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When a dog disappears
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When a dog disappears

This newsletter is usually sent Mondays, but I’m arriving in your mailbox earlier this week to share my niece’s story.

When Amanda messaged last week, she gave me fair warning that I might shed a tear or two after hearing what she has been going through.

And, sure enough, I wept after learning that Chevy, her handsome two-year-old Rough Collie, had gone missing.

Supplied by Amanda Ermel

It turns out Amanda’s lovable pooch, named for the black Chevrolet emblem that grows on his fluffy tail, disappeared from her farm in Fraserwood, a rural municipality about 90 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

That was more than two weeks ago, and since then, she and her despondent family have hung hundreds of posters in and around the area west of Gimli in the hope that someone somewhere might have spotted the sable-coloured herding dog.

On the evening he disappeared, the temperature plummeted to -27C. Amanda says she let Chevy out onto the driveway to do his business, and at some point between the hour of 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., he was gone. No one heard a thing or saw any tracks leading away from the property.

“We had people out on snowmobiles, we had a crew of people in vehicles, but we couldn’t find any sign of our boy,” Amanda told me. “It’s like he vanished from our driveway.”

Supplied by Amanda Ermel

My niece, a self-sustenance farmer who raises goats, cattle, pigs and chickens on her 80-acre property north of Winnipeg, turned to popular social media sites where she posted dozens of messages, most of them urgent pleas for the safe return of her chatty, snuggly fur ball.

She also contacted local veterinarians, animal control boards, nearby boarding kennels, the Winnipeg Humane Society, various Collie rescues and everyone else she could think of.

The following day, Derek Longley at Prairie Helicopters in Gimli offered up an aircraft to search the wooded areas from the sky. But after about an hour for flying, he came up empty.

For now, Amanda and her three children remain broken-hearted, especially her 12-year-old daughter who bought Chevy as a puppy two years ago with her own hard-earned money.

Supplied by Amanda Ermel

“Sareigha saved her money to buy him, neuter and vet him,” Amanda says. “She’s been the best girl to love him and she’s missing him so much. Her grief is so strong and I am trying to do everything I can to bring home.”

So are dozens of other concerned people in the Interlake, who are assisting in the search, sharing information and scouring the area to locate the wayward dog and bring him home safe and sound.

Chevy’s sorrowful housemates, an 11-month-old livestock guardian named Chica and a 12-year-old black Labrador cross named Bella, are also lamenting his sudden disappearance.

Supplied by Amanda Ermel

“I love all my dogs and I think it’s harder watching the other dogs grieve,” says Amanda, adding Bella has been crying for Chevy at night and refuses to sleep without him on the bed they share. “It’s the absolute worst thing. These little pups become your whole world.”

Meanwhile, Amanda remains hopeful. And while she’s regularly envisioning the return of her pup, she has these words of advice for anyone who finds themselves searching for their best furry friend: “When you have some quiet time, talk to your pup's soul. And remind them you love them and are trying to find them.”

Take care, and remember to always hold your pets close!

Leesa Dahl

Leesa Dahl

Ready Pet Go

This week in pet news

Cat café on the hunt for new home

Jennifer Laferrier is used to finding loving homes for cats. But now she’s on the hunt for a new home, too. The owner of Miss J La’s Fur Babies Cat Café & Adoption Centre (224 Henderson Hwy.) is looking to move her operation by the end of April.

“We had really great landlords, but last year they put the building up for sale,” said Laferrier, who runs the operation with her daughter Karlie. Read more about Laferrier's cat café in Garden City.

'Baby boot camp' exercises critically endangered orangutan



The 2-month-old critically endangered orangutan, still so tiny that infant-sized diapers hung loosely in front of his belly, clung tightly to a caretaker’s fingers as she lifted him gently from her lap.

Roux, born Christmas Eve 2021, needs to get strong enough to hold onto his mother 24 hours a day -- and 12-year-old Menari is the “wild child” of the Audubon Zoo's orangutans, said Kelsey Forbes, the assistant curator of primates. Read more about Roux here.

(AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

Are your pets prepared for spring? 

Many people think boots are for winter, and they would be right. Boots are necessary for many pets in winter but they can also make our lives easier in spring. There are many brands of non-insulated boots that keep dog paws clean and dry. Yup, galoshes for pets. The most popular are the balloon-stylee boots. They’re easy to put on, easy to remove, and they keep the feet clean and dry. Read more about it here.

Yes, folks, dog galoshes are now “a thing” as we prepare for spring.(DREAMSTIME.COM)

Pets of the week

Jefferson and Stella

Jefferson (11) & his daughter Stella (six months) are having some downtime!

— Ken Ure


Shale, who is 10 years old, is a Manitoba Mutts rescue from Norway House where I suspect her mama took a “walk on the wild side.” She is a high-octane, four-season, all-weather outdoor adventure dog.

— Debbie Wall & The Gang of Fur

Looking for a home

Milo is a very funny man that has had quite a story with D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre. He arrived about eight months ago at the shelter after having been found as a stray in Winnipeg.

Upon arrival, staff noticed that he had a significant wound to his leg, which took several months to heal. Happily, however, during multiple veterinary visits and rounds of medication he never lost his zest for life and most importantly his ability to voice his opinion. Read more about Milo here.

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