We have been staying in hotels since the Beirut explosion (our apartment blew up!), but sometimes dogs are not allowed to stay with us and so I leave them with Betty, our housekeeper, because unlike the rest of the house, the dogs’ area and her bedroom have been repaired. (Here is a photo of my two babies, Bo and Lexi.)
My Lost Dog :(
On Friday, at around 8:45pm I got a call from Michel to tell me that Lexi (the one on the right, grey & white color) was lost. They’d searched for her for two hours but she was nowhere to be found. My heart dropped! I quickly got dressed and called for a taxi. Just half an hour later and I was at home. Michel filled me in on what had happened while I was hysterically crying.
At some point during the previous afternoon Lexi left through the open door of the 23d (!) floor and went into the adjacent, unfinished apartment to poop (she loves to poop in new places). At 6pm, when Betty wanted to feed dogs, she couldn’t find Lexi, so she searched for Lexi by herself at first, then told Michel and together with the builders they went up and down the 28 floors of our building. They found nothing so called me.
From then until Sunday night, over 20 volunteers, a search dog, us, Bo (my other baby), and the builders combed through the building and its surrounding area inch by inch - grids, elevator shaft, parking etc. We asked the neighbors and went up and down the stairs so many times that even now, four days later, we are all still sore🤪
As the building had been half-destroyed in the explosion, it was very dark as there was a lack of light and already late in the evening. Also, most doors were left open for workers to go in and out with ease so we started to think that she had tripped and fallen, or she had just got lost in that huge undeveloped building. Below are my screenshots with all that we have done during our search.
The Social Media Phenomenon
Neither our physical search nor the security footage we had helped. So I posted and spread Lexi’s photos on social media, sponsored my post and started creating stories to try and get more help. I’m sorry again, you’ll notice I cried a lot. 😖
You all have shown me an incredible amount of support - over 3,200 shares of one post alone, the teams of people who showed up Saturday and Sunday, NGOs responded, those not living in Lebanon were looking at websites online to see if Lexi was being offered for sale… I mean WOW. YOU ARE AMAZING. THANK YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK.
A Surprise Text
Then, on Monday, as we were leaving to print flyers in Arabic, I received a text with Lexi’s photo (below you can see it). I asked for a video call (as you suggested, to verify legitimacy), and though it was blurry, I knew right away it was Lexi. Then Michel jumped in - very nicely asked for an address, arranged a meeting at public Pharmacy, mentioned that we had money with us for the promised reward, and we took off.
We arrived there first, and a few min later a shabby car pulled up. A man of about 50 and a boy of around 10 years old came out, saw me and said “Lexi?”
I was already running towards them. They opened their car and there she was - my Lexi❤️ Just chilling on a back seat and wagging her tail.
Michel gave them a reward, asked when and where they found her - Achrafieh (the area of Beirut where we live) on Sunday night - and the nightmare was over, for US.
We Were Lucky
While it’s over for us, it’s not over for so MANY lost pets and their guardians. In the next post, (I can’t fit it all here), I will share what I learned. You can also see more information in my highlights on my personal Instagram @Asiya.Iskakova!
THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN❤️