Sponsors

Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing

I have loved and had dogs all my life. My partner and I just last week acquired the most beautiful standard poodle named Lena. She is three years old and she came from a lovely horse farm in Nova Scotia. Her former mom has been a breeder of standard poodles for over 30 years and she is one of my best friends. Lena had been selected to be a breeding bitch but it didn’t work out. Apparently she didn’t like male dogs! So my friend knew I was wanting a new dog after our beloved standard died a few months ago. And she offered us Lena and we jumped at the chance. Lena had only been with us for TWO days when she was lost. On Thursday Nov 2nd she flew from Halifax to Vancouver. She had not only a 4,000 mile plane ride BUT she had a 1.5 hour drive from her former home in NS. And most importantly, she was left by her obviously very sad former mom of 3 years. What an incredibly stressful day for a dog. Then on Thursday evening she was handed over to us in Vancouver and we drove to a hotel. Lena had never been in a hotel before and the sweet natured jet lagged dog quietly settled down on the bed. She even had a small supper! Next day, Friday, we departed for the ferry terminal and she had her first ride on the ferry. We stayed in the car with her and she enjoyed the ride. Once back home in Victoria we introduced her to her new home and that night she slept for hours. ROAM came into our lives Saturday morning. I had taken her out for a pee break and naively–when she hadn’t peed for 14 hours–I took her off the leash just to pee. We were in an enclosed fence park, very small with two exits. A strange dog SUDDENLY out of nowhere bolted up to her JUST as she finished peeing (she was literally off the leash for no more than 2 minutes) AND she froze, jumped backward and then ran. Her fear of the dog was so great that nothing I could do worked. I ran after her for three blocks down a city street but I lost sight of her. Everyone in the neighborhood called out encouragingly as I ran down the sidewalk in search of her. In about 10 minutes I reached Beacon Hill Park, across the street from my home. I ran home hoping she might have come to our front door. No luck. I then ran back towards the park realizing it was the first walk I had taken her on and IF she was as smart as I thought she was–she would remember it. I also thought it most resembled the pastoral area where she grew up. Fortunately for me I met the most lovely woman and 3 dogs number in her contact list. Terry, the acknowledged search wizard at ROAM, got the call from his dispatcher, and apparently dropped everything at home and bolted out the door so quickly his wife Barb didn’t know what was happening!  Meanwhile I was desperately retracing my first walk in the park with Lena hoping to spot her.  As I ran through the park, I heard from many people Lena had been running from everyone who tried to help catch her. I even saw her with my own eyes and called out to her and she ran AS FAST AS SHE COULD in the other direction. I was devastated. Then I realized she was so traumatized that nothing could calm her down. At some point in the 4 hour search for Lena, my partner, Darrell, ran to the fire department in James Bay behind our house. The fire men jumped in their truck with the largest ladder and drove to the highest point in the park. They put up the ladder (which I think extends 10 stories) and they had a perfect outlook and actually spotted her heading for Dallas Road. For those who don’t live here this is the most beautiful dog park in the city and it runs along the water.This turned out to be the next piece of good luck in a day that started in a very bad way. Between the Victoria Animal Control (VACs) (Matt) and ROAM (Terry and countless volunteers) they managed to finally locate and corner Lena at one end of Dallas Road. She was so scared of them she ran down a huge embankment but lucky for us, the beach meant she couldn’t run into the streets anymore. With more skill than I could imagine, Matt and Terry worked together like a well oiled machine and closed off Lena’s possible escape route from the beach. Total strangers walking along the trails stopped also to help block her from coming back up the hill into traffic. By this time she apparently was too tired to run up the embankment (thankfully!) and within minutes Terry had safely and securely captured her. To think that one frightened dog–so far from its original home–ran through traffic for almost four hours and escaped unharmed is nothing short of a miracle. Except that in reality it was the training, love of dogs, and common sense of many people that brought us to this happy conclusion. We will always be so grateful to ROAM and all the good people of Victoria who came together to save our dog. Lena I’m happy to report is unscathed by her terrifying adventure. She is now wearing a HALTER and I have a 20 foot training leash. She has been back to the park in my company and she is also enjoying her walks on Willows Beach. Because of her ordeal we’ve been spoiling her just a bit :). I can’t tell you how many times Saturday night I looked down to see her sleeping beside us and pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I could never imagine a dog surviving what she did–and totally unharmed.  Thank you Terry and Matt and all the fabulous people at ROAM and all those kind strangers who pitched in to help us. Cindy T and Darrell B Victoria BC
Cynthia & Darrel