After three weeks missing — two weeks unaccounted for — Callaghan is back home again in Whistler with his very relieved family.
The 11-year-old black Labrador was last seen on June 8 in Creekside. One of his owners, Jake Illingworth, was working on an electrical project in the area and let Callaghan roam around. That day someone went into the Creekside Market asking if the dog belonged to anyone, and shortly afterwards the dog was reported missing.
Brenda Quance, Illingworth’s wife, had just purchased a new collar for Callaghan, and hadn’t transferred over the dog tags when Callaghan went missing.
“Shame on me for that — I just didn’t think it was a huge deal at the time because Callaghan never takes off anywhere,” she said.
Convinced that he had been taken, his owners placed signs all over town and took out ads in Pique Newsmagazine .
This is where the story gets amazing. A member of the air ambulance service who was looking for information on an accident brought home a copy of Pique Newsmagazine to his house in Surrey. His wife, looking through the pages, found the ad for Callaghan and connected it to ads that were posted around her neighbourhood by a family that had found Callaghan walking along the side of Highway 10.
The Borch family looked after the dog for five days, from June 22 to June 27. No one knows where Callaghan was the two weeks prior to June 22, but his owners are glad to have him back.
“He’s our best little buddy, and he is very loved,” said Quance. “We just kept the posters up, kept up the ads in the paper… and kept getting the word out until he was found.
“He was pretty rattled. He doesn’t let me out of his sight since he came back, or want to sit out on the deck. Other than that he was in pretty good shape. The family that picked up him found that he had fleas, and they loved him so much they gave him a flea bath so he could come inside their home.”
Quance wants to get the story out to raise awareness about the number of dogs that go missing, to remind owners to use collars and other dog I.D. programs, and to encourage people to keep looking.
“It’s a pretty unbelievable story, and it gives hope to people that lose dogs,” she said. “Until he went missing I had no idea how often dogs go missing up here.”
Finding a home for Loki
Whistler’s WAG animal shelter is looking for a home for Loki, an older dog who lost his owner in a car accident last November.
Loki was well-known around Whistler, and went everywhere with local waiter and wakeboarder Colin Law. Law was killed in a car accident in Vancouver in November, while his dog Loki was seriously injured and required almost $10,000 in surgery and care. A fundraiser was held in December to cover those costs, and since then Loki has been staying with friends of Law’s.
Loki is good with people but not good with other dogs, and he would need to be the only dog for an adopted family. He also has a few foster home options, as WAG is at capacity, but organizers are hoping to find him a home quickly.
The annual WAG Doggy Wash, Bake Sale and BBQ fundraiser is also scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 19 at the Whistler Village fire hall. The fundraiser runs from noon to 4 p.m. Bring your dog for a summer cleaning, and enjoy some barbecue while volunteers do all the work.
Pemberton Doggie Festival raises money for PAWS
The Pemberton Animal Wellbeing Society, better known as PAWS, is hosting its annual Pemberton Doggie Festival this Sunday, July 6 at Pioneer Park.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes a silent auction, dog wash, dog agility demonstration, kids craft tent, petting zoo, pony rides, live music, dog speed trials, massage and physio for dogs, herbal medicine for dogs, story time, barbecue, and dog photography with Mike Parry. All proceeds will go to PAWS, which is in the process of establishing an animal shelter to serve Pemberton and Mt. Currie.
Some of the silent auction packages include two four-person rounds of golf at Meadows Country Club, two VIP passes to the Pemberton Music Festival, two three-day passes for the Pemberton Music Festival, two B.C. Lions tickets, two Wedge Rafting day trips, and two two-person rounds of golf at Big Sky Golf and country Club.
All dogs must be kept on a leash during the festival.