Dog and man reunite more than a week after tornado

Last week, DogTime.com told you about one Washington, Ill., family who was reunited with their precious pet in the aftermath of a deadly tornado that struck the small town on November 17.

Jacob Montgomery and Dexter; the dog was trapped under the rubble of Montgomery’s apartment for nine days.

Today, news is breaking that another Washington resident is back together with his four-legged best friend. Dexter, a 6-month-old American Pit Bull Terrier, managed to survive an unbelievable 9 days buried under the rubble of the apartment building where he lived with his owner, Illinois National Guardsman and Washington resident Jacob Montgomery.

Thanks to the efforts of his neighbors and his community, Montgomery and Dexter are back together again — just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Six months ago, Montgomery accepted a job promotion and moved from Champaign, Ill., down to Washington. Knowing he’d need a companion to help get him through the move, Montgomery adopted a puppy — Dexter. He and Dexter bonded immediately, and the two were inseparable. That is, until a violent tornado plowed through their apartment building.

Montgomery searched through the rubble, hoping desperately for any sign of Dexter. But when emergency crews declared the debris unsafe, ordering all civilians away from the destruction, Montgomery’s heart sunk.

After more than a week of waiting and worrying, wondering if he would ever see Dexter again, Montgomery got a Facebook notification on his smartphone from one of his neighbors.

“He said, ‘I’ve got your dog right here,’” Montgomery remembers.

Randy Ford, an employee in the demolished apartment complex, found little Dexter under a large pile of debris while searching for his cat with central Illinois rescue organization Rescuing Animals in Need (RAIN). Ford and RAIN volunteers were able to lure Dexter to safety with hot dogs.

Overjoyed, Montgomery raced down to the spot where Dexter was recovered, anxious to give his dog a big hug.

CentralIllinoisProud.com posted a photo of the happy reunion. Though Dexter certainly looks tired and his ribs are visible in the photograph, it is clear the pup is just happy to be with his person again.

“The vet said he has no real injuries — just a few scrapes and cuts,” Montgomery tells Read Media. “He was malnourished, but he’s going to be fine.”

Montgomery and Dexter will stay with a friend in nearby Peoria until they can find a new apartment of their own. Despite all he has lost, Montgomery says he has the most important thing in the world to him — Dexter. He is beyond thankful that his community came together to make that happy reunion possible.

“I am lucky,” Montgomery says. “All I had in my apartment is gone, but my dog was all I really had to worry about.”

Sources: Read Media., CentralIllinoisProud.com, Huffington Post