Seniors help lost dog find his family

From our July/August 2014 issue

By Doug Pinder – Creston, B.C.

I live in the Kootenay Valley at Lister, B.C., or rural Creston, about one third of a mile from the Canada/USA border. It was March, and we’d just had 10-inches of fresh snow dumped on us.

As I was getting ready to go for some lab work at the local hospital, my wife looked out the south kitchen window towards the U.S. border and said, “There’s a dog out in the field.”

I looked but couldn’t see any dog. Using binoculars, I saw a small white dog’s head walking along in the trail of some elk. The snow was fresh and the dog blended into the surroundings. I estimated his height to be about 16- or 20-inches.

I drove out to where I could see better, but there was no dog to be found. We are near a ravine, so I walked over to the bank. Looking down, I saw the dog in some tall grass in the snow. The grass was well-over his back. I called and waved my arms, but the dog just kept walking this way and that.

Headed off in another direction

He looked completely lost and pretty worn out. I walked down the ravine bank towards the dog. By this time, he noticed me and was just standing and staring at me. I kept talking to him and let him smell my hand, then I picked him up and carried him up the ravine bank.

I set him down so I could catch my breath. He took this opportunity to head off in another direction through the deep snow. I picked him up again and carried him to the truck and put him in the back of the cab, behind the passenger’s seat.

I drove back to the house and put him in the basement which was warm and dry. After giving him a few dog treats and water, we left for my appointment.

When we got to town, I stopped at the local auto shop for some deicer. Making smalltalk with the clerk While she served me, I mentioned I had just found a dog. Another clerk behind her heard us and asked, “Was it a white dog?”

I said yes and he told me he saw a picture of a lost dog on Facebook. He showed me the picture on his phone and it was the same dog I had in my basement!

Happy to hear the news

He gave me a phone number to call. I thanked him and went to the lab for my appointment. When I was sitting in the waiting room at the lab with others, I commented to a lady that I’d found a dog and its picture was on Facebook.

Another lady sitting there said she had seen it too, and she knew the person who lost the dog. I got the name, had the phone number, and this lady told me where the dog’s owner worked, which was just down the street.

Done at the lab, I drove down to where the dog’s owner worked. The receptionist called the owner on the intercom. While I waited, I told the receptionist of the story, never noticing another figure behind me.

I heard sobs and saw tears in the receptionist’s eyes.  Turning, I saw a young lady who tearfully asked if the dog was okay. I told her he was okay and in my basement. To my utter surprise, this young lady was hugging me for all she was worth.

Apparently, the dog was left with grandparents while the young lady’s boys were at another town playing hockey. When the grandparents called the dog in, he’d gone off looking for his family. Everybody concerned with the dog was out looking for him in the snowstorm. They put posters around the neighbourhood and on Facebook.

He was 16 years old, mostly deaf, and had been lost in coyote country with no food or comfort for about 2-1/2 days. He was soon back with his loving family.

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