Three weeks is a long time for a pet to go missing. So much can happen in that amount of time, most of it bad. When 13-year-old LuLu, a golden retriever from Sitka, Alaska, was gone for three weeks, a positive outcome didn’t seem possible.
Add to that concerning timeline the fact that LuLu is completely blind
, and the chances for a happy reunion were even slimmer.
“Our golden girl is missing!!” owner Ted Kubacki posted on Facebook, according to a screenshot by Marni Stephens Bauder
“LuLu is her name. Very old, friendly and completely blind 13 year old retriever. If you see her or know anything please let us know. We are very very worried for her. Last scene at 1202 HPR last night.”
of seven looked for their beloved dog everywhere. She couldn’t have gotten far on her own given her condition, and yet day after day passed without any sightings.
The loss was especially tough on the kids.
“She means everything,” Kubacki told the Daily Sitka Sentinel, according to the Associated Press
. “I have five daughters and they’re 4 to 13 years old, so they’ve spent every day of their life with that dog.
“She’s just so helpless, and you kind of imagined that she can’t get real far because she can’t see.”
At some point, some cruel individual even played a heartless prank on the worried family.
“We put the kids to bed and got a text saying, ‘We found your dog,’ or ‘I have your dog,’ and we’re like, ‘Oh my god, this is incredible,'” Kubacki said. “Then the person texted me, ‘Just kidding.’ This happened, yeah, that was all part of this terrible story.”
But thankfully, other strangers were not nearly so terrible. It was ultimately a construction crew that spotted LuLu in a ditch not far from the Kubacki home, tangled up in a salmonberry bush, nearly dead and so unrecognizable that they thought she was a bear
“They got a closer look and they realized that it was a dog, and they got her out of there,” Kubacki said.
“I called my wife from work and it was just screaming… She just starts yelling, then she yells to the kids. And I just hear them screaming like crazy.”
The time away from her family had taken its toll, though. LuLu had lost 23 pounds, and was dirty, matted, dehydrated and pitifully weak. She’s doing better after getting proper care, but she’s still not quite back to her old self.
“I just expected to come back and be like ‘Hey, here’s my dog.’ She’s going to jump up and wag her tail and kiss my face, and she couldn’t even pick up her head,” he said. “She’d been through the wringer.”
Kubacki, who works at a grocery store to support his family, was concerned about the medical bills the beloved family pet had accrued, but kind locals thrilled over the reunion pitched in to cover her expenses.
“Slowly but surely she started eating and she was kind of able to pick her head up,” Kubacki said. “But then yesterday, she propped herself up on her front paws by herself, like nestled into me and gave me a kiss and wagged her tail and it was just so great.
“We have our family member home.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal