It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a ... Flying Chihuahua?

Michigan couple says high winds blew their dog away from them.

ByABC News
April 28, 2009, 12:30 PM

April 28, 2009— -- It's a story right out of "The Wizard of Oz" except the setting is Michigan, not Kansas.

Bystanders at a Detroit-area flea market were stunned this weekend when high winds from a passing storm picked up a couple's Chihuahua puppy and blew her out of sight.

After two days of searching and consulting with a pet psychic, Tinkerbell was found almost a mile away in the woods dirty but unharmed.

Her owner's name? Dorothy.

"We were shocked when we found her," Dorothy Utley, 72, told The Detroit News. "You don't know how happy we were. We love her so much."

Joe Goldberg, manager of the Dixieland Flea Market in Waterford Township, where the Utleys are regular vendors, said he saw Tinkerbell, weighing about 6 pounds, blow away when he went outside to survey the damage wrought by the hurricane-force wind gusts.

"I saw a flash," he told "It lifted off. Gone."

A Rottweiler sitting nearby, he said, didn't budge.

"This dog was picked up at least 60 feet," he said. "It's just a fluke."

Goldberg said he has since reviewed the flea market's surveillance cameras for evidence of the incident, but none were trained on that spot at the instant Tinkerbell blew away. meteorologist Carrie McCabe told that strong storms in what she called a "bow echo" shape did pass through that area late morning into early afternoon Saturday, causing wind gusts of 65 to 70 mph in some places.

Although she couldn't say whether that would be enough to launch a Chihuahua into the air, McCabe said that, for comparison, tornado-force winds can start at 40 to 72 mph. Category 1 hurricane winds, she said, range from 74 to 95 mph.

The flea market's Goldberg said, "So much stuff was destroyed. We worked for two days cleaning stuff up."

And yet, he said, some fellow vendors closed up shop for the day to help the Utleys search for their dog, losing what amounted to a day's pay.

"She said, 'Oh my God, my dog blew away,' and 40 people ran over," Goldberg said.