A Simply Unbelievable Dog/Facebook Story. For Real.

Facebook – A Dog’s Best Friend?

Recently, my daughter, Kathleen Hazel and I  spent a weekend visiting the grandparents in Ottawa. We decided to bring along the family pooch, Caley, so she could enjoy a grand adventure. She certainly didn’t disappoint.Innocent? Hell no.

The proverbial call of the wild is so pronounced in our dog, the instant she hears anything that resembles a click of a door or human activity around a door, she’s under your feet peering at you with the most mournful guilt-inducing eyes beseeching you to let her go along. Aussies are known for speed and agility so about 50% of the time, she successfully manages to hightail it out the door before your brain can even register that flash of fur.

My mother is not used to having a pooch underfoot so didn’t take the usual precautions necessary that are considered old hat by owners of maniacal “bolters”. Frankly, Mom didn’t stand a chance.

She innocently opens the front door to shake out a table cloth, and, with the grace and finesse of a world class Olympian, Caley bolts out into a balmy -30 night, and into a totally strange neighbourhood. Mom, wildly shaking lose crumbs, is blissfully and completely unaware of the inmate’s escape.

Some fifteen minutes later, something starts nudging the edges of my subconscious. It’s intuiting something. (Dog owners will get this.) There appears to be a tremor in the dog universe. I call out to her. Nothing. ( This is particularly alarming considering she’s at your feet before you get the last syllable of her name out your mouth.) Mom and Kathleen Hazel rouse from their respective spaces, brows furrowed, and join in on calling the dog. Again nothing.

In a flash, I know what has happened. With a sinking heart, I realize Caley has done her lightening escape routine and is now wandering about with no idea how to get home. The temperature is sure to kill her if we, or some other good Samaritan, doesn’t find her fast. Bundling up, we begin frantically searching the neighbourhood. After 30 minutes, we can’t feel our faces because of the arctic chill so we return home to get our cars. We drive around for 2 hours all over hell’s half acre with no results. We call The Humane Society, Ottawa Animal Control, even the police. They basically tell us we’re up the creek.

Mom is in shock. My daughter is crying.  The dog is wearing a collar with a Toronto phone number on it, but hubby (who stayed home that weekend) reports no one has called.  Is it possible she’s been stolen? I am slowly grappling with the staggering notion that we may never see her again. The pain of it takes my breath away.

We drop my daughter at home in case the dog comes back and continue on our futile search. She posts a tearful message on Facebook, “Lost. Caley. Somewhere in the Ottawa streets.” The response was immediate.

A family friend, Gwen, who lives in Toronto, sees Kathleen Hazel’s post and calls me on my cell. She tried reassuring us but we were beyond consoling. Then, on a lark, she says, “Hold on. Let me try Kijiji.” I remember thinking, “Sure. A buy and sell website. That makes perfect sense if the idiot that stole the dog was trying to sell it!!” But we were desperate. What Gwen knew that I didn’t is that there is a “community” link with a lost and found feature.

“Hmmmm,” she says a moment later. “That’s odd.” “WHAT!?” I yell back as I wheel into the driveway. She calmly replies, “It says here someone found a dog less than an hour ago in Bells Corners.” I stop breathing. Then I scream, “We’re in Bells Corners!!!” She reads, “The description says, ‘Found dog, very friendly (yep, that’s about right), followed us home (common Caley occurrence) well-groomed (I groomed her the week before) frozen and very hungry (OMG!! Caley is a slave to food.)’” My pulse quickens as Gwen continues, “’Large breed dog” (Oh oh. Caley is definitely not large but I told myself “large” is in the eye of the beholder) “probably a Pyrenees”’. And there it is. Complete devastation. Pyrenees are white and the size of a small horse. Caley is very much a medium-sized tri-colour Australian Sheppard. Different as chalk and cheese.

Gwen insists, “Don’t panic Joanne. They simply may not know the breed.”  She’s right of course and there is simply too much coincidence at work here. Mom and I dash into the house, taking the stairs two at a time to get to the computer. Kathleen Hazel is sullenly staring at the screen then whirls around wide-eyed as we excitedly boot her out of the chair. I sit down and hop onto the Kijiji website. Lo and behold, there it is. Someone has found a dog. However, excitement quickly turns to frustration when we realize the only contact info is a freaking postal code.

Undaunted, we hopped on Canada Post’s website and plugged in the postal code in order to get a clue of the geographic area where this dog was found. There are five houses listed with this postal code. We sit back, stunned. They are directly across the street from us. With a collective war whoop, we make a mad dash for the front door. Each of us take a house and start knocking like people possessed. Then I hear it. Mom’s voice cries out crystal clear in the cold night air, “CALEY!!!!”

With tears streaming down our faces, the three of us descend onto on the house where Caley has been contently chilling for the last 2 hours, warm and well fed.  I hugged the stuffing out of her, while quietly muttering, “Dog, I just might have to kill you.”

It boggles my mind to ponder the confluence of good luck, good friends and the power of social media that converged to create this happy ending. If Kathleen Hazel hadn’t posted that lament on Facebook, if Gwen hadn’t read it and, better yet, decided to get involved, if the good souls who took good care of her hadn’t posted finding the dog on Kijiji and if Canada Post didn’t have such a rocking website, this would have ended very differently. As a friend on Facebook said in his post in response to hearing this story, “Try that in 1886…”

6 Responses to “A Simply Unbelievable Dog/Facebook Story. For Real.”

  1. Lauri Ayer Says:

    January 28th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Caley…Caley… Caley!! Why do you (and all of the Rovers, Sams & Radars in our lives) chose to frighten the living shit out of us, by doing what is natural to you? Why do you warm our hearts one moment and make us freeze our butts looking for you the next? Why do you & your buddies become such parts of our lives that we can actually feel *canine mother’s intuition* when something is wrong as your human Mum did?

    Terror Dog,I am glad you are back, safe & sound altho Mum’s story had me bawling on this end, even though I knew what the ending was.Cuddle up close to Kathleen, be extra nice to Mum and give your *grandmother* a wink that she gave you just that little while of excitement & freedom.

    And Mum… get a dog tag with your cell phone # on it and put *call first* on it. Radar’s vet suggested that since I travel alot from Dartmouth – Cape Breton.

  2. Kim Smith Says:

    January 28th, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    While I’m not sure how a furry white pyr (and as I have two, I know your comment about being the size of a pony is correct) can be confused with an Aussie shepard, I’m a dog breed person, many are not.

    The individual who found Caley the Demon Dog, clearly was a dog lover and thank god for that. In addition, the individual was a social media lover and your daughters post to Facebook and your friend’s transitional search to Kijiji that lead to Caley’s return demonstrates the warm fuzzy side of social media that far outweighs the dark side.

    Hugs to all and poochie smoochies to Caley from Tucker and Bridgette.

  3. Lizeth Zambotti Says:

    October 7th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Howdy! Decided to say that I like your complete posting style and also I will look at blog site regularly from at this time. Keep writing.

  4. gadzet Says:

    November 22nd, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  5. rotti puppies Says:

    March 11th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Your blog post is very well written plus it gives the reader alot of helpful material. As a pet owner myself, I seriously enjoyed reading and looking at several of the posts and taking a look in and around you’re blogs. The quality of the advice is actually useful. Certaintly looking forward to some up-dates and more information.

  6. charlie george Says:

    April 19th, 2012 at 12:24 am

    very good blog,it was a pleasure to read your posts thank you so much for your effort in writing them.

Leave a Reply

Back to Spontaneous Combustion

Joanne's Blog RSS feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to Joanne's Blog Updates:

Delivered by FeedBurner