A True Salty Dog: Pup Rescued After Three Weeks At Sea in Japan

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A rescued dog is held by a Japan Coast Guard member after it was transported from the earthquake and tsunami devastated city of Kesennuma to Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan. The dog, wearing a collar but no address on it, was found Friday drifting on the roof of a house floating 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) off Kesennuma.

AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Reiri Kurihara

A helicopter engaged in the massive search and rescue sweeps going on around Japan spotted the wreckage of a house at sea. And, to their great delight, a scrappy dog emerged from beneath the decapitated roof.

The pup got scared by the helicopter and dived back under some of the wreckage. (Which seems like a fair move — one imagines the dog didn’t last that long by extending an open paw to whatever strange creatures happened upon its float.) The rescuers attempted to lower someone to coax the dog out but ran out of gas before they could seal the deal. A Coast Guard boat eventually saved the day and brought the dog aboard, for its own good and reportedly with hopes of using the dog to find the missing owner.

Update: The owner wasn’t missing — not even missing the news. Reports came out today that the owner, a lady who wishes to remain anonymous, was reunited with her seafaring pup, named Ban, after seeing his survival story on TV.

(More on TIME.com: See TIME’s complete coverage of the Japan earthquake)

This intrepid brown mutt not only lived through the tsunami, one of the worst natural disasters in recent memory, but three weeks at sea on a big pile of garbage. Did it have any food or water? Did it fashion an adorable fishing pole and live off the sea? It’s impossible to say for now. But regardless, NewsFeed is ready to make a proclamation: that this dog should from here on out be greeted, everywhere it goes, with loud and joyous playings of the refrain from Destiny Child’s “Survivor.”

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 heroic animals)

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