Dog reunites with family after cavers rescue her from cave

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) – “It’s hard to believe, she’s been gone for so long,” said Kathy Bohnert.

Until last weekend, they had not seen their pet for two months.

They thought they would never see their 13-year-old dog again.

Now she’s safely back home after an adventure no one saw coming.

Jeff Bohnert said the trip started on June 9, when Abby didn’t come home.

“I knew right away that she probably wouldn’t come back or that she was hurt and couldn’t come back,” Jeff said.

Nearly two months later, the Cave Research Foundation has organized around 30 people to map some caves in Perry County ahead of a larger event in a few weeks.

Gerry Keene, who has been caving for more than a decade, said around five children were in the group.

They walk quickly with enthusiasm and advance a little in the cave.

“All of a sudden, the kids go ‘Dad! There is a dog here! said Keene.

Lying in the middle of the cave, they found Abby.

Band member Rick Haley said they could see she needed help fast. Both Haley and Keene know cave rescue procedures and have sprung into action.

They called the authorities and while they waited Keene began trying to find the owner.

“He walked around the neighborhood knocking on doors, showing a picture on a phone, ‘Hey, is that your dog?'” Haley said.

Once back in the cave, they could see that she was malnourished and had difficulty moving and walking.

They came up with the idea of ​​using a gym bag to get her off the ground.

“I took that bag out, unzipped it, put the blanket down, and the dog at that point walked over and sat in the bag,” Haley said. “Because the dog recognized it’s the driest, warmest, softest thing I’ve seen in a long time and I’m just going to lay on it.”

They slowly worked together to bring her to the surface.

“I’d put it back, he’d put it down, he’d go up, then I’d go up, then we’d put it back up again,” Haley said.

Kathy and Jeff Bohnert can’t believe Abby’s house.

Their college daughter Rachel is thrilled that her beloved pet has come home.

When she disappeared for so long, Rachel lost hope.

When her dad FaceTimed her and told her he had a surprise, she didn’t expect to see Abby on the other end.

“He turns the camera around and it’s her and I was like how she is here,” Rachel recalled. “There’s no way she’s still alive.”

Jeff said Abby was getting back to being herself.

“She’s acting pretty normal, she really hasn’t barked yet, I guess she doesn’t have the energy for that,” Jeff said.

The Bohnert family says Abby is very lucky the cavers found her when they did.

“You had the right people in the right place at the right time,” Haley said.

Kathy said they are slowly adding more calories to Abby’s diet to keep her healthy. Her body has taken a beating from spending so long in starvation mode, but the family hopes she will make a full recovery.

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