Tag: Luna

The loving rescue: so far, so good!

Staying with the beautiful story of a stray dog rescued from a beach in Greece to home in the United Kingdom

The footnote will explain why there is a pause in the story.

The fourth part of the story is a republication, with permission, of this.

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Day Four: Saturday 24th June

by Charlotte Hargreaves

Day Four…I’m calling it this when in reality, it’s actually Day Seven. We needed a few days to adjust back into life in the UK, recover from the early morning flight followed by subsequent early get-ups (tomorrow will be my first full day of doing absolutely nothing and I CANNOT wait) and also, to spread the news of Luna throughout both of our families. Writing this one feels different, it’s the first blog about Luna…but without Luna.

Although we know she is having the time of her life right now; regular walks, a paddling pool to splash in, being pampered and pedicured, spending time with an abundance of four-legged friends and overrun with all kinds of toys, we can’t help but miss her, a dog we have known for one week. It’s funny how quickly you can fall in love.

We also can’t help but feeling like a pair of anxious parents who have sent their only child off to their first day of school. This little lady was now whole-heartedly ours, our responsibility, our family member, our precious girl. I found myself texting Olga in the same way I might a teacher, ‘Is she settling in? Has she made friends? Has she eaten all of her dinner? It’s ridiculous, and yet we can’t help but laugh at ourselves. The reality is she’s most likely sunbathing, with a full belly and waggy tail, and harbouring no bother in the world for our wellbeing, thoughts such as ‘Did they get home okay? Did the plane take off on time? Are they well rested?’, never occurring or simply overtaken by ‘When’s dinner?’ Olga did however tend to the needs of the soppy Brits, and on Thursday, we received a lovely message to say that she had settled in well. Yay! This was followed by an email from Ally on Friday with the below picture, stating ‘this was Luna minutes after you left’.

Confirmed, she is now a carefree, lady of luxury. Ally also added that she would try to send some more pictures today so fingers crossed we will receive some (which I will post the second they come through).

We also learned that her veterinary appointment had been postponed after an emergency came up at the Vets and has been rescheduled to Monday. In a way, this could be seen as a blessing in disguise because it gives her a few more days to really get comfortable before they start with the prodding and poking, although based on her unconditional love of people, I imagine she’ll be the vet’s best friend in no time.

So, now that we’ve covered the latest from across the waters, what’s been happening at home? Well, my mum has already begun to accumulate items for ‘Luna’s Bag’ including pink poo bags, treats and toys, and the general feeling across both sides of our families is one of excitement. On Sunday, I posted the blog to Facebook and we were overwhelmed with such lovely messages of support. It seems that she is going to have bred a fully-fledged fan club by the time she arrives. Through the blog, we have also begun to make a whole bunch of new friends who are keen to follow Luna’s story. Our first new pals include, Tails Around the Ranch (who gave our blog its first ever like – thanks guys!) and also Paul Handover, of Learning from Dogs, whom we have received several emails of encouragement, advice and support from, along with his lovely wife Jean. We highly recommend you check both of their blogs out at https://tailsaroundtheranch.blog and https://learningfromdogs.com

Finally, I’d like to end on a high by saying that we are now officially one day past the ‘under three weeks to go’ marker until Luni arrives (Luni – a nickname we’ve already coined for her). My part-time job covers Saturdays and Sundays and I find myself looking forward to my shifts even more so now, in that each weekend, each shift signifies another passing of a marker, another week which has come and gone, and brings us that little closer to our very exciting delivery.

#HurryHomeLuna

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Footnote:

This is part of an email sent to me by Charlotte on June 26th.

All is okay – we had some slightly bad news today. Luna’s vaccinations, micropchipping and blood tests all went well however she could not be neutered due to her being in season. As a result we are left with two options-

1. She stays in Greece for another 6-8 weeks until she can be neutered.
2. She comes to the UK on the same date however we would need to arrange different travel to the ferry as she won’t be able to go in the van with the other dogs.

It’s been a tough decision, and disappointing for us both, but you cannot control nature and we must do what is right for her.

