With Canada Day and all its fanfare approaching, the Invermere Companion Animal Network (ICAN) wants to remind people that while they may have fun watching and even setting off their own fireworks, many dogs find them absolutely terrifying and may react by running away, a fact that local residents Mara and Dennis King know all too well.
Last New Year’s Eve, a quick nighttime walk turned into a harrowing four-day ordeal when their eight-year-old Labradoodle, Gus, bolted as a random firework suddenly sailed over their roof.
This New Year’s Eve, Lakeview Meadows organized a fireworks display for 9 p.m. and the town of Windermere scheduled their show for midnight. Aware of their dog’s phobia, Mara and Dennis thought there was a window of opportunity to take Gus out for his evening walk at 10:30 p.m. But as soon as Dennis and Gus reached the driveway, somebody set off a random firework, and Gus took off. The couple immediately got in the car and searched until 2 a.m. to no avail.
“It wasn’t a great way to spend New Year’s Eve,” said Mara.
During the next four days, they did everything they could to find Gus. They called ICAN, local dog controls, radio stations and the vets. They hung 50 posters all over the valley. They put an ad in the local paper. In the end, Gus found his own way home.
“I was coming home from searching on the fourth day, and I saw this black thing up towards the driveway,” said Mara. “I just cried and ran towards him.”
She took him to the vet and although he had lost three kilograms and all four paws were raw at the tips, Gus was well.
But Mara doesn’t want any other dog owner to go through the stress and anguish she and Dennis experienced.
“I just want people to be cognizant of what can happen,” she said.
If your own dog goes missing, please contact local dog control (342-1707 and 347-9793) and email ICAN (email@example.com) or message ICAN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/icanbc.
—Submitted by Laura Muir, ICAN volunteer