Walking around the America’s Cup Village by San Diego Harbor, you might see a dog walking around looking very official. The five day racing event is not only home to some of the fiercest sailors across the globe, but also a pooch named Lucky.
Lucky is an accredited dog that goes everywhere with his owners, Mike and Stephanie Martin who both work for America’s Cup. The Newport Beach couple brought the 5-year-old dog to the event, and festooned his collar with an official badge allowing him to roam the docks freely.
But last week, for a dreaded 19 hours, Lucky was separated from his owners.
Mike Martin went sailing for the afternoon and left Lucky in the office since he couldn’t bring him on the specialized sailboats.
Once his owners were on the water, Lucky panicked and darted out of the secured area to find them. The dog dashed to the pet-friendly Westin hotel where the Martins were staying in an attempt to find them. He searched for the couple around the hotel and parking lot, but to no avail.
With no options left, Lucky ran north.
Once Mike and Stephanie realized their precious pet was missing, they immediately took action. Since the dog spent so much time wandering the piers, many of the event participants stepped up and assisted the Martins in the search for Lucky.
Flyers were posted. Phone calls were made. Search parties were formed. The worried couple contacted everyone they could think of, but spend the night anxious about Lucky’s location.
“People in San Diego were so helpful,” said Stephanie. “Everyone wanted to help.”
The pup ended up running more than three miles away to a residential area near Old Town. He plopped himself on the front porch and pleasantly surprised the homeowners, who took one look at Lucky’s accreditation and knew someone was missing him.
“They said they opened the door, and there he was,” said Stephanie. “They owned dogs, so he must have smelled the dogs and understood they loved dogs.”
The residents contacted America’s Cup representatives in order for Lucky to be reunited with his family. The Martins were at the San Diego Humane Society nearby searching for him when they received the call Lucky had been found.
“We were really lucky to get Lucky back,” Stephanie said. “He’s a smart dog.”
“But not smart enough to stay put!” joked Mike.