With that in mind, we are 90% sure that we are going to ask Olga to hold her in Greece for the treatment to be carried out there as planned. For several reasons,

  1. She can recover under Olga’s 24/7 supervision and then come to the UK and start a fresh, rather than one of her first experiences over here being a more negative one.
  2. We won’t have to make alternative arrangements for transport which may prove complicated and costly.
  3. She is already settled with Olga and so it involves less upset for her, as we want to make her transition as smooth as possible.
  4. Also, the cost of neutering in the UK is much higher, and therefore even with paying for the extra boarding, it will most likely work out more cost effective. Although money is no concern in regards to her, we must also remember that we are saving for a house for the three us.

So potentially, we are looking at a longer wait, although good things come to those who are patient! We did think things were running far too smoothly so there was bound to be a bump in the road. Nevertheless, she is safe, healthy and happy and we could not ask for more.

Many thanks

P.S. If there are others who like Jean thought the 6-8 weeks seemed like a long time, a relevant article over on the Australian VetWest website included the following: [my italics]

How soon after an oestrous cycle can a bitch be desexed?

When an animal is in season, there is an increased blood supply to both the uterus and the ovaries. Dogs can be desexed whilst they are in season, but generally we try to do the surgery 8 weeks after the start of their last oestrous cycle.

Rest assured that I will share the rest of Luna’s story with you just as soon as it is published over on Loving Luna.

The loving rescue continues with Part Three.

The continuing beautiful story of a stray dog rescued from a beach in Greece to home in the United Kingdom

This third part is kindly republished from here.

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Day Three: Wednesday 20th June

by Charlotte Hargreaves

Of Luna, I am quickly learning one thing – she is full of surprises. She walked on the lead like it came naturally and spent the night, confined within four walls, sleeping blissfully. At the same time, I am surprising myself. My new-dog-mum instincts are becoming more refined. During the night, I couldn’t help but keep peering over the sheets to make sure she was content and in the morning, I awoke literally seconds before she did, as if we were already in sync with one another.

At 6:10am, minutes after we had woken, I could tell that she was eager to stretch her legs and so we ventured out together on an early walk. This allowed Oliver some well-deserved rest for he had so patiently waited up throughout most of the night while she drifted into a deep sleep. We managed to trek through the complex, up to the mountain and back without seeing a single soul. The sky was awash with an orange hue and we walked under it in silence, perfectly peaceful

At approximately 7:00am, us three amigos hit the road to Ouranoupolis on foot. We figured that getting Luna away from the hotel was a smart move and a refreshing one at that, it felt good not to be watching over our shoulders. We were just a couple of tourists and their pet. Yes I said it, ‘pet’ (this still doesn’t feel real).

Once in Ouranoupolis, I waited on the beach with Luna while Oliver arranged the rental car and boy did she have a good time. She splashed in the ocean, rolled in the sand and played, or more accurately, flirted with a new canine friend and it was so heart-warming to see. She also made time for a little cuddle on the towel I had laid down for us. It’s the little things that get you.

Oliver returned with a Ford Focus and things had almost gone off without a hitch…until the rental car lady spotted the dog. After some pleading, we convinced her to take an extra 20€ and agreed to keep Luna in the passenger footwell on a towel…which we didn’t…but needs must! She is far too big a pooch to spend two and a half hours between my feet. This was the first leg of Luna’s big journey and we were not going to be defeated at the first hurdle.

After some coaxing into the back seat, Luna soon settled down for the journey and was content to watch the world rushing by past the window. I wondered if her mind could associate the inside of the car with the outside of which she so regularly avoided. Besides the odd speed bump and a few three-point turns which knocked her balance to and fro, the journey went better than we ever could have hoped. I would go as far to say she enjoyed it.

When we arrived at the meeting point, Olga was waiting. She guided us to the Better Dogs Hotel and my first thought was, ‘she’s going to love it here’. The complex has large pens, with thick grass and paddling pools, and the kennels were plentiful. We released Luna into one of the pens, and no surprise, she headed straight for the paddling pool. This dog is most definitely a water baby.

Meanwhile, Olga invited us to her office where we met Ally and Savvas.  We had refreshments and spoke for a couple of hours about the incredible work that Olga and the team do. Currently, she has 42 animals boarding with her but during the summer months, she told us it could rise to as many as 60. I will be publishing another blog which will include more information as to the incredible  work that Olga and her team do because I cannot simply express in so little words the passion, care and dedication which goes into everything they do.

