A good year for 20-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen nearly ended with sadness when his dog Bali went missing the day before Christmas eve. In 2012, Ter Stegen's club went from narrowly avoiding relegation one season to finishing fourth in the Bundesliga and qualifying for the Champions League. He also earned his first call-up to Germany's senior national team just before Euro 2012. And in his time of need, he called upon the fanbase that grew throughout the year for help.
Bali, a puggle, was hit by a car and ran away in shock. When Ter Stegen and his girlfriend were unable to track Bali down, he published a note and photo of the dog on his Facebook page, which has over 63,000 "likes," asking for help. Ter Stegen asked his fans to spread the word to their friends, notify the police if they see his dog around town or to send a tip to an email address he set up especially for the search.
Hundreds of fans helped look for the dog and offered words of support and a few hours later, Ter Stegen posted an update on his Facebook page to tell everyone that Bali had been found by the fire department. "I am amazed and speechless, as many have helped," Ter Stegen said. "For us, it's the perfect Christmas fairy tale! I wish you a Merry Christmas! Many, many thanks!"
Later, Ter Stegen posted another update saying that Bali had a few minor wounds but already visited a doctor and would be OK. He also posted a photo of him and Bali reunited and resting together...