Friday, August 5, 2011

Luna, golden retriever

Austrian family to be reunited with dog, Luna, lost in Halifax
Global Maritimes
Wednesday, August 03, 2011 12:00 AM

HALIFAX - Siegfried and Monika Wartbichler's family trip to Halifax came to a sad end Monday when they were forced to return to Austria without their beloved dog, Luna.

The three-year-old golden retriever got spooked by Natal Day fireworks on Sunday night, and ran off.

The Wartbicher family will return to Halifax -from Austria -Thursday to fetch their dog Luna, found with the help of the social media-based Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network. The three-year-old golden retriever ran away from the family after being spooked by fireworks at Natal Day celebrations.
The Wartbichlers were heartbroken, but they couldn't change their flights to stay and look for Luna.

Their story, however, now has a happy ending.

Luna was found Wednesday afternoon after vigorous efforts to find her, in part with the help of the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network.

The Twitter- and Facebook-based initiative has helped reunite owners with missing pooches since it formed in January.

But, when Luna went missing Halifax residents logged onto the network's pages faster than ever.

Co-founder Janet Chernin says they've had more than 200 new followers since they posted Luna's disappearance Monday.

She says it was an NS Lost Dog Network member that picked up on the story of Luna's disappearance.

Messages were sent out on Twitter and Facebook, as with all missing dogs the network reports and there was even an interactive map posted online, to document Luna-sightings.

People communicated online to organize search efforts for her, and Chernin says they helped to put up posters.

"Posters and persistence brings dogs back," she says.

Local friends of the Wartbichlers were in constant communication with the network and relayed updates back to the family.

The family didn't realize there would be fireworks that night, otherwise they wouldn't have brought Luna out.

If the fireworks scared the dog off, Chernin says, Tuesday night's thunder and lightning storm would have certainly spooked her enough to go further into hiding or to "go into ground."

She says dogs often go into "flight-fright mode" where they find a hiding place and even if it hears its name it's not likely to respond.

She didn't expect Luna to would be spotted again for at least a couple more days when she got the news, shortly after 4 pm Wednesday, that the dog was found.

"Because she was micro-chipped two young guys found her."

They came across the dog while walking along the train tracks in Halifax's south end and later took her to Quinpool Road Veterinary Clinic, where she was able to be identified.

The Wartbichlers are reportedly on their way back to Halifax Thursday, to bring their missing family member home.


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