Olga estimated that Luna was aged between 1-2 years. This surprised us for although she played (and in play, occasionally nipped) like a puppy, she had a few grey hairs within her coat. Olga told us this was most likely her natural colouring and that once she had been properly bathed, they would most likely come up more white.

Olga then brought Luna into the office and she was as happy and lively as ever, exploring the office, playing with the toys, assessing the people. She already looked at home.

She weighed in at 18kg and Olga explained to us that she did not look skinny which reinforced the theory that she is well fed by tourists. This will be interesting to compare with her weight when she leaves as I’m sure she will fatten up some from the genuine dog food (and not hot dogs or mini market ham).

Finally, she collapsed in a ball by the front door, probably exhausted from her big adventure. Then came the hardest part of this whole experience… saying goodbye. We approached her and she rolled straight onto her back, tail wagging, big brown eyes staring up. I told her, ‘be good’, and that was enough to set me off. Soppy Brit.

As we drove away, with promises to keep in touch with Olga for regular updates, I felt happy. I knew in my heart that she would be so loved by Olga and the team, that she was the safest she had probably ever been and hopefully, the happiest. She seemed so at ease, adapting so easily as she has already shown, to new people and new places. I knew we had made the right decision. It was going to be a long wait until July 14th and lots of worries raced round my mind….What if she doesn’t recognise us? What if she’s happier with Olga? What if something goes wrong with the transport? But those worries could wait another day, for now, she is safe and sound, and already so loved by so many. 

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Speaking of waiting for another day, I am afraid that all of you lovely people will have to wait another day in order to read Day Four!

Part Two of a Loving Rescue

A stray dog rescue story, from a beach in Greece to home in the United Kingdom.

Part One was yesterday.

Part Two is kindly republished from here.

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Day Two: Tuesday 19th June 2018

by Charlotte Hargreaves

I awoke at 6:15am and immediately checked Luna’s spot beneath the balcony but of course she had already gone. She was undoubtedly an early riser, a being who rose and set with the sun. I wondered what her life must be like, a nomad who roams freely, a life so alien to that which we know. 

The plan for the day began with a trip into Ouranoupolis for supplies for the journey ahead. After a LOT of being re-directed from mini market to mini market like some deluded scavenger hunt, we finally managed to acquire a small brown leather collar, a variety of meats and a small bowl for water and lead.

On route back to the apartment, I also managed to sneak a purse full of some of the restaurant’s hotdogs which I know she likes.

Before we began to climb Mount Everest aka the path to our apartment (although we can’t complain, the views of the bay were spectacular), we decided it was worthwhile to check in with the barman at the beach who was familiar with our hunt for Luna. Unfortunately, we were disappointed to learn that she had not shown up down there all day. This made me anxious. We thought we had figured out a rough idea of her routine; beach/main road/village in the daytime, retreat to the hotel and mountains when it gets dark so this seemed out of character.

After another call with Olga, who by this point is saved in my contacts with a dog emoji besides her name, we had agreed to bring Luna to Thessaloniki on Thursday in an animal-friendly taxi. Luckily, Better Dogs is situated by the airport and so we could drop Luna and head straight for the flight. With this potential journey only days away, we needed to be sure we could track and locate her when needed and so this irregularity in her routine had me concerned. But, after all, a stray is called a stray for good reason, they are wanderers, governed by their individual desires. Although, I must admit that I secretly hoped that as we begun the ascent to our apartment, we might find her relaxing in the pool on a lilo…no luck.

Later that evening, things went from bad to worse as we learnt that the animal-friendly taxi had cancelled on us after having second-thoughts about transporting a stray without a travel box. This left us with two options…

  1. Olga sends transport to collect Luna.
  2. We hire a car and drive to Thessaloniki ourselves

Option 2 won, primarily because we wanted to meet Olga personally, visit the kennels for ourselves and rather selfishly, prolong our time with her.

Hiring the car would need to happen on Wednesday which meant we would need Luna in the apartment THIS evening to ensure a smooth, early and most importantly, undetected departure in the morning. We needed to find her and fast!

