A dog lost in the Chasm near Clinton for 17 days - during one of the season’s worst cold snaps - was reunited with her owner Monday night.
Clinton resident Wade Dyck, site manager at West Fraser Chasm mill, was leaving work at about 3 p.m. Monday when he saw what looked like a coyote in the middle of West Fraser Road. He started to drive past when something twigged his memory, and he stopped for a closer look.
“It just turned and looked at me and was walking slowly up the hill,” Dyck said. “She was in the middle of nowhere.”
The dog immediately circled the truck. Dyck put out his hand, worried for a second she might bite it. She then looked longingly at the cab as if she wanted to get in. Not wanting to drive away with someone’s dog, Dyck put a post up on Facebook wondering if anyone knew who owned it.
“I have a good memory, it’s just short,” he said. A few minutes later his Facebook “blew up” with everybody suggesting it was Luna - a two-year-old Pyrenees Shepherd-cross - lost Feb. 5 in a rollover near the Chasm, located between Clinton and 70 Mile House. The dog’s owner, Darcy Alcock from Quesnel, had offered a reward for his beloved pet and the post had been widely shared on social media.
The dog looked identical to the photos people sent him, and Dyck headed to the Clinton police station for the owner’s phone number.
“She wasn’t in bad shape. She was extremely tired,” Dyck said. “She fell asleep on my arm.”
Once the owner had been called, Dyck took the dog to his neighbour’s house, fearing his cat wouldn’t be pleased to have her in the house. He had to lift Luna out of the cab because she didn’t want to leave the truck. After eating some food - she ate so fast she got the hiccups - Luna refused to leave Dyck’s side.
“The thing is she went through our coldest snap. Here at the Chasm, we had one day when our vehicle thermometer said minus-42. She must have found an empty house and crawled under it to stay warm,” Dyck said.
When Alcock and his brother arrived, Dyck waited in another room to see Luna’s reaction. As soon as she heard Alcock’s voice, “her tail started pounding on the floor,” Dyck said. He added Alcock’s face “lit right up” when he saw his pup and he said Luna looked better than he expected.
Luna then jumped on the man’s brother in excitement.
“That’s the best part of being reunited,” Dyck said.
Alcock’s mom Cindy said the family, especially her grand-daughter, was ecstatic to have the dog back. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said, adding the dog “smelled like a dumpster” and must have found a warm place to hide. “It’s been an emotional and very, very happy reunion for everybody.”
Dyck said he was pleased to have found the dog, saying she was so well-mannered that he could see someone stealing her.
“She was sure eager to go home. He opened the door and she just flew (down the stairs),” she said. “She’s a hero. She survived. She must have an extremely strong heart.”