When Jerry and Darla Merrow's boat washed up on the remote Fanning Island - after spending 95 days drifting across the Pacific - the couple managed to hitch a ride on a cargo ship back to California.
Unfortunately, the cargo ship refused to let them take their pets on board, so they had to leave Gulliver the parrot and Snickers the dog behind. Because of regulations on the island that forbid importation of animals, the pets were going to be destroyed.
Now, thanks to the Internet, the story of Snickers and Gulliver reached Norwegian Cruise Line, who sent a ship to transport the dog back to California:
"It's an amazing story of a lot of people working together to save this puppy," said Evans Hoyt, captain of Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of Aloha. "He's a very, very lucky dog."
His original owners had to abandon Snickers and their macaw, Gulliver, on Fanning Island, a populated atoll about 1,000 miles south of Hawaii, after drifting at sea on their boat for three months.
"They were able to catch a supply ship and make their way back home to California, but the ship wouldn't allow Snickers to join them," said Gina Baurile, from the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Las Vegas pet lover Jack Joslin read about Snickers' saga in a boating journal and called the Hawaiian Humane Society to find out how he could rescue the pets. Honolulu TV and print media also have picked up the story in recent days.
(Getting the macaw back has proved to be more problematic: US has strict laws on the importation of exotic birds)