A shy, sweet 1.5-year-old Bernedoodle was lost on Mt. Fromme for 14 days, bringing the community together as hundreds helped not only in spreading the word but also tried to help find him.
On July 28, Oakley was off leash on an outing with his dog walker near the Baden Powell trail in the Braemar area, approximately 5 km from his Upper Lynn home.
Oakley has never bolted before, always bouncing happily playing with his fur-friends, but on that morning something spooked him and he was gone.
Over the next 14 days, the community came together in unbelievable ways, something that continues to leave us speechless every day. Hundreds of people – hikers and mountain bikers – from the Cypress area to Deep Cove were keeping an eye out, searching and spreading the word.
Soon Oakley had a dedicated Facebook page, and community organizations like the North Shore Mountain Biking Association, all dog walking companies as well as local realtors – Jenny Gill and Suzanne Callaghan – activated all their social media channels to help spread the word.
Local dog training company – K9 Leadership – and friend/trainer from local Survival in Canada organization became our rocks, not only providing us with daily insight and support, but hitting the trails and back country with us.
The incredible community support expanded as people from Vancouver, Richmond to Cloverdale came to the North Shore to help with the search.
Hundreds of strangers reached out to us offering their support and prayers, some as far as “6000 miles away”. There were neighbours who baked cookies and strangers who bought a wilderness camera on their own.
One very special person (now a friend) committed to being there for us and helped in the search each day, even though she’s facing serious health issues.
She – and everyone – still leaves us speechless.
There were the strangers (again some are now new friends) who bush whacked for hours and those who would message us saying which areas they’ve completed searching, and even some saying they are getting in their cars and are on their way to a location as soon as there would be a sighting announced.
Those who offered to bring us food and drinks when we overnighted in the car seven nights at various trail heads. And there was also the North Shore Search and Rescue who let all their members know so they could keep an eye out from above.
To everyone’s surprise, on Day 14 (Aug 10) shortly after 8 am, Oakley came bolting off the Baden Powell trail near his home and sprinted into his backyard, excited and happy to be home at last.
Other than losing 13 pounds, the vet gave Oakley a thumbs up on health with not even a tick or cut.
Looking forward, we plan to do some training sessions. You never know, Oakley may one day be a tracking dog on the North Shore. Oakley’s journey can be followed on Instagram at Oakleythebernedude.
To say it was community support that helped us get through this is an understatement as it still feels like an entire community, with everyone going above and beyond.
Words can’t express our appreciation, but rest assured this family is forever grateful.
As we always said: always believe and never give up. And it turns out that is exactly what Oakley did.
Kathy Taylor is a Lynn Valley resident.