels. They brought the 4-year-old dog home as a puppy, and he quickly befriended Noah, their 14-year-old son. So, when Bailey made a sudden escape, the whole family panicked.
Michelle Popiel from Thomasville, Georgia, said that Bailey was in her truck at a shopping center when he escaped. The back window was open a crack, so the pup squeezed out when his humans weren’t looking. Michelle has no idea what prompted his escape, and she didn’t see where he sprinted off to. But luckily, there was a kind community of dog lovers who were willing to help.
The 24-Hour Search
It only took a few hours for the Popiels to distribute lost dog flyers and social media posts. Soon, people all over the county were helping the family look for Bailey, but it was still no use.
“The outpouring of love and concern not just from friends but also just perfect strangers was just incredible,” Michelle said.
For nearly 24 hours, the family searched, and they began to fear the worst. But then, at 2 p.m. the following day, Michelle received a promising call. Dallas Johnson, a mechanic at Flowers Nissan, had found a dog trapped in a storm drain and called the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society for help.
Johnson found Bailey after hearing something strange near a storm drain at work. As he got closer, he spotted Bailey whimpering in the storm drain, unable to escape.
An Early Christmas Miracle
When Johnson saw the dog in distress, he didn’t hesitate to jump into action. He called Brent Sizemore, his co-worker, to help him free Bailey. It took them about 15 minutes to save the pup. Humane society staff arrived not long after.
“[His] legs were actually tangled up under water, but he was just so exhausted from being in that cold water,” Johnson said. “I’ve never been involved in anything like this in my life. I knew you see an animal in distress you want to try and help.”
Luckily, the humane society was aware of the missing dog, so they shared the good news with the Popiels. Bailey was so tired that he could barely stand, but he was fine after some overdue rest. The only injuries he suffered from the event were some broken toenails.
Michelle believes that finding Bailey is a Christmas miracle. The humane society takes in lost dogs every day, and many of them never find their families again. So, the Popiels are very fortunate to welcome their dog home after a stressful day of searching. Noah is especially grateful that his best friend is back in his arms.