Henry, a Springer spaniel, was recently adopted in November, one month after the family had lost their other pet, an Irish setter.
The elderly driver claimed the accelerator was stuck and drove straight through the front of the house, exiting out the back. Skid marks in the road indicate Leith tried to stop. The severely damaged house had just been rebuilt after the 2011 tornado.
The Welch family has to rebuild again. The crash took out the living room and surrounding area, crushing furniture and leaving behind just bits of home décor items. Investigators speculate the truck hit a rise in the yard and was airborne as it crashed through the house.
Henry, described as a “50 pound love bug”, would spend time curled up in an armchair that was by the window – an armchair that was flattened by the truck. First responders respectfully wrapped Henry's body in a blanket, laid him in a laundry basket and placed him in the bed of the owner's truck before they arrived on the scene.
Since the accident happened, the community has come together to help the displaced family. Lauren Welch, 12 years old, was devastated losing Henry. A neighbor and dog lover, Beth Hogan, gave Lauren a gift: a book titled “A Different Little Doggy.”
Multiple copies of the book were presented to Lauren's school, the neighborhood library, as well as the shelter Henry was adopted from. Each copy of the book was signed by the author, Heather Whittaker.
Brian Welch, Lauren's father, told The Republican Henry would watch him get ready for work. “I'd say 'Now be a good boy today,” said Brian Welch. “He was my boy.”
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