Dog finds way back home after car accident, 2 months in the desert

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012 10:46 p.m. MST

Barbara Bagley, not pictured, was reunited with her dog Dooley. The animal became lost following a traffic accident in Nevada that killed her husband and another dog. Dooley was found 53 days later.

Cody Neilson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Dooley the dog was lost in the Nevada desert for nearly two months.

But his owner, Barbara Bagley, said she feels like she got a big part of her life back now that Dooley is back home in Salt Lake City.

Dooley was lost after a car crash off I-80 through Nevada on Dec. 27. Bagley was driving that vehicle. The crash killed her husband and her other dog. Dooley was lost in the desert.

She suffered a collapsed lung and a broken rib and wrist from the accident, but she and her friends kept looking for Dooley. “I never gave up hope,” she said, “never gave up.”

Dooley was found Feb. 15 after spending 50 days in the desert near Battle Mountain, Nev. Thanks to missing dog fliers, someone saw Dooley, caught him and called Bagley with the good news.

"You want a family member back, and that's what Dooley is," said Kurt Bagley, Barbara's son. "At what length would you go to help a family member out and bring them home?"

When she got Dooley back, Barbara Bagley felt like she got a big part of her life back as well. "He (Dooley) gives me hope," she said, "his survival, and just the protection he was given while he was out there."

Bagley feels it was her deceased husband who helped Dooley get home.

“I think it was Brad, probably, my husband. He probably was freaking out that he (Dooley) was out there, and I think he protected him,” she said.

While she will probably never know the full story behind Dooley's rescue, she doesn't care. "He's just a bright spot in my life, and he makes me happy," she said.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com Twitter: ksl_alexcabrero

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