Wick, a dog rescued by TDBCR disappeared from the Arbutus Community Center at 42nd and Arbutus on Friday, February 22nd. She was in a training class at the time when something spooked her and she ran out of the class. Circumstances were working against poor Wick ... a fire door that is, by law, supposed to be kept shut at all times was propped open with a mop. The front doors of the community center are the automatic kind, that close slowly .... no one could get them shut in time. And so Wick bolted out of the door and into the cold night.
For the next seven days, both her owner and I were desperate to find her. We checked the shelters daily, and we called every veterinary clinic, pet supply store, and pet related business in the Kerrisdale area. We organized search parties and took our dogs out walking in the area. Somebody volunteered a bloodhound and Wick's trail was tracked all the way to Elm and 41st (in Dunbar), where it seemed to vanish. We both hoped and feared that someone had stopped to pick her up in a car, and we hoped they would call the number on her dog license.
But nobody called.
As the days passed, the search area grew larger. We began to fear that she had been "kidnapped" by a well meaning person who felt a lost dog was not a loved dog. We posted her everywhere on the Internet that we could think of and encouraged people to print up her flyer and post it anywhere in the Lower Mainland. People I work with told me they had seen flyers posted as far away as Burnaby. We told everyone how precious this dog was to us, and how important it was that we bring her home. Everyone, it seemed, had their eyes open for Wick. But no one saw her.
Then someone saw the poster and called. They were sure they had seen Wick in the UBC Endowment Lands (also known as Pacific Spirit Park) walking along with a man. We went out to the park to look. The UBC Endowment Lands boasts hundreds of acres of forest trails for cyclists, dog walkers and hikers. It seemed impossible that we would ever be able to cover the entire forest - and the park is flanked by several very busy roads. And as the days grew colder, we hoped against hope that someone had her squirreled away in their home. Naturally, we wanted her back where she belonged, but the alternative - that she was huddled in the forest in below zero temperatures - was unthinkable. Still, we didn't see her.
The next day, in the same area, she was spotted again ... and again. Positively ID'd twice. A woman tried to lure her to her but Wick was frightened of the woman's large dog and she ran off. We all sped out to the Endowment Lands and hiked for hours. We handed her flyers to everyone we ran across. We called and called until we were hoarse. And still, we saw nothing, not even a flash of black and white. Darkness fell, and we all went to bed utterly discouraged. Fate was cruel, and was playing games with us.
On Friday morning, Wick has been missing for a week. Her owner called and said she was going out to look for her in the Endowment Lands until she either found Wick, or she collapsed. She headed with her dog Bear and began to search again. I made arrangements to leave work early and join her later in the afternoon. And then ...
The phone call. Wick had been found!
Her dogwalkers, doing their daily routine in the forest, were startled to see Wick come around a corner chortling and whining. HERE were people she recognized, and she wanted to do nothing but come home to safety. She was rushed to the vet where she is now resting comfortably. At the time of posting this, she is being stitched back up and getting x-rays, just to be safe. She has lost 5 lbs - which, on a 40lb border collie, can ill-afford to be lost. But she is safe, and she is almost home - where she belongs.
Wick was rescued from a shelter in Washington only days before her death sentence came down. She was heavily pregnant and she was due to be euthanized as soon as her puppies had been born (and euthanized themselves). Thanks to the hardworking folks at Border Collie Rescue in Washington, she was transported to me in Vancouver over two days. No sooner had we settled her in than she began giving birth - 12 hours after she arrived. Four of those puppies survived. We found a fantastic home for Wick and as soon as her pups were weaned and she had been spayed, she went off to live in her new home. Four days later, she vanished.
Wick has been rescued, and rescued again. She is a survivor. If ever a dog deserved just one more chance at happiness, it is our precious Wick.
Heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who helped us look for Wick; the people who posted her flyers and told friends of friends of friends to keep looking. Thanks to the people who told me to never stop hoping, and to all the people who sent emails of support and good wishes. Special thanks to Kristi, Wick's owner, who looked and looked and looked some more, going days without sleep or reprieve to get her dog back.
Never give up hope! If your dog is lost or missing, keep searching and keep the faith. We hope no dogs ever go missing but if they do, we wish them all the same happy ending as Wick.
WELCOME HOME WICK! We missed you!