A Boxing Day Miracle

Earlier we blogged about Chase, the little beagle mix who had been lost in the west end since December 12. He’d escaped death at an Ohio kill shelter twice, and been brought to Ontario by Open Arms Pound Rescue. Chase spent the summer and fall at a hobby farm west of Toronto with his rescuer, Jackie Parkin. He was adopted in December but, on his first night in his new home, he was let out off-leash and escaped within hours of being rehomed.

A group of dedicated volunteers tracked him for two weeks, searching the Lakeshore area from Etobicoke to Mississauga, putting up thousands of posters and distributing them on the street and at malls over the Christmas period. Global TV and CP24 ran video coverage of the search.

As Christmas approached, there had been no sightings for a week, and hope was beginning to fade. There was no Christmas at Jackie’s house.

Then at 4:30 p.m. on Boxing Day, as the sun was setting on another day of searching and giving out flyers to shoppers, Jackie got a call from a good samaritan in the Royal York and Lakeshore area who had a stray dog in his backyard. He had seen a posting on Craigslist, and quickly emailed photos to confirm that the dog was Chase.

“I immediately contacted Mitch (Michelle Nadon of Cause4Paws) as she was in the city and one of our local contacts. I could barely get the words out, my voice was trembling as I said, ‘Chase … he’s in someone’s backyard!’ From there Mitch called the fellow to confirm that Chase was still there and the team made its way to the location. I hopped in the car and headed into the city. By the time I got there Chase had moved to another backyard but the team had eyes on him and had blocked all potential escape routes.”

“Chase had made his way down the side of a house in a space approximately two feet wide between the house and the fence. He was lying down in the back corner. As I approached him he looked worried and for a moment I thought he might bolt. I talked to him and brought my retriever, Kahlua, up to the fence line. Chase and Kahlua are buddies so it was my hope that if he didn’t recognize me, he might recognize her.”

“At first he leaned away but I kept talking to him and then his little tail started to wag. Kahlua put her nose to the fence to sniff him, and his little tail wagged faster. Recognition!!! He came right up to me & took the hotdogs I had for him. And when I stood up, he stood up to the fence wagging and I was able to reach over and take hold of his harness. Mitch looped a leash onto him and we lifted him out. Mitch had him in her arms and we just hugged and kissed him and cried. And he wagged. I cannot describe the feeling of relief. Nor the feeling of gratitude that I have for Mitch (and hubby), Dora, Christine, and Natalie who rushed to the scene to secure the area until I got there. They were determined that we were not going to lose this opportunity to catch him!”

“Chase traveled home sharing a crate with Kahlua. He slept soundly all the way home, using Kahlua’s rump as a pillow. As I type this, he is sleeping beside me on his dog bed in the kitchen.”

Images: Found Chase, Spooky Chase in the back yard of Good Samaritan James, Chase demonstrates his Blue Box skills, Chase enjoys belated Christmas turkey dinner, Good dog Kahlua

More at Help Find Chase on Facebook.

4 responses to “A Boxing Day Miracle

  1. Hooray for a happy ending, so glad Chase is safely back home 8-)

  2. Wonderful! May there be many more miracles like this in 2010!

  3. Linda, don’t know if you have something similar in the UK. We have a Blue Box recycling program, and there is a Green Bin (organics) associated with it, along with regular garbage. We Canucks are so polite in separating out our garbage. Well, word here is that Chase has figured recycling out, and may need to re-learn how to eat out of his doggie bowl! The raccoons are pretty good at it too, and there’s a whole industry set up to “protect” our garbage from anyone who might find it tasty!

  4. yes – we have a similar scheme. Annoyingly, the scheme is different in different parts of the country… and not being ‘street-savvy’ like Chase, I can get confused when away from home, and have twice got into trouble with landladies for putting stuff in the wrong bin…
    I am sure we will be hearing more of Chase. He looks full of spirit!

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