For a month, Will Cabell did everything he could to find his dog Daisy, a 7-year-old Weimaraner who went missing after Cabell's work truck slammed into a tree near Alcolu on Interstate 95.
Cabell came away from the crash with two black eyes, a gash in his forehead, a hematoma in his lower abdomen and a shoulder injury that has required physical therapy.
Cabell had been returning to his father's home in Charleston from a one-day work trip in North Carolina. His dad was repainting the house, and he decided to take Daisy with him on the trip.
"It was raining really bad on the interstate, and a car come off the exit," Cabell said. "I saw it and merged over into the other lane, but I guess I was in the person's blind spot, and it just kept merging over, and it pushed me off the road."
He said he doesn't remember hitting the tree, but as soon as regained his senses, he realized Daisy wasn't in the truck.
"All the airbags had gone off," he said. "I crawled out of the back window, and I noticed stuff was all over the place."
Daisy, who had been on the passenger's seat, must have been ejected from the car, he said.
"I had blood coming out of my head and out of my stomach, and I could barely walk," he recalled, "and here I am walking down the interstate trying to find her."
A few minutes later, police and an ambulance arrived.
The police told him he could not go looking for Daisy.
"They took me to the hospital, but the only thing on my mind is losing her," Cabell said.
Cabell said he came from a cat family, so when he was on his own, he decided to get a dog. Having worked with a rescue operation that rescued Weimaraners, he decided he wanted one. He took one of the rescue dogs for a while, but he had to move, and it "didn't work out."
While living near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he advertised on Craigslist for a Weimaraner, and a lady answered who said she had a litter of three silver and two blue Weimaraners.
"I didn't even know they had blue ones, but I said I would like a blue female," Cabell said.
At the time, Cabell was working and living at an assisted living facility, and now he had an eight-week-old puppy.
"It was a great place to raise a dog; all these old people wanted to love on something," he said.
Daisy has been with Cabell since then.
"Just like my sidekick," he said.
Daisy especially loves to ride in his Jeep.
"Even if you're not going anywhere, you just open the door and she will jump in and just sit there for hours, thinking she's going somewhere when she really isn't," Cabell said.
After the accident, Nathaniel Cabell came to the Alcolu area and began putting up missing dog posters.
Will Cabell posted information on Facebook about Daisy, and soon he was getting help looking for her, including from a man who searched for three days using a drone and a group from North Carolina that searches for dogs and horses with bloodhounds.
When he was physically able, he returned to Alcolu and searched himself, but after three weeks he began to lose hope.
"I was like, there is two things that could have happened, either she died or somebody's keeping her," he said.
Mother Nature doesn't lose many arguments, so despite the fact the Bennett family had stopped 10 minutes earlier at a rest stop, Sarah Bennett found a secluded spot off the roadway to answer the call. It was Sept. 25.
Sarah said she was nervous when the dog approached her, wagging its tail and whimpering.
"She was in pretty bad shape; she had a huge kind of gouge on her side, and she came over and started talking to me, you could barely hear her," Sarah Bennett said. "She was so sad."
Bennett did not know what to do.
"We were on our way down to Florida to deliver some furniture and were on a strict timeline," she said.
Owners of a U-Haul company in North Carolina, the Bennetts had their three boys along with them.
Her husband said they couldn't take the dog.
"We didn't really have time to stop anywhere, but by that time she had jumped in the U-Haul," Bennett said. "She was like, 'You are not leaving me here.'"
They got Daisy out of the truck but decided they could take the dog to Florida and find a shelter there.
"We were under the assumption that she was not really going to make it," Bennett said.
They got Daisy into Sarah Bennett's car and continued on, but Sarah said she had a gut feeling that she should call a local shelter. She searched on the internet, and A Second Chance Animal Shelter in Manning came up.
Sherri Arment, office manager at the shelter, said she was the only one working up front at that time.
"She (Bennett) called and asked, and at the time, we couldn't take any new animals in," Arment said.
She asked Bennett what kind of dog it was.
Bennett told her it was a Weimaraner.
Arment remembered something on Facebook about a Weimaraner.
Bennett said that she was on the phone and still driving. Arment asked her if the dog would respond to "Daisy."
"Sure enough, she responded," Bennett said. "We turned around, and we drove back."
Arment called the number she was given to call if the dog was found, and Will Cabell answered the phone.
"I think we have your dog," she said.
Cabell immediately got in his Jeep and headed for Manning.
Meanwhile, Arment checked Daisy for an ID chip and verified the dog was indeed Daisy. She informed Cabell.
"When the lady (Bennett) brought it in, I gave it food, because she was really, really skinny. We didn't want to give her too much food because she was wolfing it down."
Several people who had been involved in the search gathered at the shelter for the reunion.
When Cabell arrived, Daisy was ecstatic to see him.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the house," Arment said. "There were several of us standing there, we are all crying, and as soon as he saw her he dropped to his knees and the dog came up. He kept saying, 'She's so thin, she's so thin. I can't believe how thin she is.'"
Upon returning to Charleston, Cabell took Daisy to a veterinarian. He said the lack of treatment for a month created some problems.
Daisy developed a bulla (a cavity filled with fluid or air) in her lung, a herniated diaphragm and some heart problems, he said.
"Her hip was dislocated for about a month, and you can't put it back in the socket, so they will have to do some unique things there," Cabell said. "Her first surgery went really well, and physical therapy has been going well for me."
After a surgery on Tuesday, Cabell said Daisy had her breathing tube removed and was eating food, a good sign.
"She's a great dog, and I am glad to have her back," he said.
Daisy will need additional surgeries, Cabell said, and the vet bill will likely top $10,000.
Anyone wishing to help with Daisy's bills may visit https://www.youcaring.com/elizabethcabell-959438.
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