Dog Reunited With Owner After 53 Days in Wild
Barbara Bagley overjoyed to have Dooley back
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2012 11:43 AM CST
This Feb. 18, 2012 photo provided by Shannon Sustacha shows Barbara Bagley and her Shetland sheepdog Dooley after the two were reunited, east of Battle Mountain, Nev.   (AP Photo/Shannon Sustacha)

(Newser) – If you just can't take any more of this today, here's a bittersweet story to warm your heart: After surviving for 53 days in the Nevada desert, a Shetland sheepdog named Dooley was reunited with his loving owner last month. Dooley ran from a Dec. 27 car accident that severely injured owner Barbara Bagley and her husband and killed the couple's other dog. A search was organized, but called off Jan. 6—the same day Bagley's husband died from his injuries—when remains, thought to be Dooley's, were found near the interstate.

Even so, Bagley believed Dooley was still alive; he was spotted near the accident scene more than three weeks later, then again in mid-February. Finally, searchers were able to corner a skittish Dooley, who had dropped from 44 pounds to 20 pounds. "When Barbara opened the door and looked at him, she said, 'My beautiful boy, my beautiful boy, you're home,'" says one of the rescuers. "Oh, boy, all of us cried." Says Bagley, "It's a message from my husband who was looking out for him. … He's the physical and mental affection that I need to recover." Click for more on the reunion.