Sammy - Lions, Tigers and Bears by Ann-Marie Fleming

08 August, 2009


When Jo Klitzke of Alberta, a customer of ours at DogQuality.com and a senior dog owner, shared this heart warming story we just had to post it (with her permission of course). Losing a dog is traumatic, add factors such as being a senior dog with bad hearing, plus the wilderness, and you have a heart-wrenching experience.

Here is Sammy's story by Jo Klitzke
SammyEvery year we go out to Kananaskis on a family/friends camping trip and rent a group campground. As these are far from any roads, we all let our dogs loose and they love it.

This year we rented Pinegrove B group camp (where my husband & I were married 7 years ago). It is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and in the middle of nowhere. We have 2 beagles (8 & 10 years old) and a Shitzu Bichon - Sammy (12 years old). We lost track of the beagles so we were calling for them. Sammy must have been following one of us. When we found the beagles, she may have been sniffing at something - who knows, but when we got the beagles tied up we realized that Sam was gone. She must have wandered off in the direction she thought we took.

We had noticed in the last few weeks that her hearing was going. This was Friday night around 10 p.m. We had 25 people (plus dogs) out looking for our little "Muffin". We looked until around midnight, then called off the search. We started searching again at 8 the next morning. People were walking for miles, and others were on bicycles. I drove to the next campground around 1 p.m., Sibbald Lake, because I knew there was a manager there, to report her missing. He said that a man had come around 10 a.m. & had found a small tan coloured dog on the road. The man drove around the campground but no one had a dog missing, so he told the manager that he was going to turn the dog into the SPCA. I drove back to our campground & told everybody what I'd heard & my husband & I drove up to highway 1 to get cell phone reception. We called Calgary Humane Society, Cochrane H.S., Bow Valley, Big Horn, Canmore.....but no luck.

We basically gave up the search because we thought that we would locate her Sunday or Monday at one of these locations. I cried most of the weekend, thinking that a predator may have gotten her. She is terrified of thunder and we had it both nights that she was gone. Sunday we called all the agencies again, and nothing. We were devastated.

Monday I called and still nothing. I registered her on Pet Lynx on the internet and anywhere else I could think of. I placed an ad on kijiji, and even paid extra for her to be featured on their home page and the top of the category. Once I did that, I thought I should look through the ads that were placed, and lo and behold, someone had found a small dog running down the road in the middle of nowhere in Kananaskis Saturday night! That confused me, because the campground manager said the man had found a dog Saturday morning at 10. Anyway, I replied with her description, then started to shake. I called my husband & daughter and they both were a bit skeptical because of the time line. I sat in front of my computer, but nothing, so I went out and did some yard work for 1/2 hour.

When I came back to the computer, I had a reply, but it didn't sound like our Sammy, so I sent a picture and more details of where we were when we lost her. I asked if I could drive down to Calgary & see if it was our "Muffin" and gave my phone number. 2 minutes later, Amy Williams called me & said "I think I have your puppy". I told her it was my birthday the next day and if it was Sammy, it would be the best birthday present I had ever had. Amy, her husband Steve, and 2 year old daughter Kayla were visiting friends at the Sibbald Lake campground Saturday night. Amy was going to have one more cup of tea before they headed home but something told her that they had to get going NOW. She was driving very slowly down highway 68 looking everywhere. Steve asked her what she was looking for and she said "I don't know!" It's about 12:45 Sunday morning and Amy spots a little dog running down the road. Steve got out of the car and Sammy flew into his arms. Her collar was tattered and she was covered in pine sap. They immediately drove back to their friend's camp site to give Sammy water, the headed home, & stopped at a 24 hour place to pick up some dog food. The next day they bought her a new collar, leash and dog shampoo. They had her all cleaned up and she mostly slept and drank.

We live an hour north west of Calgary, and I loaded my beagles into the truck and headed down. I stopped at the bank in Carstairs to get some cash to give Amy a reward, and several people in Carstairs honked and stopped me to congratulate me on finding Sammy. Apparently my daughter had posted it on Facebook! When I got to Amy's place, she was sitting on her lawn with Kayla and my Muffin! We cried and hugged, and when Amy adamantly refused any money, she hugged me and whispered "Happy Birthday". Since then we have become good friends. They came to visit last weekend and Sammy was so excited to see them. She sat on Steve's lap most of the time. Thank God for the angels in this world.

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