NESCONSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A frantic search was under way Sunday night for a service dog belonging to a Suffolk County teen with autism.
As CBS2’s Mark Morgan reported, Lulu the German shepherd has been missing all weekend long, and she was still nowhere to be found as a new week began.
“We are at a total loss,” said Kim Varvaro. “I’m scared because she’s out there alone.”
Varvaro was desperate to find the 5-year-old service dog, who has been missing since Friday when the dog disappeared during a raging thunderstorm.
Varvaro was taking her 13-year-old autistic son, Christopher, out of the house to their car — thinking the dog was still inside.
Lulu apparently jumped out of a window of their Nesconset home, frantically looking for Christopher.
“My neighbors over there called me and said that she was just running around aimlessly, crying, you know, looking for something,” Varvaro said.
Varvaro said Lulu was spotted in nearby Lake Grove, just a few miles from her home. But as a service animal, she is trained not to allow strangers to touch her, so she got away.
Lulu, who has been with the family since she was a puppy, fulfills a critical role in her son’s life. Varvaro worries about Christopher and his wellbeing in Lulu’s absence.
“He does wander off from time to time, so she is his rock,” Varvaro said. “She knows you are not to go over there, and she will bark and go crazy if she thinks he’s in any sort of danger.”
Many times, runaway pets eventually find their way home. But Varvaro just moved into the house less than two weeks ago.
“She doesn’t know where she is,” Varvaro said. “She’s lost here.”
Varvaro does believe Lulu may be trying to find her old house in Holbrook, about eight miles away.
Meanwhile, she has covered telephone poles with pictures of her beloved dog, and along with her son, she is hoping for the best.