Missing pooch safe after long Albertan adventure

RCMP photo


Jake the dog.

A California German shepherd cross will soon be heading home after having a taste of a real Canadian winter.

Jake the dog, missing in the wilds around Wetaskiwin and Ponoka for five months, will likely be licking his family’s faces as his owner plans to book him a flight back home to San Diego where it was 18C yesterday. All he’s waiting for is his immunization.

The four-year-old dog was found shivering underneath an abandoned bus near a church in Ponoka while temperatures were hovering around the -30C mark Wednesday afternoon.

"This is almost like a Walt Disney story, like Homeward Bound or The Incredible Journey," Peace Officer Kelly Tebb said yesterday. Tebb used turkey pepperoni sticks to lure Jake out of his temporary home underneath the bus.

"You’ll watch these things on TV and that, and you wonder if this will ever be true, but sure enough, I guess it does happen."

Jake still had his tags and Tebb immediately called Owner Brenda.

"I was shocked when he called me because I had given up — it was so long," said Hemsing who adopted Jake from an animal shelter in San Diego three years ago.

Hemsing says the dog went missing while visiting her parents in the Wetaskiwin area back in August. After three weeks of searching she was forced to head home alone to San Diego.

"I really didn’t know where he was anymore when I got the call and I had no idea that he was still out and about," said Hemsing.

Hemsing described Jake as an obedient "coach potato" who liked to follow her around and travel in the car.

"He’s just a great dog and I can’t wait to see him," said Hemsing.

Tebb says the dog was very timid when he discovered it underneath the bus, but Jake’s done a complete turnaround with all the media attention and the care it has been receiving from the town’s staff.

"He’s been laying on my lap and he always sits beside me," said Hemsing.

"He just won’t leave my side because he probably hasn’t socialized with anyone for the last five months. After I found him, he finally has someone to socialize with him."


one last thing

  • Jake is still waiting to be immunized before he can make the trip home, says Tebb.