Bemis is the name of a tiny dog (Italian greyhound) that disappeared suddenly out of United States Army veteran Kelly Accettola’s life seven years ago, after he never returned to scratch the patio door after making his business in their Norfolk, Virginia yard.
For months afterward, Accettola searched the neighborhood with her young daughter in a stroller, while holding out hope that the microchip on her little pooch would help trace him back to her and her husband, a nuclear engineer for the Navy, who was on deployment when the incident took place.
Before she knew it, though, four years had passed.
“It was kind of then that I sort of gave up hope,” she told the Gaston Gazette.
“He was with me through a lot of stuff when I was alone and didn’t have any family or anybody nearby. He was my best friend and we did everything together.”
Enter — seven years later and just a few days ago — a miracle. And a kind, observant stranger commuting on a North Carolina road.
Again, via the Gaston Gazette:
Fate interjected when Tracy Tucker was driving to work in the area of New Hope Road and Modena Street in Gastonia earlier this year. She spotted what she believed a lost or stray dog and opened her car door to let him in and later took him to get checked out at Wilkinson Animal Hospital.
“I opened up the car door and he just hopped right on in,” said Tucker, who says she often rescues and fosters animals in the area. “Right after work we came here and found his chip and everything.”
She got in touch with the American Kennel Club Reunite, a Raleigh-based organization which helps connect nearly 50 lost animals with their owners each day. The organization was able to match the dog’s microchip to an address in Sacramento, California — Kelly’s mother-in-law’s home — and sent a letter Monday informing her that Bemis had been found.
Kelly, who now works as an office manager in San Diego, received the message and flew to Charlotte on Friday after work. The next morning, along with representatives from Reunite, she met Tracy for the first time and had her emotional reunion with Bemis.
“I am just thrilled that he is going back home to his owner that didn’t willingly give him up or anything,” said Tucker.
American Kennel Club has offered to pay for all of Bemis’ veterinary bills.
On Saturday in North Carolina, Kelly and Bemis finally got to embrace once again, after all these years.
The overjoyed vet had tears running down her cheeks when she went to pick up the minuscule canine giddily running into her arms near the front door of the Wilkinson Animal Hospital.
“Oh my gosh, Bemis. Hi, sweetheart. You look just the same.”