Good Samaritan helps reunite boy with dog who disappeared day he returned from hospital
After spending a month in the hospital, family say 6-year-old Alex couldn't wait to get home and give his dog Bear a big hug.
He got to do that on Tuesday, but by Tuesday night, Bear was nowhere to be found.
A family photo shows the joyful reunion between a boy and his dog.
"And all this dog wanted to do was keep licking his face, and it was so cute," said Michelle Koertgen, aunt.
Alex Hook is home, but with a long road to recovery after a lawn mower accidentally hurled rebar into the boy's skull on the school playground.
"He still has the fluid on his head and that helmet is protecting his skull where it's missing," said Koertgen.
So the Hooks decided to send their spirited Shepherd-Border Collie to stay with friends in Spring Grove, Illinois, to protect Alex's head.
"He did a Houdini move and pulled out of his collar," said Koertgen.
The Hooks got in their cars to search. By morning, hope had dwindled.
"They're literally running on zero energy and then to have something like this throw another wrench into the whole mix...we had given up to be honest with you," said Koertgen.
Wednesday afternoon, Jenny Schiller, who lives near Spring Grove, came upon a woman in a white van.
"And she looked upset and she said she was looking for her dog," Schiller said.
Schiller made a mental note of the dog's picture, even remembering his name, and then went about her day.
"It was a medium rain, and I saw, looking like a coyote, Bear! said Schiller.
Schiller chased Bear through the neighborhood, all the way toward the white van. In the van was Alex's mom. He was in the vehicle too.
"And she sees this car zipping down the street and she realized it was chasing her dog. And she pulled her car over and opened up the back and the dog jumped right in the car," said Koertgen.
"And the dog went right to him and he hugged him and it was really cool to see," said Schiller.
"He's thrilled to death that he got him back and thrilled to death that he's home. I believe God puts certain people in certain places at certain times, and she was one of them," said Koertgen.
Bear was missing for about 16 hours.
The pads on his paws are worn out, so he's being treated by his vet.
As for Alex, he's doing outpatient therapy and therapy at home.
There's a fundraiser coming up on Oct. 23 at Bender's in Silver Lake.