A five-year-old Yorkshire Terrier is back home in Saanich after being scared away from its family last week and survived a few days on an isolated island near Ten Mile Point.
“We always joke that if she had a mirror she’d see a German shepherd as the reflection and not a Yorkshire terrier,” said Dianne Weed, Poppie’s owner.
“I didn’t even know she swam!” said Weed.
The ordeal for Poppie’s family began when she was playing with another dog in Gyro Park when a bigger dog chased Poppie, who fled from the beach and was last seen near tennis courts in the area.
“She was running like a bat outta hell!” said Weed.
More than a dozen ROAM volunteers searched the area and spread the word of Poppie’s disappearance, telling her family to go back to where they parked the car in hopes she would return.
The little dog did not.
The next day, ROAM scrambled after a tip of Poppie being spotted on Seaview Road and then an hour later, a woman called to say she had been sitting with her husband looking out at the water and saw Poppie on Flower Island, a few kilometres from Gyro Beach.
“The day we saw her on shore, we don’t know how she made it over there because it was treacherous,” said Barb Mah, with R.O.A.M.
Winds were blowing at 20-25 knots as volunteers boarded a canoe to try and find her, but ended up needing a rescue themselves.
Oak Bay Sea Rescue responded, even scouring Flower Island’s shoreline for two hours for the lost pup. But a sweep of the area turned up nothing.
“This is the first time we’ve been involved in a story with a search for a dog specifically,” said Kelly Noel with Oak Bay Sea Rescue.
A trap was set up on the island baited with food and a bowl of water and her mom, Dianne, returned to the Island Thursday and tried talking to Poppie to get her to come over.
But the dog had other plans and disappeared, likely into a cave according to ROAM.
On Friday and day four of efforts to return Poppie home, another search of the island came up empty and members of the search returned from the island.
Barb and her husband Terry decided to drive around the Wedgewood/Ten Mile Point areas when Barb spotted a “tiny Yorkie” sitting on the front porch of a home on Arbutus Road.
“I just screamed stop, she’s right there, she’s right there!” said Mah.
When Mah approached, she said Poppie “looked left and then right and then tucked her head down in between her front legs as if to say, ‘I’m done with all of this. I’ve got nothing left’”
And after three days and three nights braving the elements and possible predators, little Poppie is noa back in her family’s arms.
“The tears were just flowing, I haven’t cried like that since I was a child,” said Weed.
Mah said in the Facebook post that within five was “the most emotional reunion I have seen to date by a whole family.”
As for Poppie, the tiny pup had lost a fifth of her weight, was dehydrated and hungry, but was otherwise in good health.
This homecoming undoubtedly a big relief for one little dog.