COXEY, Ala. (WHNT) - An update now on a story we've been keeping an eye on since the April 28th tornados. The story of Amber Buttleman, who lost her home, her belongings, and even her famly's pet, touched a lot of people. Romeo was a pit bull who had no formal training but could spot the on-set of her son's seizures. He survived the tornado but was hit by a car and killed before Amber could find him. Tonight, some closure as Amber and her family look ahead to the future.
It was just a day or two after the tornado when we first met Amber Buttleman. She was still searching through the rubble of her home looking for anything that could be salvaged. But it wasn't the material possessions she was most concerned about. The family dog was missing, and he was so much more than a pet.
"Probably about a month after we got him he started detecting my son's seizures because he does have seizures and he's on medication for that. That was just amazing because we didn't train him or anything like that," Buttleman says.
Amber and her friends and family put out posters and spent days looking for Romeo, but to no avail. Turns out a neighbor had been feeding the animal, but Romeo would run away when anyone tried to approach him.
After our first story aired, someone called saying Romeo had suffered a broken leg and was at the Decatur Animal Shelter. The next morning, Amber was there, but it wasn't Romeo.
The following day, Amber got the call. Romeo had been hit by a car near their old home and was dead. She buried him in her mother's back yard. We thought that was the end of the story until we learned Amber had gone back to the Decatur Animal Shelter to visit the dog with the broken leg, the one everyone thought was Romeo. And Monday, she brought him home.
"You know, there will never be another Romeo but I feel like this is a good guy right here, he's a good one. And I love him, and I think he loves me," Amber says.
Amber says she and Mercury had a lot in common, they were both looking for a new home. He's found a new family who will love and care for him, and home is where the heart is.
The vet is checking in on Mercury's progress as his leg heals. The Decatur Animal Shelter has a number of dogs and cats who are hoping they, too, will find a new home.
-- Al Whitaker