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Deborah Loustalot gets her first look in more than three months at their dog Gigi at the Dothan Regional Airport on Thursday.
AP Photo by Mike Lewis
Deborah Loustalot gets her first look in more than three months at their dog Gigi at the Dothan Regional Airport on Thursday.

Katrina dog back with family in Alabama

DOTHAN (AP) — After spending more than three months in animal shelters across the country, a dog displaced by Hurricane Katrina rode into the Dothan Regional Airport as cargo of a Greyhound bus — and the bearer of great joy for her displaced family.

Gigi, a 5-year-old part chow, survived the flooding of her St. Bernard Parish, La., home and was reunited with Joe and Deborah Loustalot's family with the help of the Internet.

"Just like they say, 'I wish they could talk,' " their son, Mark Loustalot, said as he played with her outside the airport.

The Loustalots had said goodbye to Gigi on Aug. 28 for what was believed to be only a temporary evacuation. They had to leave her behind to make room for Deborah Loustalot's amputee father and diabetic mother in the getaway car. But when the family watched the flooding on the news, they felt remorse for not bringing Gigi.

"It wasn't right," Deborah Loustalot told The Dothan Eagle. "I should've took her . . . And she knew, she knew. Her sad eyes said she just knew we were leaving her for something."

The Loustalots, who are currently living with a relative in Skipperville, about 20 miles north of Dothan, were convinced she had escaped floodwaters in their home when they returned and found a bay window open.

Tracking Gigi through www.petfinder.com, they believe the first dog they found through the Internet site was Gigi, but that dog was moved to another shelter and given a different number. They followed five more leads before finding her.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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