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Well, here’s a story to brighten up your Monday.


On August 21st, we were mid-week at my sister’s camp in Northern Ontario (N 46.37154 W 083.64877 – DECIMAL FORMAT) staying until Saturday morning.


My family was off visiting nearby friends and our dog of nine years was at the camp with my brother in law and his son. Jessie (the dog) is simply a mutt. She’s not some special hunting dog or anything but she’s a beautiful nine-year-old jet-black border collie/shepherd cross with a fabulous disposition that took to training very well. She’s never wandered or ran away so she’s loose at the cottage. We never thought twice about this.


However, on that day, a major thunderstorm and downpour hit the area. She’s always been afraid of thunder and a sudden crack sent her racing away from the cottage. My brother in law had to race to get his kid inside the cottage and the dog was gone.


We got back to the cottage around 2:00 and found out the bad news. We were absolutely devastated. This is not a heavily populated area with millions of acres of woods. There are miles and miles of logging roads in the area. We had no idea where to start. Figuring she must be close, I whistled for her (her come command). I knew if she heard it, she would be there. I started to drive the main roads hoping I would find her. She had her tags on but one that she always had before – her name and phone number – had never been replaced when we moved almost three years ago.


I drove over three hundred kilometres of back roads on Thursday and Friday knowing full well that seeing here would be like winning the lottery. I was obviously upset, but my wife was devastated. She couldn’t think straight and broke down in sobs time and again. She couldn’t sleep or eat very much either.


We had to leave on Saturday so we posted signs at all the cottages on the lake, in the little towns in the area and the grocery stores. We placed an ad in the newspaper as well. The hardest part was pulling out of the driveway on Saturday morning. We live in Ayr, Ontario (N 43.28613 W 080.45288) and it’s an eight-hour drive. I checked our home answering machine constantly on the drive home hoping I’d have to turn around to get her.


Yesterday morning, we got a phone call from our local animal hospital. Someone had picked her up and was driving to Toronto today! We couldn’t believe our luck and I don’t know when my wife cried more – when we left Saturday morning or yesterday when I told her Jessie was found.


This couple from Toronto was driving home eastbound along Highway 17 east of Bruce Mines. They spotted Jesse on the westbound side of the road heading east (N 46.28703 W 083.64415) and the lady, Amanda; just felt that something wasn’t right. She urged her boyfriend Domenic to turn the car around to check it out. Not wanting to scare Jessie onto the highway, they just pulled over, opened a door and called to her. Jessie turned around and jumped right into the car. They have two dogs of their own (who weren’t with them at the time) and actually had a cage in the back of their car. Because of the tags, they called the Ayr Animal Hospital (on a Sunday) and someone was there. She took their phone numbers and looked up the tag number and contacted us immediately. We phoned Domenic right away and arranged for a pickup just north of Toronto.


Jessie did not greet us with her usual enthusiasm but was very happy to see us. She as thinner (she hadn’t eaten since Wednesday night) and she seemed to be hunched over a bit and favouring her right paw. She had a few obvious burrs on her but otherwise looked good. Scared and tired, but good. We had her blanket laid out in the back of the van and as soon as she saw it, she jumped into the van herself and laid right down. We had food and water for her as well and she crawled over to start eating – a good sign. She’s got an appetite, drinking lots of water but mostly she’s sleeping. At home, I found that the obvious burrs weren’t the majority. She’s full of them deep in her fur. We’re taking her to the vet this afternoon for a thorough exam.


Talk about a miracle. The dog walked a minimum of 9.5 kms through the bush to get to the highway. Surely she didn’t walk in a straight line. Three nights in the bush with bears, coyotes and cougars. She probably found water, but no food. Two people driving down a highway see a dog and decide to pull over. Someone was at the animal hospital on a Sunday morning (we’ll be finding out about that one tonight). They live in Toronto and are coming home tonight. I offered the guy $ 60 for gas, meals, his troubles and he adamantly refused to accept even a dime!


Obviously, Jessie will be getting a new name tag tonight with a phone number and if possible, a little 8/21/03 inscription as well. Any ideas how to get the burrs out (other than one by one)?


Thank you a million times to Domenic and Amanda. Your actions deserve special mention. Finally, I’m not a deeply religious man, but thanks be to God for what truly seems to be a miraculous story.


Even though you enter the wrong waypoint....you're still in the right spot!

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Wow! It must have felt so good when you got your dog back! icon_biggrin.gif

I grew up with Beagles which, as you may know, love to disappear on a scent, sometimes for a day and a half! OK so we don't really get dangerous animals in the UK (humans excepted icon_wink.gif) but to be without your dog for that long, well I have an inkling of what you guys went through.

As for burrs, I can only suggest good old-fashioned patience, as recommended here.


Happy grooming!! icon_wink.gif


"Woof" quoth he. Oh, and "Grrr" also.



Member of the GAGB

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