The West Coast is getting pretty darn good at finding tourists' lost dogs.
A four-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Louie will be reunited with his family in time for Christmas after spending a week lost in the wilderness around Kennedy Lake.
“I'm just really happy that he's found,” beamed a jubilant Samantha Johnson speaking to the Westerly News at 4 p.m. Friday on her way to Port Alberni where local volunteers were transporting Louie to be checked by a vet.
Louie was spotted and retrieved by volunteer searchers near the Kennedy River rest-stop on Dec. 23. He had been missing since Dec. 15.
“He just got found now,” confirmed a Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network volunteer to the Westerly News at 3:55 p.m. Friday. “The crew's just coming in.”
Louie's return ends a nightmarish start to the holiday season for Louie's guardians Samantha Johnson and Jon Baker who have been fretting over finding their beloved companion since he went missing on Dec. 15.
Johnson and Baker were driving back home to Shawnigan Lake and Nanaimo, after spending the day enjoying Ucluelet and Tofino's beaches, when they stopped to let Louie out to pee near Kennedy Lake along Highway 4.
“At about 8:30 p.m., Louis was whining in the back so we pulled over. Usually, when he does that, he's letting us know he's got to go number one or number two and he gets out, does his business and gets back into the car,” Johnson told the Westerly.
This time though, Louie went beyond his guardians' sight lines and sparked an eight-day effort to find him.
“He ran into the bush and then he never came back,” Johnson said. “We spent all night out there and slept in the car.”
The Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network played a key role in Louie's rescue and the not-for-profit group relies on local support to keep up its good work. Anyone willing to donate to the cause is encouraged to visit http://www.coastalanimalrescue.ca.