When a major tornado ripped through Van, Texas, at least 40 people were injured. Sadly, one couple, David and Brenda Tapley, lost their lives in the disaster. The Tapleys were pillars of their community, active in their local church and well liked by everyone they met. David was a police officer and dedicated his life to helping others. Losing them was a blow to everyone.
David and Brenda Tapley, who lost their lives in a tornado in Van, Texas.
The Tapleys were discovered by their 14-year-old neighbor, Emmanuel Vasquez, amid the rubble of their collapsed home. Needless to say, this was a traumatizing discovery for Emmanuel and his father, but it wasn”t all they discovered. In David Tapley”s arms was a dog, a Great Pyrenees, that was remarkably still alive. The dog was badly injured, though, covered in bruises and appearing to be in a state of shock.
Hundreds attended the Tapleys” memorial service.
While the family and friends of the Tapleys turned out by the hundreds to honor the couple and celebrate their life, the dog was brought to the Nicholas Pet Haven and treated for her injuries. The Tapleys owned nine other dogs, one of whom was adopted by their children out of state, and five (including the Great Pyrenees) were surrendered to the Nicholas Pet Haven. Three perished in the tornado.
Renamed Emma, the dog was quickly adopted by Michelle “Missy” Shockley.
Obviously, Emma”s recovery was an arduous one, given her physical and emotional injuries. But she”s getting better and regaining her appetite. Shockley and her mother were thrilled to report that Emma ate a whole can of dog food for dinner — a good sign.
Shockley and Emma relax after Emma”s ordeal.
Emma”s coat was shaved for medical reasons, but it will grow back! Emma was badly bruised and suffered a head and inner ear injury, which affected her ability to balance. Shockley has been working with a behavioral psychologist to ensure Emma”s full recovery.
(via BuzzFeed, CBSDFW, ABC, WFAA)
Shockley doesn”t know much about Emma, but says she will celebrate her rescue date every year. For everyone else, Emma and her new start will serve as a celebration of the Tapleys and their contributions to the community.
Meanwhile, the Nicholas Pet Haven is housing surviving pets after the Van tornado, all of which still need homes. Visit the organization”s official Facebook page to see how you might be able to help out.
For more emotional rescues, read the amazing stories of these dogs.