The one bright side to losing a dog in the wilderness - InfoNews

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The one bright side to losing a dog in the wilderness

Philippa Harding and Jasper
Image Credit: Submitted by Philippa Harding
April 15, 2019 - 9:00 PM

KELOWNA - While it’s never nice to have your dog take off on you for three days, the experience of Jasper running away on Crystal Mountain was “spectacular.”

That’s one of the words Philippa Harding used to describe the good feelings she got from the many people who spent hours of their own time searching for her nearly three-year-old Collie/Maremma cross.

“It was very overwhelming,” Harding told “I ran into people up there that I had never met who hiked Crystal Mountain looking for him. I’ll probably never see these people again but they made the effort to get out there and look for Jasper.”

Her son, Connor, had driven up to Crystal Mountain to take Jasper for a run on April 6. There were gunshots, Jasper spooked (he doesn’t like fireworks either) and took off.

Connor phoned his mom and stayed out hiking up and down the mountain looking for Jasper. Since he had the car, Harding caught a ride up with her friend Bev Spencer, who later posted a story to the Glenrosa Community Shop and Talk Facebook page.

By the time Jasper found his way back down into Glenrosa, three days later, there were more than 1,000 shares of the story on social media.

Harding can’t say how many people turned up looking for Jasper.

She took turns with her son and daughter looking for him. They all ran into people who asked them if they had seen Jasper, the lost dog. They didn’t pause to chat, just thanked the people for looking and made sure to go off in a different direction calling Jasper’s name.

One family, who live on the mountain, even put on a barbecue one night hoping the smell of cooking meat would draw Jasper in.

That didn’t work, as Jasper was heading towards civilization, possibly towards his home near Mount Boucherie.

He showed up at a house next door to the Whiskers and Woofers kennel. Jasper was led to the kennel and someone there called Spencer.

Ironically, Harding and her daughter had walked out of cell phone range on Crystal mountain about 15 minutes earlier.

Spencer drove out to find the Hardings. Not having a pen and paper, Spencer wrote a message in the mud on Harding’s car “Jasper is found.”

Of course, it was three or four hours later before Harding got back to her car to find that message.

“It was a good bonding experience,” Harding said.

Jasper seems little worse for wear, just exhausted with a few scratches and sore pads.

So, why would so many people give so much time trying to find a stranger’s dog?

“I think part of it is, people do love dogs and animals in general,” Harding said. “I think, another part of it is, with social media, there is so much news out there about dogs going missing being lost or stolen or just vanished. It’s really brought it more to the forefront maybe. This was a lost dog so out people went. It was wonderful.”

Will Jasper be kept on the leash next time?

“Oh ya,” Harding chuckled. “I don’t think anyone would show up to look again if we were stupid enough to lose him twice.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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