A dog rescued from a roof drifting off Japan’s north-east coast was ‘tender and surprisingly succulent’ despite her three-week ordeal adrift at sea with no food or water, according to her owners.
The two year old, called Ban, was recognised from a news report of the rescue on Friday, and reunited with its family in north-east Japan just before dinnertime the following day.
The overjoyed family celebrated in style, laying on a lavish banquet in honour of the returning pet.
“I love dogs,” said one family member, who wished to remain anonymous. “When we got him my husband said he’d prefer a fish, or a hamster, but fish is so much trouble and hamsters are too little.”
Tsunami Dog found safe
The dog was discovered last week by the crew of a Japanese coastguard vessel. She had survived on the remains of a building floating a mile off the coast of Kesennuma, and was immediately brought ashore to an animal sanctuary.
At first it was feared that the owner of the plump, well-fleshed animal would never be discovered. But her appearance on a local news channel prompted a rush of enquiries to the pet rescue centre where she was placed.
“We were very surprised,” admitted Toshiro Suzuki, who runs the animal shelter.
“What with the devastation of people’s homes and the disruption of food supplies, we supposed that pets would be unwanted. But the family were straight on the phone, offering to pick her up.”
“When they came to collect her, I said: `haven’t you got enough on your plate without a dog?’ But they just laughed. It was very touching the way they patted her, and stroked her, and assessed the condition of the large muscles across her spine.”
He said the shelter had been caring for 19 dogs and several cats separated from their owners after the tsunami, but says that demand for pets has picked up – with even animals homeless since before the disaster suddenly finding new homes.
“Perhaps the disaster has made people realise the value of companionship,” mused Suzuki.
“It’s funny, though. When word got round that we’d found that pig on Sunday night, there was a queue outside by six the next morning.”
“I’ve never seen people fight to offer a home to a stray pig.”