Tsunami Dog Reunited with Owner

Ban, a dog stranded at sea for three weeks, was reunited with her owner yesterday.

Ban, a mixed-breed dog from the coastal Japan town of Kesennuma, was swept out to sea in the tsunami more than three weeks ago. Remarkably, she didn’t drown: Instead, she perched on the roof of a collapsed house, and remained there as the boards drifted more than a mile out to sea.

On Friday, a Coast Guard helicopter spotted the dog from afar. When a rescuer was lowered onto the floating boards, however, the dog bolted. It took several hours to catch the dog and bring her to safety. The rescue effort was broadcast on national television.

As it turned out, Ban’s owner was watching the rescue on live TV, and immediately recognized the dog as her own. Although her home had been destroyed, she was ecstatic to learn that the dog she was sure she had lost was still alive. Yesterday, she was able to travel to the animal shelter in Tomiya, where Ban was being housed.

Although Ban was tired and shaken from her three weeks at sea, she immediately began wagging her tail and jumping with joy when she saw her beloved owner.

“We’ll never let go of her,” the owner said, according to Kyodo News. Check out the touching video of the reunion below.


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