Any owner would be terrified if their pet went missing. This anxiety is only heightened when the animal is physically impaired, as was the situation for the Kubacki family in Sitka, Alaska. Lulu, the family’s Golden Retriever, had walked away from home three weeks previously, and they had given up on locating her. Since the elderly Lulu is blind and essentially powerless against any obstacle or wild animal she may come encounter, they couldn’t help but imagine worst-case scenarios. Ted Kubacki, Lulu’s human, told the Daily Sitka Sentinel, “She’s just so vulnerable.” And you sort of pictured her being unable to travel very far due to her blindness.
The family started looking for Lulu as soon as they became aware that she was missing because losing her was like losing a part of the family. She is everything, Kubacki says. My five girls, who range in age from four to thirteen, have been with that dog every day of their lives. A few days into the hunt, someone pulled a terrible joke on them, making the situation even worse. The Kubackis received a text message that their dog had been found while they were putting their children to bed. Kubacki remembers, “We were thinking, ‘Oh my god, this is great. “After that, the text I received said, ‘Just kidding. This actually did happen; it’s all a part of the horrible tragedy.
Lulu was finally located three weeks after going missing by a construction worker, who initially mistook her for a bear. A short distance from the Kubacki family’s house, they discovered her laying in some salmonberry bushes approximately 15 feet down an embankment. They were able to free her once they took a better look and recognized it was a dog.
The moment the family learned that Lulu had been located, they couldn’t control their joy and relief. Kubacki claims, “I called my wife from work and it was simply yelling.” She just starts screaming, and then she screams at the children. And I can only hear them shouting hysterically.
When the old dog was saved, she was barely alive. She had lost a lot of weight—her normal weight was 80 pounds—and now just 23 pounds. Her thinness, filth, and matted fur made her an unpleasant sight for her devoted owners. “I anticipated to come back and be like, ‘Hey, here’s my puppy,” confesses Kubacki. She’s going to get up, wag her tail, and give me a face-kisses. Lulu, however, was unable to even raise her head. She has gone through a lot. Fortunately, Lulu is recuperating from her ordeal thanks to medical attention, food, relaxation, and a lot of love from her family. According to Kubacki, “slowly but surely she started feeding and she was sort of able to pick her head up.” However, the day before yesterday, she sat up on her front paws by herself, curled up next to me, and kissed me while wagging her tail. The puppy was able to stand by herself the following day.
The Kubacki family received overwhelmingly positive support from the community, which made the recovery of their dog all the sweeter. Kubacki, a worker at a grocery shop and the sole supporter of his family of seven, was concerned about the veterinarian expense. Fortunately, other people in Sitka helped out. They made hundreds of dollars in donations to pay the expenses, leaving the family free to concentrate on getting their dog well once more. The Kubacki thanks God, “We have our family member back home.”