Family reunited with missing puppy scared off by fireworks

A Bay Area family has been reunited with their lost puppy after it was scared away by fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The dog was missing for two days without food or water before a man found her on Bair Island off the shore of the Port of Redwood City on Saturday morning.

Kevin Dalonzo and Elizabeth Schultz Dalonzo were celebrating Independence Day with their dogs at the port. There was live music and a fireworks show.

It was the first time their 8-month-old Goldendoodle, Leilani, had been around fireworks, so they did not know how she would react. Both dogs were on leashes, but as soon as the first fireworks went off, Leilani ran off.

"She completely bolted, it happened so quickly, I couldn’t even move in time, react in time," Schultz said.


CHP officer saves kitten off freeway and returns to adopt her

A California Highway Patrol officer who helped rescue a tiny, frightened kitten off a freeway has now adopted that cat as a part of his family.

Dalonzo said he chased her for a few minutes until she was out of sight.

The couple searched for hours that night and the next day, unable to sleep until they found Leilani.

They heard from law enforcement that the dog may have been seen jumping into the water, but they said Leilani has always shied away from water at the beach. They worried she may have drowned.

"I was getting so emotional just thinking about it, and I just wanted her to be found," Dalonzo said.

Two days later, Roger Dunn was out for a morning paddle in his outrigger canoe. He frequently canoes around Bair Island. On this Saturday morning, the tide was low and conditions were good for paddling.

"I heard a howling, and I thought it was a coyote, but I don’t think there are coyotes over there," Dunn said. "About that time, I looked across Bair Island and saw a dog running."

Dunn said he called out to the muddy puppy and scooped her into his small canoe, hanging on tight to her while paddling with one hand. A trip that would normally take 20 minutes took him more than an hour as he paused each time she shifted weight. He said they could have tipped over if he was not careful.

"I could see there was a tag. It was a little difficult reading the numbers, but I got it, and I pulled my little phone out of my pocket hoping it wouldn’t fall in the water," Dunn said.

Dunn called Dalonzo’s number about six times before leaving a voicemail around 7:30 a.m., saying, "I’m not sure I have the right number. I’m reading the number of a dog tag. I found this dog out in the baylands crying, and I’m sitting here in the mud with this puppy in my boat."


'It felt like a miracle': Family of lost golden retriever Rocky shares impossible reunion story

Rocky, Wiseman's family dog, was lost for two nights before being discovered in a local backyard.

"I listened to his voicemail and I just started going into tears," Dalonzo said.

Dunn said he brought the dog to Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos to get her checked out, and that’s where Dalonzo met him.

Denise O'Brien, the founder of Silicon Valley Watch Dogs, captured the reunion on camera.

"I was so happy. I was just so relieved and so grateful," Dalonzo said.

A short time later, Schultz joined Dalonzo along with their second dog, Coconut. Leilani was finally reunited with her family.

"We were all kind of choked up," Dunn said.

Leilani is a special dog, named after a special moment the couple shared in Hawaii.

"The first time I told her I loved her was at a restaurant named Leilani’s in Maui," Dalonzo said.

Despite not having water or food for nearly two days, Leilani was in good shape after a bath.

The couple said they’re eternally grateful to Dunn, who happens to be a dog owner himself.

KTVU's Estefany Mendez contributed to this report.