The posters have been up in the west end since early December. Penny went missing on December 7 and has still not been found. The little hound/pointer cross with the apricot heart-shaped spot on her back is a survivor of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and she is only a year old. After her rescue, she was shipped to Canada and found a forever home in Toronto. Or so it seemed.
She had only been with her new family for a month before an incident in the off-leash area of Dog Hill in High Park sent her scurrying through an opening in the fence, and into that great sprawling void that is our grey winter city. And this has been one of the most miserable winters on record, with searing cold nights and endless snow.
Still, a puppyhood as a stray may have helped Penny cope with these past two months on her own.
This past week, the Toronto Star ran this comprehensive article on the lost dog.
There have been reports of Penny sightings:
Mid-December: Sunnyside and Indian Road area just east of High Park
January 20: Humberside and Indian Grove at 7:30pm. She was spotted wearing her collar but no jacket. This sighting was confirmed with a woman who recognized her through photos, and with a tracking dog who found the trail but could not follow it to an exact location.
January 28: Around 8:15 p.m. near Avon Avenue and Feltham Avenue (west of Weston Road), possibly around Harwood Park.
At time of writing (January 30), it’s also possible that Penny has been picked up and is now in the St. Clair West area, between Arlington and Winona. A dog matching her description has been spotted with a teenaged boy walking between 10 and 1. Although we would like to think that Penny is in out of the cold and getting something to eat, given that she has been tagged and microchipped, she really needs to go home.
Her owners have gone to the ends of the Earth in their search for this beloved girl, and those of us who love our own animals as companions in creation, would also do the absolute best we could.
Penny is not the only pet missing during this difficult winter, and we all need to be aware of dogs wandering without an owner in sight. With cats, who are routinely let out, even in foul weather, it’s more difficult to tell whether they’re stray. And if we do spot some likely stray, let’s take the time to help re-home them.
Penny has tags, a Toronto Animal Services license, and a microchip to help her find her way home if she is spotted and caught.
For more information, check out these websites:
Find Penny. This is her owners’ site.