Photo Gallery | SLIDESHOW: Family reunited with dogs after storms destroy home
Chase and Calen Chambless lost their home on April 27th in the tornadoes. They also lost their two dogs who were in the home, or so they thought.
The next couple days after the tornadoes, they searched for Bella, a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, and Kiaha, a 3-year-old Australian Shepherd.
April 29th, a couple who had Bella's description brought her to the Chambless couple. She was dirty and had insulation all over her. The insulation and debris was packing into her eyes to the point they were nearly matted shut, and she could not see. The couple told the Chamblesses they saw her climb out from under a large pile of debris on the other side of the neighborhood.
The veterinarian and technicians cleaned out Bella's eyes and said she's obviously been hit in the head with something because she had some swelling and a loose tooth. A couple days later, her eyesight was back, and she was attached to the Chamblesses like glue.
Day went by and they still had not found Kiaha. They placed ads in the paper, on Facebook, and on some radio stations. They also spread the word through friends and family and making phone calls to shelters.
On May 4th, a friend phoned Calen to ask her the name of her missing dog. When Calen told her, she called the dog's name and said she had found Kiaha. She saw her in the front yard where their home used to be.
They drove to the home and were greeted by a very happy dog. They said she whimpered and that it was like she was crying. She sustained no injuries except a small cut on her front leg. She had very sticky fur from the insulation and rain.
"Seven days after that tornado, we may not have had anything but the clothes on our back and one vehicle, but at least we had our family, our whole family, which is much more of a blessing than I could ever ask for," said Calen.
A year later, the Chambless family still has their two dogs, along with another dog that was staying with Calen's parents the day of the tornado. They recently bought a new home, and they have their first child, a daughter, due in September.
"Although I wouldn't wish the April 27th tornadoes or their devastation on anyone, it is amazing how much dealing with the loss of all material things can change your perspective on what's important in life," Calen said.