After roughly half an hour of searching across the complex, from the beach to the hills, lead and hotdog in hand, we finally spotted our Luna trotting along down the main road behind some fellow tourists. She crossed the road confidently and once on the same side, we called out to her. Instantly she recognised us and came bounding over, back in the dirt, legs in the air and that tongue lolling out of the mouth, such a comedic pose.

Getting the lead on was relatively easy, her nose fixated on her favourite treat – hotdogs. Once on, she had a momentary panic but was soon trotting along beside us, the perfect image of domestication…if strays are anything, it’s adaptable!

Then, stealth mode was activated. The three of us sticking to the shadows as we ventured across the complex towards our room. Other than a few passers by, we got to the room pretty much unnoticed and with some encouragement (and more hotdogs), she was safely inside.

After a few minutes of stationary uncertainty, her curiosity got the better of her and she began her  exploration.

Long black legs tip-toeing into the shower, a twitching nose tracing every surface, wide eyed and reassuringly, waggy-tailed. Her only reservation was the other dog in the room who got a little growl…aka her own reflection in the mirror.

Soon enough, she was settled on her makeshift bed of towels, cushions and with her collar, water bowl and hotdog beside her, she was beginning to look the part and our family felt complete.

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Part Three of this wonderful story of love and caring for a stray dog appears tomorrow.

A story of a loving rescue

A stray dog rescue story, from a beach in Greece to home in the United Kingdom.

So many times this world of blogging creates special connections.

Just a few days ago there was an email, automatically generated by WordPress, to inform me that there had been a new subscriber, or follower, of Learning from Dogs. As I always do if that new subscriber has, in turn, their own blog-site, I go across to their place and leave a ‘thank you’ note.

In this recent case the blog-site that I went to was one under the title of Loving Luna. If you go to that home page you will read this:

Hey! My name is Charlotte Hargreaves.

On 11th June 2018, my partner Oliver and I arrived in Halkidiki, Greece for our third holiday together.

With Oliver recently starting a new job as a Sales Executive and myself finishing University two weeks prior, we were more than ready for the ten day break!

The trip started out like any other – sand, sea, sun, tequila. However on Monday 18th June, just three days before we were scheduled to depart back home, we came across a stray who was to steal our hearts and set us off on a wild adventure to #bringLunahome.

This is her story.

Charlotte has very kindly given me permission to republish her four posts that go into the details of getting Luna back to England.

Here is her first one.

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Day One: Monday 18th June 2018

We first spotted Luna on the private beach of our hotel. Dehydrated and drained, she appeared out of nowhere and desperately tried to wriggle her body underneath the occupied sun lounger in front of us, for shade from the blistering mid-day sun. Her eyes rolled in the back of her head, half-closed and she panted heavily, her tongue lolling clumsily to one side. Oliver fetched some water and she lapped it quickly from the cup. In return, she was incredibly affectionate and offered strokes and belly rubs in between sips, her loving nature at the forefront of her character.

After a short while, she ventured to a vacant sun lounger and fell asleep underneath its accompanying parasol. When the sun lounger behind this one also became vacant, we quickly moved to observe her more closely. For a stray dog, we were taken aback by how gentle and friendly she was. She took slices of ham which we had salvaged from the all inclusive sandwiches so delicately and always with that wagging tail. Some she ate, some she buried, demonstrating that deeply engrained survival instinct. It broke our hearts. We knew we had fallen in love and never wanted her to have to plan for her next meal again.

She remained on the beach for the most part of the day before retreating up the mountain and out of sight. After speaking to some of the locals, two things became clear. Firstly, we learned that she had a wide roaming ground, from the beach to the top of the mountains, from Ouranoupolis town right down to the opposite end of the main road. In total, she most likely covered a distance of 5-10km per day, sparking a fear in us that with only three days left in Halkidiki, we might never see her again. Secondly, and most notably, we learnt that Luna was loved. Rather than scavenging dustbins, her main tactic for acquiring food seemed to be earning it from tourists through her approachability. As a result, the locals said many people across the Island knew Luna and recognised her as she her passed through.

