Heather Anderson is an animal lover.
On the family farm, she is responsible for goats, sheep, chickens, horses, peacocks, cats, alpacas, and other creatures, or, as her husband, Jay, jokingly puts it, “all the animals from Noah’s Ark.”
Heather and Jay’s love for animals was tested in an unexpected way on Sunday around 11:30 at night, when Heather went to the barn to check on a set of twin goats, named Chris and Nicholas, who were born on Christmas Eve.
“It has been very cold lately,” Heather said. “So I have been going to check up on them every night before bed.”
After she confirmed that the two goat kids were OK, she was ready to return to the house.
It was then when she saw a shadow by the dumpster.
She went inside the house to get help from her husband with a flashlight, and the two returned to the dumpster.
There, shivering in the stone-cold darkness of the night was a black lab.
“She was very happy to see us,” Heather said. “She was pretty sad looking.”
Without hesitation, Jay and Heather took the dog inside. Under the light, it was clear that the pup had been losing some patches of hair and was very hungry.
“She was really, really, really skinny,” Heather said. “She was shaking.”
The Andersons called her Luna, because she was found under moonlight. The pup, approximately a year old, spent her first night at the Anderson household, sleeping in the couple’s bed.
It is fitting that in one way or another, Luna ended up at the Anderson farm. A living farm educator, in addition to raising and home schooling the couple’s three children, Heather also produces videos for her Anderson Hobby Farm YouTube channel and Facebook page with a focus on teaching children about farm life.
Luna’s unexpected presence in the family gave Heather a reason to teach her children about animal companionship, compassion and community.
That night, the couple tried to accommodate Luna in the big kennel, but the pup wailed, as she was not kennel trained, so the Andersons gave in.
The next morning, Heather consulted with two veterinarians to ensure that Luna was not microchipped or had any worms.
Luna had neither, so Heather posted a picture on social media — which was shared by the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office — wondering if someone was missing a dog.
No one has claimed the dog so far, and the Andersons believe it may have been dumped on the farm on purpose.
In the past, Heather said, she and her husband have rescued abandoned animals, many of whom they had adopted or found homes for if they were not a good fit for the farm.
In the short four days she has lived with the Andersons, Luna is adjusting to her new environment with great speed.
Bella, the resident German shepherd, is really fond of her, and Gemma, the couple’s other dog, does not seem to care.
The couple’s children, however, have already connected with Luna in a way only youngsters can.
Heather believes Luna to be a German shepherd/pointer/lab mix, and added that mixed breeds are more likely to be “dumped.”
If she does not hear from anyone in two weeks, she said, the dog will be considered a surrender.
Heather does not want even to think what could have happened to Luna had she not found her in the dark that night.
“The kids really love her,” she said. “I wouldn’t really call her a present just yet because her owners may show up. But she is a really good girl, she is awesome, and we all love her without question.”
It is unclear what Luna had endured since she was last in the company of caring humans — and hence whether she is an abandoned or a lost dog.
Whatever her past, she has been found by the right people.
It is also clear that she is soaking up the unconditional love she is surrounded by and thriving.
“She has been by my side every minute since we’ve had her,” Heather said.