CALEDONIA, Minn. (KTTC)--It's a temptation few dogs can resist-an open door, a fellow canine barking across the street and nothing but the sheer thrill of dodging traffic to get to the other side.
But when Bella, a four year old Pekingese, Maltese and Yorkie Mix, escaped the Meiners' home on March 22nd, her risky adventure almost cost her life. The small daredevil was hit by a car.
"From the minute she left the house to when she actually got hit, it felt like it took forever for anything to happen," said Bella's owner, Bethany Meiners.
Bethany, Brandon, and Bella's sister, Blu, watched on in horror.
The local veterinary clinic, unable to care for her injuries, sent the Meiners and the smallest member of their family to a veterinary hospital in Rochester. It was there that Bella's road to recovery began, miles from home.
Bethany and Brandon were told by the veterinary hospital in Rochester that Bella's injuries were so severe she would need immediate care from the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center in St. Paul.
The Meiners would learn she had numerous pelvis fractures, a hip fracture, and dislocated joints which required surgery.
"This is, on the scale, one of the more serious injuries that we see," said Dr. Greg Anderson, a veterinarian at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. "The pelvis was fractured in multiple spots and she had a lot of soft tissue injuries and she spent time in our intensive care unit--her injuries are extensive and she's really lucky to pull through."
"It's your children, you know? We don't have children, so, these are our children for now," said Brandon Meiners.
It's been more than a month since Bella's accident. Two surgeries and many long trips to the U of M's Medical Center later, Bella and her family are resting comfortably back at their home in Caledonia.
The Meiners say the medical expenses and cost of gas for the hundreds of miles they drove, were well worth it to get Bella back home.
"She's going to live another 10-15 years in our lives," said Brandon Meiners. "No matter how much money we had, we weren't going to be able to buy those memories that we're going to still get from her."
Now, the Meiners plan to keep Blu and Bella by their side and keep her curiosity from causing another close call.
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