Pookie, the Malitpoo missing since she was ejected from a truck involved in a crash in Harbor City, was found safe today and reunited with her owner.
Larry Moore, a flooring contractor from Torrance, saw Wanda Wadlow's pet running through traffic on Vermont Avenue at Lomita Boulevard and pulled over.
Fearing the dog was going to get run over, he cornered her under a bush and found Wadlow's phone number on her tag. Wadlow was there in minutes.
"He's our hero," Wadlow said. "He wouldn't even take the reward. We are thankful for good citizens like this."
Moore said he was unaware of the search for Pookie, which was the subject of a story in today's Daily Breeze.
"They brought me the newspaper and showed me the article," he said. "I was just happy they got their dog back."
Pookie vanished on Tuesday when a garbage truck ran a red light and struck Wadlow's truck at Lomita Boulevard and Normandie Avenue.
Wadlow suffered broken bones in her back.
As paramedics wheeled her to an ambulance, she asked them, "Where's my dog?"
Wadlow said she believed Pookie was thrown through the truck's window.
Family members posted fliers with the dog's photo. The Daily Breeze posted a story on its Web site Wednesday night.
"So many people called me and saw her yesterday because of the article," Wadlow said. "We had a lot leads."
Wadlow's cousins and husband were searching the area this morning when Moore called her about 10:15 a.m.
"I just saw the dog running down the road," Moore said. "The dog was real scared. I wasn't sure if she would try to bite me. I finally made out the name on the tag."
Moore kept Pookie cornered under a bush until Wadlow arrived.
"I went over and called her and she was skittish," Wadlow said. "She kind of crawled out on her stomach toward me. When she finally connected with me, she went ballistic, she was so happy."
Pookie was dirty, but appeared in good condition. Wadlow will take her for a checkup.
"Thank you for all the people who called and showed concern. It's remarkable," Wadlow said. "This is what makes America strong - caring about each other."