"Pooch saves Lost Boy in Wilderness"
(Sept. 8) - A stray pooch who got a helping hand from a Canadian family more than repaid the favor when he saved the family's 2-year-old son in the Yukon wilderness.
The British Columbia family, whose name was withheld at their request, took the yellow dog under their wing after encountering him on their trek through the bush. The scruffy-looking mongrel had porcupine quills sticking out of his snout, and the family tried to help him by pulling some out, The Globe and Mail newspaper reported.
Last Thursday, as the parents were setting up a trailer in the evening, their 2-year-old son, Kale, disappeared wearing only a T-shirt. News of a missing boy triggered a full-scale search involving rescue professionals and many local volunteers.
Rescue parties located Kale more than 24 hours after he vanished. With him was the stray dog, who had kept the little boy warm by cuddling with him during the damp, cool night and protected him in the bear-infested woods. "The night was cold and wet and the terrain in the area is rough ... Most adults wouldn't make it through the night before succumbing to hypothermia, let alone a 2-year-old child," Michael Pealow, a member of the Whitehorse District Search and Rescue Society team, wrote in a blog post, according to The Globe and Mail.
"A bear could have got him. Anything could have happened," Mike Bondarchuk, a volunteer who helped search for Kale, told the newspaper. "What we do know is the dog stuck with him, all night and all the next day."
The dog's owner heard the whole story and came forward. Kim Dolan instantly recognized the canine hero as her dog, Koda, who had been missing for about a week. She said she had adopted Koda several months earlier after the dog was abandoned in Ross River, British Columbia.
"He's a total mutt. A total kid dog … he just wants to be loved," Dolan told The Globe and Mail.
Although she said it was hard to do, Dolan decided to give Koda to Kale's family.
"He was meant to be there at that time," she said. "It was tough to give him away. I was in tears … but it was the right thing to do."
"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." ~Robert Louis Stevenson
"Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog."
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog"
"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am."