Blind, elderly dog ​​found in Alaska 3 weeks after straying

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SITKA, Alaska (AP) — An Alaskan family had given up hope of finding their blind, elderly golden retriever who wandered away from their home three weeks ago, but a construction crew found Lulu in bramble bushes after initially mistaking her for a bear.

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Lulu was barely alive after being found on Tuesday, but is being treated and is back home with her family, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported.

« She means everything, » owner Ted Kubacki said. « I have five daughters and they are between 4 and 13 years old, so they have spent every day of their lives with this dog. »

The Kubacki family searched for weeks after Lulu left on June 18.

« She’s so helpless, and you kind of imagined that she can’t go very far because she can’t see, » he said.

It didn’t help when the family was the subject of a terrible joke when someone claimed to have found Lulu days after the search began.

« We put the kids to bed and got a text saying ‘We found your dog’ or ‘I got your dog’ and we were like ‘Oh my god, this is amazing,' » a- he declared. « Then the person texted me, ‘Just kidding.’ It happened, yes, it was all part of this terrible story.

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After weeks of searching, the family had lost hope.

But this week, a construction crew spotted Lulu lying in the brush along a road not far from the Kubacki home. It was about 15 feet (4.57 meters) up an embankment and at first the crew thought it was a bear.

« They looked closer and they realized it was a dog, and they got him out of there, » Kubacki said.

All the sadness dissipated when he received the call informing him that Lulu had been found.

“I called my wife from work and it was just screaming…She just started screaming, then she screamed at the kids. And I hear them screaming like crazy,” Kubacki said.

Although alive, Lulu was in poor condition. The 80 pound (36.29 kilogram) dog had lost 23 pounds (10.43 kilograms) since his loss; she was dehydrated, dirty and her fur was matted.

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« I was just expecting to come back and say, ‘Hey, here’s my dog.’ She’s going to jump and wag her tail and kiss my face, and she couldn’t even raise her head, » he said. « She had been through the wringer. »

Lulu’s condition has improved significantly with medical care, food and rest.

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“Slowly but surely she started eating and she was able to sort of lift her head,” Kubacki said. « But yesterday she leaned on her front paws all by herself like she was nestling against me and gave me a kiss and wagged her tail and it was so awesome. »

A day later, she was able to stand on her own.

Kubacki, a grocery store employee and sole provider for his family of seven, then became concerned about the vet bill.

These fears were unfounded as Sitka residents donated hundreds of dollars to cover Lulu’s recovery bills.

« We have a family member at home, » Kubacki said.

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