Bill Gerstein learned his lesson: he will not let his dog Bella out of his sight.
The Delray Beach man always brought Bella to work in Fort Lauderdale. On Friday, December 13, 2013, he let Bella outside and then got distracted.
“We searched, we put up signs, we were at this place until 2 in the morning,” said Gerstein.
Bella was gone.
As the months turned into years, Gerstein lost hope. Until Tuesday, when he got an email from an animal shelter in New Jersey that had Bella.
“Within 10 minutes I booked a flight on Spirit, my wife drove me to Fort Lauderdale Airport and I was on my way,” said Gerstein.
Luckily the Maltese-Pomeranian mix was wearing a microchip. It guaranteed a reunion with her family.
“I picked her up she was shaking uncontrollably for 10 minutes,” remembered Gerstein. “I think she was in shock that we were reunited.”
Gerstein knows a family in New Jersey cared for the dog for about 9 months this year before she ran away and ended up in the shelter. He still has no idea how Bella got to New Jersey to begin with.
“I wish that she talked, I wish she was wearing a GoPro or something like that because she has some story to tell,” he said.
The "Thanksgiving Miracle", as he’s dubbed it, will be a story Gerstein tells for years.