An Alaskan family had given up hope of locating their blind, elderly golden retriever, Lulu, who had walked away from their house three weeks ago, but a construction team discovered her in salmonberry bushes after mistaking her for a bear.
Lulu was barely alive when she was discovered on Tuesday, but she is being nursed back to health and is now back home with her family, according to the Daily Sitka Sentinel.
“She means everything,” Ted Kubacki, the owner, said. “I have five kids, ages four to thirteen, and they’ve spent every day of their lives with that dog.”
“She’s just so vulnerable,” he added, “and you kind of figured she couldn’t walk very far because she can’t see.”
It didn’t help when the family became the topic of a horrible joke after someone claimed to have located Lulu a few days into the hunt.
“We were about to put the kids to bed when we got a text saying, ‘We found your dog,’ or ‘I have your dog,’ and we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is wonderful,'” he explained.
“The guy then texted me, ‘Just joking.'” This occurred. That was all a part of this horrible narrative.”
After searching for weeks, the family had given up hope.
But then a construction crew this week spotted Lulu lying in the brush alongside a road not far from the Kubacki’s home. She was about 15 feet (4.57 metres) down an embankment, and, at first, the crew thought it 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.
All the sadness melted away when he got the call that Lulu had been found.
“I contacted my wife from work, and she was screaming… She simply begins shouting, and then she shouts at the children. “And all I can hear is people screaming like hell,” Kubacki added.
Lulu, despite being alive, was in poor health. The 80-pound (36.29-kg) dog had lost 23 pounds (10.43 kg) since her disappearance; she was thirsty, filthy, and her fur was matted.
“I just expected to return and say, ‘Hey, here’s my puppy.'” “She’s going to leap up and wag her tail and lick my face, and she can’t even lift her head,” he explained. “She’d gone through a lot.”
Lulu’s condition has markedly improved with medical care, food and rest.
“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.”
A day later, she was able to stand on her own.
Kubacki, a grocery store employee and the sole provider for his family of seven, then worried about the veterinarian’s bill.
Those fears were unfounded as Sitka residents donated hundreds of dollars to cover Lulu’s recuperation bills.
“We have our family member home,” Kubacki said.