Family Pet Survives Storm

Monday, May 12th 2008, 6:01 pm
By: News On 6

Many people who live in Picher are dealing with profound loss. But, one family is thankful for a surprising discovery made in all the rubble. News on 6 Anchor Scott Thompson reports when the tornado hit Picher on Saturday night, Teresa O'Hara and her family had already suffered through a rough Spring.

That made a reunion in the midst of all that rubble even more special.

"All I got was a phone call from my mom, saying 'Teresa, it's coming, I'm ok, I'm ok, I'm heading for the closet,'" said tornado victim, Teresa O'Hara.

That phone call on Saturday night set off what may be the worst 24-hours in Teresa O'Hara's life. Desperate to make sure her 70-year-old mother was in fact OK, she wasn't going to let a little roadblock stop her.

"They wouldn't let me through up there. So, I know the back roads of Picher, I was raised here. So, it ain't hard, you know," said O'Hara.

She found her mom's house, the house where she grew up, a total loss. Her mom was hurt, but alive. But, she could find no sign of her dog Soll. That is, until 24 hours later, when a family friend heard whimpering from under the debris.

"Mom hollered his name, and like 15 people, she said 'come and lift this up.' I guess the garage thing fell on him, everything was on him. He couldn't get out. I'm so happy," said O'Hara.

Teresa's dogs had been staying with her mom, because Teresa lost her own home to a flood a few weeks ago. She says dealing with all she and her family have been through will be a little easier, now that she's found Soll, her pet, and fellow survivor.

O'Hara says even though Sole is a Rottweiler, he will only come to certain people when called. She says her mom is one of those people, and that may be why it took a while to find him.