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Airline mistake sends Nashville-bound dog to Saudi Arabia

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: A British Airways plane lands at Heathrow Airport on March 19, 2010 in London, England. The planned three day strike by BA cabin crew this weekend will now go ahead as talks between the airline and the union Unite collapsed earlier today. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

BRENTWOOD, Tennessee (WSMV) — A Brentwood family’s dog was accidentally sent to Saudi Arabia instead of Nashville.

The family was moving from London to Tennessee, and when they arrived at Nashville International Airport, they were given the wrong dog.

Madison Miller rescued 5-year-old Bluebell in London, a place she felt at home, until her parents moved to Nashville.

“I had months of nerves putting her on this plane,” Miller said. “I’d heard so many horror stories.”

Miller said they flew British Airways and said goodbye to Bluebell on her way to cargo hold at London’s Heathrow Airport. It wasn’t until they landed at Nashville that they realized Bluebell didn’t make the trip.

“They said she wasn’t in Nashville, and they said their best guess was she was in Saudi Arabia,” Miller said.

An hour later, Miller said airport staff tracked Bluebell down and sent a picture of her locked in her crate.

“After we knew she was in Saudi Arabia, it was just all hands-on deck. How do we get her back?” Miller said.

After three days and many sleepless nights, Miller and her husband got the news they had been waiting for. Bluebell was home, but she wasn’t the same dog they saw last at Heathrow Airport.

“I anticipated kind of like the reunion you see on YouTube,” Miller said. “Like she comes out of the crate, she’s wagging and licking your face. It was the opposite.”

After three flights and 63 hours later, Bluebell bolted.

“We had to go and grab her because she was so horrified and that’s when we knew something was wrong,” Miller said.

Something was wrong then and ever since.

When they got home, Bluebell would cry when left alone, and at one point chewed through a door.

Now they want to know how this happened in the first place.

“They said this has never happened before, we don’t even understand how it could happen because there are so many safety checks in place,” Miller said.

WSMV4 reached out to British Airways for comment. They forwarded our request to IAG Cargo.

Bluebell’s owners hope to get some money from them for the error.