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Pets

Elderly blind golden retriever is reunited with family after 3 weeks in the Alaskan wilderness

So happy the sweet girl has made her way home.

lost dog; reunited; blind dog; elderly dog
Photo by Emil Priver on Unsplash

Golden retriever reunited with family.

Sometimes we all need a feel-good story, and here at Upworthy, we seek out those stories so we can bring them to our audience. When we saw this one in the Daily Sitka Sentinel about a blind elderly dog being reunited with her worried family, we knew we had to share. An Alaskan family was faced with extraordinary stress after losing their sweet elderly pup, Lulu, after she wandered away from the yard.


Alaska is no place for a pet to go missing, with the wide range of wild animals sharing the habitat with its human population. From grizzly bears to moose, wolverines and everything in between, Alaska isn’t the safest place for domesticated animals to wander around alone. So when Lulu went missing it’s understandable that her family was worried for her safety. Thankfully for the frazzled family, a construction crew found the elderly dog three weeks after she had gone missing. The construction workers first thought Lulu was a bear hiding in the salmonberry bushes.

Lulu was close to death when she was found, but she’s now back with her family getting lots of snuggles and being nursed back to health. Ted Kubacki, Lulu’s owner, told the Daily Sitka Sentinel, “She means everything. I have five daughters 4 to 13 years old, so they’ve spent every day of their life with that dog.”

After the canine wandered off on June 18, the Kubackis were victims of a mean practical joke when someone told them they had found Lulu. After the Kubackis responded to the text with joy, exclaiming, “Oh my god, this is incredible,” the jokester replied, “just kidding,” dashing the joy and hope of the moment in one cruel text. The family became increasingly worried as the days went by.

Kubacki said, “She’s just so helpless, and you kind of imagined that she can’t get real far because she can’t see.”

Knowing their dog was blind, elderly and essentially defenseless against any predators or people who might do her harm, the family began to give up hope. Days, then weeks passed with no sign of Lulu, until three weeks later when a construction crew ran across what they thought was a bear. Once the crew got close enough to see the bear was actually a lost family pet, they got her out of there and called the Kubackis.

“I called my wife from work and I was just screaming... She just starts yelling, then she yells to the kids. And I just hear them screaming like crazy,” Kubacki told the Sentinel. The normally 80-pound golden retriever had dropped to just 57 pounds, was dirty with matted fur and was obviously dehydrated and hungry.

Kubacki explained that when their beloved dog returned home she could barely pick her head up. But, he said, “Slowly but surely she started eating and she was kind of able to pick her head up. 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’re so happy this story had a storybook ending. Now Lulu can live out the rest of her golden years getting the snuggles she so richly deserves.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

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