SAN DIEGO – A German Shepherd Husky mix that survived after being lost at sea is finally back with her owner.
"I'm just glad to have her home,” Nick Haworth said. “I never thought I'd see her again, to be honest with you."
Haworth was out of town when the Navy crew members first spotted Luna on San Clemente Island earlier this week.
The blue-eyed 1 ½ year old pup disappeared Feb. 10 as Haworth, a commercial fisherman from San Diego, worked on a boat two miles from the island.
"They were pulling in their (lobster) traps, and one minute Luna was there, and the next minute she was gone," said Sandy DeMunnik, spokeswoman for Naval Base Coronado. "They looked everywhere for her. They couldn't see her. The water was dark, and she's dark."
Haworth notified Navy personnel.
"I was looking around, couldn't find the dog, couldn't find the dog. I started freaking out, honestly."
"I continued to fish at the island. I would look for her every single trip. I'd be out there looking for her with my binoculars.”
On Tuesday morning, staff arriving for work at the island's Naval Auxiliary Landing Field spotted a dog sitting by the side of the road. It was Luna.
"I was heartbroken, because I didn't know whether she was alive or dead," Haworth said.
Luna is believed to have swam more than a mile to get to the island. The Navy assumes she survived by eating rodents. The dog is thinner, but otherwise healthy.
"I guess she just jumped into somebody's truck the other day, that's what I heard," Haworth said.
Luna is now sporting her own dog tag, engraved by the Navy. It reads "Keep the Faith." It is a key lesson in the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) course taught on the island to Navy and Marine personnel.
"They were telling me to keep the faith, is what they give people who were captured at war, like prisoners of war," Haworth said.
Haworth says he had just given up.
"I just threw away all of her stuff last week. I gave her a month and then I didn't think there was any hope after that. Turns out she made it, she's a little survivor."
His sailing companion will be back out on the water with him soon.
"We got to keep a better eye on her, keep her on a leash on the boat, maybe even a doggy life jacket."