When members of the U.S. Navy showed up for work on California’s San Clemente Island, they were greeted by something completely unusual: a wide-eyed German Shepherd, wagging her tail as they walked by. There are no domesticated animals on the island — it is used as a Naval base and airfield — so unless the dog had recently enlisted, she shouldn’t have been there.
But Luna is a survivor who seems to be as tough and resourceful as the SEALs who train at San Clemente.
Five weeks ago, 1-year-old Luna was on a fishing boat with her owner, Nick Hayworth. She fell into the water when they were about two miles from San Clemente, and Hayworth couldn’t pull her back into the craft.
“He told us Luna was a very powerful swimmer and that he was 90 percent sure she’d head for shore,” Naval Base Coronado public affairs officer Sandy DeMunnik told ABC News.
Navy staff searched the California island for several days, but after a week went by without any trace of her, she was presumed to have drowned. Instead, Luna was living on the island and is believed to have survived by eating mice.
When she approached the members of the Navy on Tuesday, they confirmed that she was, in fact, the dog who had fallen off the fishing boat and got in touch with Hayworth to give him the good news.
“He had to do all sorts of acrobatics to get [a cell phone] signal, but he was ecstatic — jumping up and down,” DeMunnick said.
Luna was examined by one of the San Diego Zoo’s wildlife biologists and, other than being a little underweight, was in otherwise good shape. A friend of Hayworth’s was going to pick her up and then return her to her relieved owner. Hopefully, the Navy gave her a tiny Shepherd-sized life jacket.