Diabetic Mississippi man reunited with missing service dog

Published 5:25 pm Monday, January 6, 2020

A Mississippi man with type 1 diabetes has been reunited with his missing service dog that was scared off by fireworks late last month.

The black Labrador retriever named Bella, outfitted with a microchip and a red and black collar that identifies her as the “Best Dog Ever,” was finally spotted Monday morning less than a mile from the Cokely family’s home.

The family posted an update online that promised a reunion party would be held this weekend for Bella and owner Jacob Cokely. Bella appears to be in relatively good shape, according to the post.

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Jacob Cokely and his family were offering $1,000 for Bella’s safe return. She ran off in the St. Martin area near Ocean Springs on Dec. 30, news outlets reported. She and Jacob Cokely were playing outside when she was startled by apparently early New Year’s Eve fireworks, the 19-year-old Cokely said.

“She saved my life plenty of times,” he told The Sun Herald of Biloxi.

Bella is able to sense when his blood sugar is too high or low and he needs to take his medicine, he said. Her help with managing his condition is why he even felt comfortable getting his own place, he said.

This was the first time he had been without her in two years, according to the newspaper, which says Cokely searched for Bella every night since she disappeared.