Duncan family reunited with elderly dog following social media frenzy

A family in Duncan is reunited with their lost fur friend following a wild frenzy.
Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 5:37 PM CDT
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DUNCAN, Okla. (KSWO) - “It’s amazing the love that people have for Miss Bella.”

This fourteen-year-old Labrador is the “Bella of the Ball” after a social media frenzy led to her finding, three days after she went missing from her Duncan home.

The Hlavaty family was about to sit down for dinner when they realized the side gate had been blown open and one of their five dogs was missing.

“We go into the backyard, she can’t hear very good, she can’t see very good, and we’re all just going different directions scrambling and trying to find her,” said Bella’s owner Suzann Hlavaty.

When there was no sign of her the next day, they turned to social media and the post went viral.

“It’s just crazy amazing many people brought their ATVs, horseback, side by sides, walked the fields,” said Lynn Hlavaty. “We don’t know, we don’t know the majority of these people.”

When Monday rolled around, Bella was still missing.

“All kinds of thoughts go through your head, especially living out in the country,” shared Suzann. “We have coyotes, bobcats. I just told Mayci ‘Just take me home, I just wanna go lay down, I don’t think we are gonna find her, I just think it’s over.’”

However, people were still looking, including Shana Bishop and her daughter Elli.

“We were on our way to dance, and it wasn’t our normal route,” claimed Bishop. “And so I told Elli, my daughter, I said, ‘I think that’s Bella,’ So we pulled my car into the ditch, and she got out and ran to her first, Bella took a step and then she just collapsed.”

Bishop and her daughter stayed with the exhausted Bella. While the lab wouldn’t touch food, she drank water out of Bishop’s hand. When they were sure it was her, they made the call.

Bella was home, but she hadn’t gotten through her journey unscathed.

“Her paw was scrapped off, she had an injury on her paw, she had a hole on the side of her and some cuts and scrapes,” said Suzann.

When she wouldn’t eat at the vet, they brought Bella her favorite snack, a bag of burgers from Braums.

Now, she’s recovering at home and enjoying her newfound stardom with people from all over, including Australia, sharing the story.