Back home in the United Kingdom, my family has always owned and loved dogs.  At the moment, we have a Schipperke called Koko and three Lhasa Apso’s, Jussy, Lucy and Phoebe, who live with my Nan across the road. We also regularly dog-sit for two cheeky Staffie’s called Boss and Jet.

When I retold Luna’s tale to them, they were incredibly supportive and this motivated me to reach out to several charities including PAWS (Pelion Animal Welfare Society). PAWS contacted us with wonderful news – there was a lady called Olga in Thessaloniki who would take Luna in her boarding kennels, Better Dogs. Olga could assist with arranging the necessary veterinary procedures for travel including micro-chipping, anti-rabies injection, de-worming and acquiring a pet passport. After that, PAWS informed us, they had a place for Luna on their next ferry trip to the UK, scheduled to arrive in Maidstone, Kent on Saturday 14th July.                                                        Suddenly, things became very real.
Could we actually be bringing this little dog home? Could we pull this all together just three days before our departure?

We set to work like two mad men, the bed covered with scribbled notes, plans of actions, contact numbers and (premature, I know) …suggestions for names. We were attached, well and truly. But pivotally, it had become doable. This crazy idea now had structure, logisitics, possibility! We knew there would be costs, extensive planning required and still a hell of a lot of uncertainty but PAWS had made this dream transition into a reality. It was then we decided… she was coming home.

That night, England was playing their first World Cup match and the hotel bar was filled to brim. I sat amongst the crowd with my phone in hand, anxiously awaiting my first call with Olga. At 9:24pm, it rang. One of the first things she said to me was, ‘Charlotte, I am going to help you and your dog’ and the relief that we were not alone in this came flooding in. People wanted to help. My family were behind us, PAWS were behind us and now Olga was behind us. I wondered if this pup had any idea of the support she was rallying and the love she was already spreading.

It was beginning to grow dark and conscious that we hadn’t seen Luna in a few hours, our hearts began to ache for her. By this point, news had spread through the hotel of our quest and opinions of us were divided between those idiotic, soppy Brits or genuinely, good-hearted people. I like to think the latter. Suddenly, in the midst of the game and, ironically, whilst I was continuing to jot down ideas for names, a lady hurried through the crowd towards us, gesturing and calling ‘She’s here! She’s in the hotel!’. Oliver and I darted from our seats but unfortunately when we came to the place where she had been spotted, she had vanished. Her coat acting as a perfect camouflage against the night. Disheartened, and with a feeling that she was somehow mocking us, we returned to the game.

The employees of the hotel had told us that she was often seen at the very top of the complex, close to the employee housing and so I felt more hopeful when the whistle blew and we headed up the hill, desperate to catch another glimpse of her. By some stroke of luck, we turned the corner and saw a young couple petting a small, black silhouette. We dashed over, probably giving them a fright as we fell about the floor, stroking her and telling her how beautiful she was and how we’d missed her. To avoid coming off as completely crazy, we explained the story to the couple who seemed amazed and it began to sink in that what we were doing was something very out of the ordinary but something very special. All the while, she lay on her back in the undergrowth, letting Oliver rub her belly, play with her ears, and scratch her nose, content to be part of the action-filled plot.

We attempted to lure her to our apartment with leftover takeaway, wanting her to be comfortable and familiar with the surroundings. If we were to transport her to Olga’s, she would need to spend the night in the apartment for we couldn’t risk not being able to track her on the day of the trip. She was as playful as ever but metres from the front door, her skittishness took a hold of her and uncertain, she trotted away into the darkness. An old adage rang in my head that you should never chase a stray and so we retreated to our apartment balcony and talked about how we were going to make it work, how badly we wanted her and to psychologically assess ourselves…just to confirm that we were not actually just a pair of idiotic, soppy Brits.

An hour or so passed when all of a sudden, as if she had overheard, a little black shadow appeared below our balcony with its signature head tilt and inquisitive ears. Like two rabbits caught in the headlights, we were dared not breathe, partly to avoid scaring her off and also to discourage unwanted attention. ‘Where’ve you been girl?’, we began to call to her in hushed tones. Her tail began to wag continuously until pitifully, she began to cry, unable to work out how she could reach us. Like a bullet, Oliver was out the door, round to the front and straight into her affections. A few minutes later, she climbed the mounted verge directly underneath our balcony, out of sight and laid down for the night. We wished her goodnight and returned to the apartment. Knowing that she recognised our voices in the darkness, that she was excited to see us and that she felt safe enough to sleep directly below us filled our hearts with hope and we felt positive about what the next day would bring.

