Bonnie Belle is a well-traveled pooch.
The 9-year-old miniature schnauzer from Berkley, Michigan, recently turned up in Allanreed, Texas, according to The Detroit Free Press.
Bonnie was discovered wandering around a rest stop by an attendant, who informed supervisor Amie Lewis II — who just so happens to operate a dog rescue, Chloe’s Canines. The dog, who did not have a microchip, was also found with supplies including a dog bed, leading Lewis to believe the pup was abandoned.
While no one at the rest stop claimed the dog, Bonnie Belle came with clues. The friendly pooch was recently groomed, was wearing a Halloween bow and had ID tags on from Michigan. Worried about the Midwest dog that made her way South, Lewis posted about the canine on the Facebook page Michigan – Lost, Missing, Stolen or Found Pets, hoping someone would recognize the pet.
The power of the Internet pulled through. Jenny Billingsley’s husband spotted the post, which quickly spread amongst local Berkley, Michigan, Facebook pages, and recognized the dog as the pet of his wife’s late father.
In 2016 Jenny Billingsley’s father Fred Trabant died, leaving behind his wife Carol and their dog Bonnie Belle, reports WKYC. Around the same time Carol fell and suffered serious injuries that required long-term rehabilitation. Between looking after her father’s affairs and caring for her mother, Billingsley felt she couldn’t provide her parents’ pup with the attention and love she deserved.
Billingsley placed the pooch with a dog-loving friend of her father’s in White Cloud, Michigan. Upon giving Bonnie Belle to the friend, Billingsley thanked her for adopting the dog and also told her that should would be happy to take Bonnie Belle at a later date, if the dog ever became too much.
For the first few months after her father’s death, Billingsley got updates from the woman on how Bonnie Belle was doing; then they suddenly stopped. Worse yet, Billingsley could no longer get a hold of the woman to check on the dog. After moving from Michigan to Tennessee with her mom and getting no contact from Bonnie’s new owner for more than one year, Billingsley though she would never see the dog again — until her husband sent her that Facebook post.
Billingsley told WKYC that she recognized not only Bonnie Belle, but her collar and tags. She got in contact with Lewis and has arranged to reunite with her dad’s dog on Nov. 11.
“For me, this is like having a little piece of my dad back. 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,’ ” Billingsley said.
It is unclear how the dog ended up abandoned at a rest stop more than 1,000 miles from home or who was caring for Bonnie Belle before she was dumped, but Billingsley is grateful to be reunited with the dog and excited to give her a forever home.