The heartwarming moment a woman was reunited with her lost dog 200 days after it went missing

By Marelize Potgieter
22 February 2016

When a missing pet doesn't turn up months after they first disappeared, even the most devoted owners would be tempted to give up the search.

But not Lorin Leuci of Roodepoort. And her dedication certainly paid off -- she was reunited with her family's beloved dog Lu Beagle after 200 days of desperate searching.

“I have no words that can express the gratitude and love that is bursting through my heart, for all of you who never gave up on Lu with us,” Lorin wrote on Facebook shortly after finding him again.

Lu is a family dog, but is actually owned by Lorin’s brother, Robin.

Read more: Everything you need to know about microchiping your pet

A tail-wagging Lu was reunited with his owner on Wednesday last week after a Facebook post had been shared with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Roodepoort.  One of Lu’s fans, Kerry Booysen, who’d followed the story of the lost Beagle, saw it and told Lorin about it.

Lu Beagle with her “family”, Gary Leuci (links), Lorin Leuci (middle) and Branwen Gallegher. PHOTO: Kerry Booysen, Pawgeous Lu Beagle with her “family”, Gary Leuci (links), Lorin Leuci (middle) and Branwen Gallegher. PHOTO: Kerry Booysen, Pawgeous

Lorin says they immediately began combing the streets after Lu had gone missing on 31 July last year. Missing posters went up, nearby vets and animal protection societies were contacted and social media was used to ask people if they’d seen Lu Beagle.

A Facebook group, “Operation bring Lu Beagle back”, was also set up to raise awareness about the missing dog. They promised a reward of R2 000, which was later increased to R5 000. Lorin even tried alternative means such as consulting someone who could allegedly communicate with animals, but this also proved fruitless.

Read more: Doggie depression is real – is your pup suffering from it?

The search began to wind down at the end of last year after they’d followed various leads which offered up no results. But this year new posters were shared on social media and on 16 February, Kerry informed Lorin of the Beagle that had been found by the SPCA in Roodepoort.

“Unbelievably, there wagging his tail and grinning, with a look as though he was expecting us, was OUR Lu!  A frenzy of hugs, exclamations and sobs of the purest joy ensued.”

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It eventually emerged Lu had spent all the time he was missing with people who’d taken him – and they didn’t live too far from Lorin. But they’d moved a while ago and left Lu alone. A neighbour, Sassie Schutte, informed the SPCA, and Lu Beagle was eventually reunited with his owners.

“Lu showed us the meaning of perseverance and faith – never give up . . . “ Lorin says.

After seven months away, Lu is heading home. PHOTO: Kerry Booysen, Pawgeous After seven months away, Lu is heading home. PHOTO: Kerry Booysen, Pawgeous

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