Dog reunites with owner a year after 'Yolanda'

MANILA, Philippines - Not even the strongest typhoon that ever made landfall in recent history could break the bond that a dog shares with her owner.

One year after the onslaught of Super Typhoon "Yolanda," known internationally as "Haiyan," a dog named "Bunny" was found by her owner in Tacloban City after they were separated when the typhoon barreled through the Visayas region.

In a letter posted on the official Facebook account of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Wednesday, pet owner Ailyn Marie Alcantara-Meiran recounted her fateful reunion with Bunny.

"I am happy to share to you that we found Bunny last October 9, 2014 at around 7 p.m. she was roaming around at Imelda street while we were waiting for a jeepney. At first glance I told my husband that I think that dog across the street looks like Bunny. I decided to check if it's really her so we followed the dog . Then, we found her looking for food in a black trash bag but still not sure if it's really her," Meiran said in her letter.

She said that when she called the dog, Bunny immediately recognised Meiran.

"But when I called her, "Bunny?" she glanced at me and immediately jumped towards me!" Meiran added.

Meiran said that after thoroughly verifying if the dog was really Bunny, they took the dog home.

"We still can't believe it it's really her [because] she was sooo dirty, sooo skinny, dehydrated, and don't wag her tail at all…but as I repeatedly call her name, she also repeatedly jumped at me. My husband told me to compare her pictures in my cellphone and check for marks to validate/confirm if it's really her. My heart really beats faster, my hands were shaking as I was searching for her pics in my cellphone, and yes! We proved that it's really her. We decided to bring her back home by riding a tricycle instead of jeepney," Meiran reiterated.

Road to recovery

Bunny is still recovering from her ordeal as a stray dog in the streets of Tacloban. Meiran said that Bunny was traumatized for she does not want to be left alone at home.

"I feel so blessed for almost a year after Yolanda, we got reunited with Bunny. Now, she's still trying to recover from "trauma" I guess because she didn't want to be left at home without us even if she already had new playmates (we had three new dogs)."

She also said that Bunny's tail would not be able to wag again because it might have been beaten "when she was wandering the streets of Tacloban."

PAWS, which was in Tacloban during the immediate aftermath of the super typhoon, helped Meiran find Bunny. After weeks of exhaustive search, PAWS failed to find the dog. The animal welfare group was in Tacloban conducting its disaster-relief efforts and vaccination programs for animals which have survived the calamity.

Yolanda, which made its first landfall on November 8, 2013, killed more than 6,300 people, injured 26,689 people, and displaced millions of people from their homes as it hit various provinces in Visayas and Luzon.