How tornado survivor Barbara Garcia, rescued dog Bowser are faring

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by CBS News

CBS

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Updated Friday, May 24 at 6:37 PM

MOORE, Oklahoma -- Moore resident Barbara Garcia lost everything in this week’s devastating tornado. But amid the rubble, Barbara—and a CBS News crew—found and rescued her beloved dog Bowser.

The story of their reunion touched many of our viewers who wanted to help.

So how are Garcia and Bowser doing now?

Garcia has some bruises, her home and possessions are gone, but she has the thing she wanted most. Garcia told CBS News’ Anna Werner, who was there when Bowser was found, “All of the other things ... you know, one by one they can be replaced. A lot of it wasn’t even important, but I couldn’t replace him.”

After Garcia and Bowser’s story aired on CBS News, it went viral. The CBS News clip been viewed more than 3 million times.

Garcia’s own granddaughter, Brooklyn Burney, found out about the story from a friend on Facebook. Burney said, “And just like everyone else, I cried.”

Asked why she cried, Burney said, “Because everybody else can see the real her.”

People like Colleen and Stan Rothschild of Plano, Texas, and others emailed CBS News, asking how they could help Garcia and her dog, offering everything from veterinary help for Bowser to donations for Garcia.

Colleen Rothschild said, “Stan and I both have mothers that are widowers, they live alone, and it just touched us.”

Erin DeRuggiero set up an account to raise money on a site called GoFundMe.com. DeRuggiero said, “I was just so moved by Barbara. I was really just compelled, personally, to do something.”

In 24 hours, she says, the site gathered more than $1,500 in donations. As of noon Friday, it had nearly $9,000 in donations. For Garcia, who had no homeowner’s insurance, it’s all almost too much. Garcia said, “I didn’t know I was that important. I really and truly didn’t. I just thank everybody.”

On the web: http://www.gofundme.com/Home4Barbara

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