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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Blind Dog, 13, Lost for Three Weeks - Finally Found in Roadside Ditch, Reunited with Relieved Family

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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.”

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The family 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 at first.

“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.”

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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.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking