How could someone have done this? Her hands shook with anger as she pinched her eyes shut. She couldn't believe anyone could disrespect her son like this. How dare people shamelessly take the things she brought him?
Her husband was as surprised and furious as she was. They knew it was necessary to find whoever had done this. They thought of the perfect way to catch the culprit. But when they watched the secret recordings, they couldn't believe their eyes.
The Perfect Family
Micheal and Ellen Wright were raising their two beautiful children in Oklahoma. They were in a good place and couldn't believe how lucky they were. They were both lucky enough to marry the person of their dreams and to spend the rest of their lives together. To top it all off, they had two perfect children. Life was good to them.
When Ellen fell pregnant for the third time, they couldn't contain the joy they felt. But things weren't going to end the way they hoped it would.
They waited until the three month mark of Ellen's pregnancy before announcing the good news to their friends and family. Everyone seemed to be overjoyed. Ellen couldn't wait to meet her new baby, but shortly after announcing the pregnancy, their happiness was ripped from them.
She carried their baby for 9 months, but when it came time to big day, they tragically lost their baby boy at birth. His name was Gabe, and their hearts were shattered when they lost him. They decided that it would be best to give him the burial he deserved.
Doing What They Could
They decided to get a beautiful plaque that said, "Gabe Wright, Son of Michael and Ellen Wright." They also engraved it with an ornate cross. It was special, it was what Gabe deserved.
It made them feel a little bit better that they could give him this. But they hadn't considered one thing.
Harboring A Secret
Michael and Ellen wanted some alone time with Gabe. They held each as they stood by his grave, honoring their baby boy together. Whenever they would visit their son, Michael would clean the plaque and Ellen would bring fresh new flowers.
But when they showed up one day, the flowers she had previously gotten her son were now missing. Ellen didn't pay any mind to it, she simply replaced the flowers. She had no idea that the cemetery harbored a secret that no one knew about.
Toys For Gabe
Michael and Ellen were touched every time they saw how many visitors had left toys behind for their boy. They were sad that he would never get to play with them, but the gesture meant the world to them.
People had left flags, pinwheels and all sorts of other toys. But they soon discovered something extremely disturbing.
The couple felt that visiting his grave every week was helping them mourn his loss. After a while, they thought it would be a good job to bring their other children and the family dog to his grave.
They allowed their other two children to give Gabe some of their favorite toys in honor of their love for him. But eventually, it was time to go home. But the couldn't have imagined what they would find when they returned to visit him.
But when they visited him again, Ellen was shocked when she saw that everything they had left him was now gone. His grave had nothing on or around it.
But who had done this? She was so angry, she had to do something about this.
Michael could see how upset she was. He quickly pulled her into a hug as he comforted her. He was determined to get some answers. He was trying to convince himself that maybe raccoons or other small animals had taken them, or perhaps the cemetery didn't allow people to leave things on the graves. He would find out what was going on.
There was one sinister explanation floating around his head that he just couldn't shake.
He was praying that this sinister explanation wasn't the reason.
Michael had heard about people stealing from graves before, he recently read an article about it. He just hoped he was wrong, but soon, he would discover what was going on.
Hatching A Plan
The cemetery didn't have any security cameras, so Michael would have to leave his own setup to catch the graverobber.
But he didn't want the thief, or someone else, to see his camera and steal that too. It would just be another loss for them and another win for the thief. Michael knew the only way to catch the culprit was to hatch an ingenious plan.
Setting The Camera Up
Michael got a small camera without any kind of light that would alert the thief. He painted it brown and hid it in the bushes so no one would notice it. Now he just had to wait.
But after waiting a week and reviewing the footage, Michael couldn't believe what he was looking at. There was his son's grave, and there was the culprit -- the reason why the toys and flowers were missing. And it wasn’t what he had expected at all.
Michael called for Ellen to look at the footage and confirm what he was looking at. She raced in, eager to find out what had happened to the gifts they'd left their son. But she wasn't prepared for what she was about to see.
In the footage, the culprit is seen snuffling among the toys laid on Gabe’s grave. Then, the dog -- obviously a stray -- quietly takes them away one by one. Ellen’s heart broke at the sight. Was the dog living there on its own? They had to find out.
Michael and Ellen returned to the cemetery the next day, and sure enough, all the toys were gone. But there was no sign of the dog anywhere. With their anger over the missing toys forgotten, they were determined to find it and help if they could.
Ellen began to walk in a wide circle around Gabe’s grave. Suddenly, she heard a noise.
A Hole In The Ground
When she got close to where she thought the noise had come from, she didn’t really know what she was hoping to find. But as she made her way around the stones to an older part of the cemetery, she saw a massive hole under one of the gravestones.
From afar, the hole looked like it had been hollowed out but still had some brown sand inside. Until she got closer and realized that was not dirt.
The dog was huddled under a pile of soil that it must have dug itself. The dog looked petrified when it saw Ellen and made itself even smaller by moving even deeper into the hole.
Ellen was stunned. What was a dog doing here? She knew it was not uncommon for dogs to mourn their owners, but this dog had made itself a den filled with Gabe’s toys. She called for Michael.
Coaxing It Out
Ellen tried to make it come out of the hole by whistling and calling it, but it was clear that the dog was not going to move.
No one knew how long this poor dog had been there, or if it had had water or food. Was this dog that had been stealing Gabe’s mementos mourning its owner?
After a long while, the dog seemed to be intrigued by Ellen’s soothing voice. It briefly came out of the hole to introduce itself.
But as soon as it came out, it doubled back and checked on something before going any further. What was this dog hiding? Soon, they would find out.
As the dog made way for Ellen and Michael to see what was inside the hole, they couldn’t believe her eyes. This dog was not mourning her owner but protecting her babies!
The stray momma had a little cave under the gravestone that she’d filled with toys and had her puppies in there!
She Needed Help
Ellen couldn’t believe what she was witnessing. This poor dog was just looking out for her babies and dug herself into somewhere she thought was safe. She had surrounded her puppies with comforting toys and flowers, so she must have been someone’s pet once.
Ellen and Michael knew they needed to help her, and they were prepared to do anything in their power to do just that.
She'd Made A Den
“You can see the den [she] created and just how compact it was,” Ellen said in an interview. “While it wasn’t ideal, it was the best she could find.”
The pups were struggling for survival, so Michael got some dog food while Ellen waited with the dog and her pups. “The puppies were very frail and were lucky to have been found,” Ellen added.
The puppies and their mom were ravenous. Ellen had no idea how long this canine family had been without food or water.
The mom dog was unafraid of Ellen now, and she even let her pet her. As soon as the pups smelled the food on the ground, most of them quickly wriggled toward it and wolfed it down. But some were more lively than others.
Some of the little ones were too frail to even move. Ellen was now scared for them, she had to get help, so she got out her phone and called a center that she knew would be willing to help.
The local NSPCA immediately took all of them in, and once she knew they were all safe, they were all safe, the momma dog fell into a deep sleep.
Safe And Sound
The canine family had its own safe place with warm beds, freshwater, and good food they could all nibble on. All of them received expert medical attention; they all were in good health but still needed a lot of food and rest before they could be put into the adoption program.
All the pups’ bellies were growing, and their fur was shining. If it was not for Ellen and Michael, who knows what would have happened to these babies. But what about all the toys the dog had stolen?
Ellen, Michael, and their children picked out a few of the momentos that they wanted to return to Gabe’s grave, but they all decided to let the poor dog and her pups keep the rest.
The lonely momma dog was looking for some form of comfort and human connection, which she had found at Gabe’s resting place... just as the Wrights had.