DALLAS — Sometimes it takes patience and persistence to make a connection.
"I couldn't ignore the situation — especially because it was right in front of me," said Farnaz Memarzadeh.
She first noticed a stray dog a year-and-a-half ago wandering around the woods at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Memarzadeh named her "Nadine," but never could catch her.
This summer, Farnaz found a group that specializes in rescuing street dogs: Duck Team 6.
"Most of the time, I set up a trap, we catch our dog that day," said Pat Rodriguez. "It might be a couple hours, but we catch our dog."
But after two months of trying to trap her, Duck Team 6 had no luck with Nadine.
Then on Tuesday, a maintenance worker at UT Southwestern tried something different.
"He had a unique strategy that we had never tried," Memarzadeh said. "He took Kentucky Fried Chicken — the crispy kind — and hung it from a string at the end of the trap, kind of like mistletoe from the ceiling."
Turns out that dangling a drumstick is all it took.
A veterinarian found ear mites and hookworms in Nadine — along with an identification microchip.
Nadine was from Keller, 36 miles away, and her real name is "Bella."
Melanie Barnes never lost hope when Bella jumped her fence and escaped in 2012.
"It's been a long time, sweetheart!" Barnes said while kneeling and petting Bella's face at their reunion in Memarzadeh's home. "It's been a long time."
No one knows how this gentle girl survived the perils between Keller and Dallas — not to mention scavenging for two years.
But Bella has guardian angels — patient and persistent ones — who finally captured the dog that captured their hearts.