“Surfing” Dachshund Found in Wake of Tsunami

A missing Dachshund named Ghosn may have ridden a tidal wave to safety during the March 2011 tsunami in Japan. The dog was found far from the shore.

This dog was rescued after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Click to see the full photo from the Los Angeles Times.

Following last week’s report on the Dachshund who was found here in the United States a month after a house fire, here is a new heartwarming story from Japan that tells of another beloved family Dachshund presumed lost…and then found.

When the recent earthquake in Japan hit Ofunato, a coastal city in Iwate, Japan, Atsuko Oikawa was trying to get her mother-in-law to safety when their two family Dachshunds got free and ran off — toward the tidal waves breaching the town’s port.

After searching the area, Oikawa found Carlos, but couldn’t find Ghosn (the miniature Dachshunds are named after Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn). She kept searching the area until the approaching waves made further efforts impossible, and then joined her family in the hills, heartsick about Ghosn, whom she knew she’d never see again.

“There was a hole in our hearts over the missing dog,” Oikawa tells reporters.

Much to her surprise and relief, her missing Dachshund was found a week later by an animal rescue volunteer who was searching the area for missing pets. After informing the police, they contacted the family to let them know their doxie boy had been found in good condition, albeit far inland from the shore.

The Oikawas think Ghosn may have surfed in on the wave. “Maybe he rode on it, a surfing dog, perhaps,” says Oikawa’s husband, Yuki. “We’re so incredibly happy to get him back.”

I’m not certain how Ghosn was identified so he could be returned to his owners, but he was probably microchipped, which makes this story an excellent parable that explains why it’s so important to microchip your pets.

Meanwhile, Oikawa is counting her blessings.

“We can’t tell you how happy we are that Ghosn is back,” she says. “He’s part of our family and he’s taught us a valuable lesson: Never, never give up.”

Animal rescue groups in Japan, like JEARS, need your help. Here are some resources if you are wondering how to donate.

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Editor’s Note: For an update on the ongoing disaster assistance work in Japan, please read our April 10, 2011, article “1 Month Later, Challenges Remain.”

Tamar Love Grande

View posts by Tamar Love Grande
Tamar Love Grande, former associate editor, is a Crazy Dog Person who has fostered and found homes for more than 200 dachshunds in the past few years. Tamar lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her cat and far too many wiener dogs.

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