On a side note, we would like to thank everyone who may appear in this article unnamed. Whether you alerted us to her whereabouts or told us we weren’t crazy….we three are so grateful for your time, support and belief in us.

*I will be writing a separate blog on both Better Dogs and PAWS and the incredible work they do. For more information in the meantime you can visit their websites below:

https://m.facebook.com/betterdogshotel/

http://www.paws-peliongreece.com

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The second episode will be republished tomorrow!

Life with Luna

Time and time again we see what dogs mean to us.

Not that long ago I received an email out-of-the-blue from Linley Achtenhagen. Linley wanted to tell me, and all of you, what having a dog had meant to her.

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How It All Started

by Linley Achtenhagen

Before I start talking about all of the things I have learned from having a dog, I should probably tell the story of how this crazy journey started.

My sophomore year of college was probably one of the most difficult years I’ve had. I was struggling with anxiety issues and I had just quit basketball, which was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. Why? Well, I had been playing basketball from the time I could walk and the day that I decided I was done was a very difficult, yet relieving day.

Me playing basketball had become unhealthy for me and caused me so much stress and anxiety that it was hurting me more than it was helping me, but that’s a different story.

Anyways, once I was done playing college basketball I felt relieved, but also empty. All I had really ever known was basketball, so now I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life other than going to school and studying things that I didn’t care about. I knew that something was missing!

I have always been an animal lover. Growing up we had everything from cats, to dogs, to horses and even a pet bird. Dogs were my favorite though (sorry cat lovers) and I thought, “why not see if there’s a dog that needs a home”.

So I went online and of course, I found, literally, thousands of dogs that needed homes. After months of searching and convincing my parents that I could do this, I adopted Luna.

Luna came from a high-kill shelter in Missouri, meaning that if she wasn’t adopted in a certain time frame she was going to be put to sleep. Lucky for me, Tiny Paws Small Dog Rescue in Milwaukee, Wi transported her and about 10 other dogs from the shelter up to Wisconsin.

Luna was about 15 pounds underweight and for a 40-pound dog that’s dangerously skinny. When I would pet her I could feel every single bone on her body. She was skinny, shy, and had patches of fur missing, yet the trust this animal gave me right from the start was amazing. This animal had gone through only God knows what, and trusted me immediately. It was an eye-opening thing to watch.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that it was all butterflies and rainbows when I adopted Luna. The first few days I was panicked and thought, “what on earth did I get myself into”. But I knew that I had made a commitment to this dog and I couldn’t give her away. I have always hated change, in fact, it is one of the things that gives me pretty bad anxiety, and I knew that giving Luna back would be the easy way out. Sure enough, in about a week, this dog became my best friend and it’s like we had a mutual understanding that we were in this together.

Since getting Luna I went from not knowing what I wanted to do with my life to declaring my major as entrepreneurship and knowing that one day I want to open my own pet supply store.

I want to share all of the knowledge that I have gained about dogs from having Luna with other pet and dog lovers. I have found that big, franchise pet stores just don’t have the same knowledge that small, local pet stores do. I am also not saying that I know everything there is to know about dogs because I still learn new things every single day. But I want to share everything I have learned with dog owners and help them give their pet the best life possible. I also hope to learn new things from all the people that (hopefully) come in and out of my store every day.

In the posts to come, I will share everything I have learned about life, love, animals, and everything in between from my life with Luna.

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If only all decisions in life were as easy as me wanting to publish Linley’s account of her meeting Luna!

All we now need is a photograph of the happy couple!

Luna being loved by Linley.

May everything go well for you, Linley!

Puppy Love!

Friday the 13th!

We are on course for a warm, sunny day. We were starting to wonder what they felt like!

But there’s never any question what the love of a dog feels like!

1070310989-222362-puppy_love_quotes___I am now going to follow this image up with a video made in England by Sophie Hannah Richardson recording her experience of welcoming to her home a new puppy.

