If you have pets, you know just how important animals become in your life. They’re like family, and losing them is absolutely devastating. Samantha Orr and her mom Jennifer experienced this first-hand when, during the summer of 2018, they got into a terrible car accident and not only did Samantha’s mom not survive, but her dog went missing.
- The accident was horrific. The pair were on a family road trip in Colorado and were chatting when they noticed a huge rock in the road. Jennifer was driving and swerved to avoid the rock, but the car slid off the road and 600 feet down a ravine. Sadly, Jennifer was killed in the crash, and Samantha experienced horrific injuries including displaced ribs.
- Samantha’s Goldendoodle, Bentley, went missing. The pup was in the Jeep with them when the accident occurred, but when Samantha came to, she had no idea what had become of her beloved pet. She remembered seeing the dog get thrown from the car, but no one could find him.
- She pleaded with the public to help her “Bring Bentley Back.” She started a Facebook post and asked everyone she could to help her find Bentley, who was very close with her mom. “We know he is still out there and scared,” she wrote in a post two weeks after the accident. “We need to get Bentley back home to Kansas to his grieving family.”
- It seemed like a lost cause. However, finally, Samantha got a message from a man named Joseph Stratmann. He said he’d been looking for Bentley in the area he’d gone missing and had been putting food out in case he was still there. Samantha decided to go out there and search with Stratmann to see if they could find Bentley and bring him home.
- There, 19 days later, Samantha Orr found Bentley. However, he was too scared and wouldn’t come over to her. “Eventually his fear got the best of him and he made his way to the ridge. I slowly but surely followed him. Upon reaching the summit, I could see him watching me,” she wrote. She said she left food and a toy for him, but he wasn’t having it, so she decided to back off.
- Samanatha took some video of Bentley on her phone. The dog can be seen in one of the clips looking at the exact spot where the accident occurred. This moved Samantha to tears, and it seemed to jog something in Bentley, too. He decided to come closer.
- Finally, Samantha and Bentley were reunited! In a Facebook post after bringing him home, she thanked Joe for helping her find her dog and being with her the whole way. “Joe was my living guardian angel Saturday. He safely led me up the mountain, kept me calm and positive, everything I needed in that moment. At times he was a human stepping stool for me when I had no foot placement while climbing the mountain on all fours,” she wrote. “This incredible man is the reason I was able to engage with my traumatized Bentley. Had it not been for Joe, this puppy would not have returned home. Thank you so much, Joe.”
- Having Bentley back has helped Samantha grieve the loss of her mother and begin to heal. In another blog post, she revealed how Bentley’s presence has helped her. “Nothing could cure the pain in my heart over the loss of my mom. But having him back was one less loss to endure and I will be forever grateful to have my mountain man safely at home,” she admitted. “Sometimes I watch him sleeping, flopped over on his back without a care in the world and imagine what he must’ve seen and done during those days. I can’t even begin to guess, but I’m so, so proud of him.”