Louisiana Man Reunited With Three-Legged Dog Named Bear After Six Months of Searching
Six months after Hurricane Ida swept across the southeastern United States, a Louisiana man has been reunited with his lost dog, thanks to the efforts of some Good Samaritans.
Back in September, Harrison Sibley left his Louisiana home to stay with a friend in Sevier County, Tennessee, in advance of Hurricane Ida's landfall. According to Knoxville's WVLT, Sibley took his 10-year-old, three-legged German shepherd mix named Bear with him. While Sibley was out on a hike one day, friends let Bear out of the house where they were staying and that's when the pup took off.
Sibley returned to Tennessee four times over the next three months, looking for his dog with no luck. Meanwhile, a Facebook group was started to help spread the word of Bear's disappearance and let people compare notes and share updates. In January of this year, Bear started appearing on security cameras around Sevier County.
Once confirmed sightings began popping up, Jimi Holscher decided to get involved in the search. Holscher's mother sent him a post from the "Bring Bear Home" Facebook group, and Holscher offered the help of his drone to try to find the pooch from above.
"I've never used my drone to find a dog. But I heard he was three-legged and it touched me," Holscher said in an interview with People. He and Sibley devised a plan during one of Sibley's Tennessee trips.
Holscher told People that he first spotted Bear at about 3 a.m. one January morning, and managed to follow the dog for about 25 minutes before losing sight of him. Bear was trapped once by a local couple, but managed to escape, being spotted several more times within a 4-mile radius of his first capture.
Finally, last week, Holscher—with Sibley back up from Louisiana to search yet again—managed to spot the doggo again; the first time Sibley had seen Bear in six months.
"The dog was about 20 ft. in front of me," Holscher told People. "I called [Sibley] and he rushed over. He got down on his knees telling Bear to come home, but [the dog] took off running."
Holscher says that Bear seemed nervous, but kept coming back to the area over the next couple days until he was once again caught in a trap, ending the ordeal and reuniting the pup with his dog dad. Bear is now back home in Louisiana with Sibley, who joked with reporters that Bear had earned a nice steak dinner upon his return.
While the "Bring Bear Home" Facebook page continues to receive updates and photos of bear, Sibley is happy that he and Bear can get back to their lives.
"It's been six months of just growth, trying to grow as a person," Sibley told KVLT. "I was just blessed enough to get him back and grow through all of it so I'm just happy to have him again in my arms."