A Canberra pooch took going for a holiday a little too far when she ran off during a family walk at the south coast last month.
Anxious owners Jane Power and Mark Donaldson, who were holidaying at Lilli Pilli with family, spent 10 days scouring bushland looking for their miniature schnauzer Luna after she ran off on December 28.
Covering Batemans Bay and surrounding suburbs in ‘missing’ posters and spreading the word on Facebook, the couple were reunited with their beloved pet on January 8.
The couple said Luna went missing after being spooked by a car and running over a ridge into bushland at Lilli Pilli, near the intersection of George Bass Drive and Dennis Drive.
The story of missing Luna quickly spread on social media, with people getting on board to help reunite the pooch with her family.
With the help of family, friends and the community, Ms Power said they spent more than a week searching the surrounding area, leaving behind toys and treats in an attempt to coax Luna back.
“A few days after she went missing, I saw there was a new build on Denise Drive and it was fenced off, so I thought it might be somewhere she might hide out,” Ms Power said.
“We kept looking around and then on the following Monday/Tuesday, I was walking around and had a chat with a tiler and told him our dog had gone missing.”
As the days passed and with no sightings of Luna, Ms Power had begun to lose hope. However, a call from a tradie called ‘Bushie’ who believed he had spotted Luna running off into the bush near the construction site, offered a sliver of hope.
“My sister and I ran down and started calling out and I turned and about 50 metres away, I saw her and couldn’t believe it,” Ms Power said.
“I dropped to the ground, and as soon as she saw me she just sprinted towards me.
“Her tail almost fell off she was wagging it that much.”
Despite being a little grubby and smelly after her adventure in the bush, Luna was in good health.
“We took her to the vet to get checked over – she had lost a kilo and had a few burs, but apart from that she was completely fine,” she said.
“The vet thinks she must’ve found something to eat and had water nearby.”
After lots of hugs, the family is ecstatic to have Luna home.
“We’re so surprised. It was like she was never gone,” Ms Power said.
“The community was amazing, we were so overwhelmed by the kindness of everybody and the local shopkeepers who helped us put posters up.
“It taught us a lot about the goodness of people. While we were devastated, it was just lovely to continue to receive those messages of support.
“When we found her, everyone was just overjoyed. We took her around with us, it was like a lap of honour.”
Now, Luna is happy to be home and back in her bed, receiving plenty of love and treats in between.