Enjoy (and please read my footnote!).

Say hello to Luna the french bulldog everyone! How cute is she?!

We’ve had our little Luna just over a month now and we absolutely adore her. She’s playful, loving and very sociable! And she’s slowly learning to love the camera!

Follow Luna’s adventure right here: https://www.instagram.com/luna_thefrenchbulldog/

 

Footnote: In the last couple of days the number of good people who are following this blog has gone over 2,000. I am truly lost for words and will just leave it like this: Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

TIMOTHY BULLARD/Daily CourierPaul Handover with Pharaoh, a 12year-old German Shepard that he uses on the cover of his new book about man's best friend.
TIMOTHY BULLARD/Daily Courier Paul Handover with Pharaoh, a 12year-old German Shepard that he uses on the cover of his new book about man’s best friend.

Our incredible dogs.

Dog lost at sea is found – five weeks later!

This story has been widely reported and for good reason. The source of my post is here.

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Dog presumed lost at sea shows up 5 weeks later, wagging her tail

Mary Jo DiLonardo March 17, 2016
Luna likely survived on dead fish and mice, as well as fresh water that was shipped in for Navy employees. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
Luna likely survived on dead fish and mice, as well as fresh water that was shipped in for Navy employees. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

When Nick Haworth’s dog, Luna, fell off his fishing boat a couple miles off the shore of San Clemente Island in the Pacific Ocean, he thought there was a good chance she’d swim for land.

“Nick was pretty certain she would make for shore because she was a very strong swimmer,” says Sandy DeMunnik, public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy’s Naval Base Coronado, which includes the island. “He asked if he could have permission to come ashore to get her.”

San Clemente Island is a weapons training facility where they work with bombs and offshore bombardment, so they had to shut off one of the artillery ranges to look for the 1 1/2-year-old German shepherd/Husky mix. The staff helped Haworth search for her to no avail. He stayed in the area for two more days and couldn’t find her.

“After about a week, it was presumed she had never even made it to shore because they hadn’t seen a sign of her,” says DeMunnik. “They presumed she was lost at sea.”

Fast forward five weeks to March 15 when Navy staff arrived on the island for work.

“She was sitting on the side of the road just wagging her tail,” says DeMunnik. The staff members knew immediately that this was the dog they had been searching for. They opened their door, whistled and Luna jumped right in the truck.

After more than a month of being gone, Luna takes a well-deserved nap. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
After more than a month of being gone, Luna takes a well-deserved nap. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

They immediately called Haworth and let him know the happy news. Luna was examined by the island’s wildlife biologist, who said she likely wasn’t seen for five weeks because her tan-and-black coloring let her blend in with the island’s landscape. Miraculously, except for having lost a little weight, she was OK.

“Amazingly for being lost for five weeks in a very dangerous and treacherous environment, she was fine,” says DeMunnik. “During that time, there was bombardment training, weapons training … there was a lot of very loud, very dangerous training going on, and we had some very severe El Nino storms.”

Those storms probably helped keep the dog alive because fresh water was brought to the island by barge for the staff during the storm. They determined that Luna had survived by eating dead fish and rodents.

Because her owner, a commercial fisherman and student at San Diego State University, was away on a fishing trip, he sent his best friend, Conner Lamb, to meet Luna’s plane. When the plane doors opened, she leapt into Lamb’s arms and he fought back tears. On her first night home, he made her a steak for dinner.

The commanding officer of the base sent Luna home with a keepsake of her time spent on the island: her own set of military dog tags. They are engraved with her name, the dates she was missing, and “Keep the faith.”

Luna is greeting by paparazzi — but it's clear that's she's had enough media coverage for the day. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
Luna is greeting by paparazzi — but it’s clear that’s she’s had enough media coverage for the day. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

ooOOoo

Two more pictures to reinforce this wonderful story.

The first from US News:

Luna was found Tuesday on San Clemente Island, a Navy-owned training base 70 miles off San Diego.
Luna was found Tuesday on San Clemente Island, a Navy-owned training base 70 miles off San Diego.

And the second from Eye Witness News on abc:

Nick Hawarth and Lucky Luna.
Nick Haworth and Lucky Luna.

Well done everyone!