Missing Age 9 Dog Found 1,000 Miles Away from Home at Texas Rest Stop


Some things you just can never seem to find. That lost sock, your keys, the pencil you had just a moment ago, Jimmy Hoffa — they seem to vanish into thin air without warning.

Other items, though, keep turning up. After all, there’s a reason why the proverbial bad penny became, well, a proverb!

Still further things simply go missing and stay missing, no matter how much we may long to retrieve them. Yet sometimes, against all odds, they find their way back to us.

Such is the case with a 9-year-old miniature schnauzer from Berkley, Michigan. According to the Detroit Free Press, the dog, which was named Bonnie Belle, belonged to one Fred Trabant.

Yet when he passed away in 2016 and his wife, Carol, hurt herself in a nasty fall, their daughter, Jenny Billingsley, didn’t believe she could properly care for the pooch. “[My mom] broke her leg and tore her colon,” Billingsley said.

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“At the time, my husband and I, we couldn’t give Bonnie the attention that she needed.” She also wanted to keep Bonnie Belle according to the same standard that her dad did.

“He took such great care,” she explained. “He always had her groomed up there at Ashley’s Grooming in Berkley on Coolidge, and he always took [her] to the vet … North Main Animal Hospital in Royal Oak.”

People reported that Billingsley reached out to a family friend who bred dogs with the agreement that she could adopt Bonnie back at a later date. That went fine — until the friend soon stopped communicating with Billingsley.

“Probably around June of 2016,” Billingsley said, “she told me that Bonnie had snapped at her husband (which I don’t believe) and that her boss’ son really liked Bonnie, so she just gave [her to] them. Since then, I’ve never heard from her.”

Billingsley had resigned herself to never seeing her family’s schnauzer again. Then something funny happened.

Her husband showed her a picture from a community Facebook page dedicated to missing dogs. He quipped that it looked a whole lot like Bonnie Belle.

“I just knew from looking at the pictures that was my dog, that was my dad’s dog,” Billingsley said. This dog, though, wasn’t in Michigan: It was in Texas.

An attendant at a Texas rest stop had discovered the pooch wandering around the grounds. The dog was also found with a bed and other supplies nearby, leading workers to believe the pup had been abandoned there.

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The attendant told their supervisor, Amie Lewis II, who operates the dog rescue Chloe’s Canines. The dog went to the rescue, where employees soon discovered that it didn’t have an embedded microchip.

However, the dog did have Michigan identification tags. Lewis had a feeling someone far away from Texas was missing their dog very much and posted a photo of Facebook. And soon enough, Billingsley’s husband recognized the animal as none other than Bonnie Belle.

Now reunited with her family, Bonnie is enjoying lots of tender love and affection, although no one quite knows how she made her way 1,000 south. Still, Billingsley isn’t questioning the reunion.

“For me, this is like having a little piece of my dad back,” she said. “In the last two years, I have to say, I’ve had a few little strange instances happen that just let me know that my dad is watching over me, and I feel like he’s watching over Bonnie and saying, ‘Okay, we’re getting Bonnie back to you.’”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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