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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

When All Is Not Lost

Miraculous stories of survival emerged after one of the strongest tornadoes in history tore through an Oklahoma suburb about two weeks ago. One of the stories was about a dog and the video of the incident has been going viral ever since.

An elderly woman whose home was destroyed by the Oklahoma tornado found her pet dog (which she initially thought was dead) among the rubble during a live TV interview.

Barbara Garcia was standing among the twisted wreckage of her home as she was interviewed about her experiences by a reporter from CBS.

"I was sitting on the stool holding my dog," she said.

"This was the game plan all through the years, to go in that little bathroom (together). I rolled around a little bit and when it stopped I was right there (and) that stove cooker is what I saw.

But her dog, she said, had not been as lucky. Garcia explained that she had been holding onto her pet when she went into the other room, but couldn’t locate him after the tornado had passed.

"I never lost consciousness and I hollered for my little dog and he didn't answer, he didn't come, so I know he's in here somewhere."

When the victim was asked what she thought of the devastation, Garcia replied, “This is life in the big city.” But just moments afterward, a woman’s voice off-camera proclaimed, “The dog, the dog! Hi, puppy!”

As Garcia turned around, the camera panned over to a large piece of metal debris underneath which the grey schnauzer could be seen trying to wriggle free. Garcia is seen crouching down before exclaiming with joy as she spots her pet.

"Oh thank God. … Bless your little bitty heart," Garcia said, pulling the dog out from the wreckage and brushing debris off his coat.

And it was really touching and beautiful when Garcia said...
"I thought God just answered one prayer — to let me be OK — but he answered both of them, because this was my second prayer.”

The dog, named Bowser, appeared to have survived the tornado unscathed, and was later seen happily walking away from the wreck alongside Garcia. It was like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Here's the video:

Sometimes they say a dog makes all the difference. And yes it was true in this case. As the video went viral, donations came pouring in for Garcia whose house was uninsured.

Barbara Garcia tears up as she tells CBS News 'I didn't know I was that important' after seeing donations pour in for her and her little dog Bowser who was filmed miraculously emerging from the rubble.

'One by one, they can be replaced. A lot of it wasn't even important, but I couldn't replace him,'  Garcia says while holding her dog securely in her injured arms.

The spotlight on the footage where Bowser looked as if he cheated death proved to be a turning point.

This one person called Erin DeRuggiero later set up an account, to help Garcia rebuild her home. It took only 24 hours for it to pull in $1,500. As of now an incredible  $56,300 has been raised from 1,365 people. And that is just from this one particular account. There are others too.

The fund raiser said 'I was shattered upon seeing her home destroyed, her recounting her experience and her joy upon seeing that her dog had survived it all. My goal is to ease her recovery, raise enough money to help her start to rebuild or relocate her life, and above all else, to show her that "life in the big city" also means helping one another, even from 1500 miles away.'

Garcia's little miracle, coupled with the generosity of support from total strangers, is one of the few pieces of good news to come out of Moore, Oklahoma after the two-mile wide tornado ripped through the small town on and took the lives of many.

Thanks to Bowser. If not for him, Garcia would have been left alone to rue her miserable fate. I must say, sometimes we make a difference in our pet's life. Sometimes it's the other way round.

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