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Family Reunites With Dog Lost In 1999 Tornado


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Family Reunites With Dog Lost In 1999 Tornado

6 Years After Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak, Family Recovers Long Lost Canine

UPDATED: 12:43 pm EDT May 4, 2005

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Six years after the disastrous May 3, 1999, tornadoes that left a swath of destruction through Oklahoma City, people are still finding things they lost in the chaos -- but those stories are likely nothing compared to the story of a dog that was recently reunited with her family in Choctaw after six years.

During the events of six years ago, many things were lost in south Oklahoma City and surrounding suburbs -- including pets. Ginger, a Dalmatian belonging to the Collins family, was only a puppy when she was lost in the storm.

"All these years went by, and I always thought, 'Where would she be if she was still alive?'" said Ginger's owner, Amy Collins.

Collins said she happened to be looking on the Rocky Spot Rescue Web site and thought she saw her dog.

"I thought, 'There's no way this dog can be on there,'" she said.

On Easter Sunday 2005, Collins and her family went to the shelter -- and sure enough, it was their long lost dog.

"They say a dog never forgets a scent, and that's how she recognized us -- by our scent -- and she just went crazy when she saw us," she said.

Ginger not only survived the tornado. She was also hit by a car and had hip surgery. Then, Collins said, someone shot her.

"Right here, she has a bullet in her back," she said.

The dog was abandoned at least once after another family adopted her, moved away and left her tied to a tree. She was also attacked by a pit bull that left scars on her face.

"She's had some miles on those feet," Collins said.

Now, Ginger has a safe place to sleep in Collins' bed. Although she can't talk, Ginger is finally breathing a big sigh of relief.

Along with the buckshots in her back, Ginger also has an implanted microchip. If she does happen to get lost again, almost any veterinarian or shelter can scan her chip and bring her back home quickly.

The Collins family has two other dogs as well -- a Labrador Retriever and a Dachshund that took a while to warm up to Ginger. But after all Ginger had been through, a feisty miniature dog wasn't going to stop her from coming home.

Ginger's family said all the dogs now get along just fine.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc.


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