A missing five-pound Saanich dog miraculously survived three nights alone after becoming stranded on an isolated island near Cadboro Bay last week.
On Monday, June 17th, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier, Poppie, was playing with her family playing at Gyro Park when a larger dog spooked her and sent her running down a private road.
According to a Facebook post by ROAM (Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing), the family and over a dozen volunteers then searched for Poppie in the area, but were unable to locate her.
Despite extensive searches, no one had seen Poppie until the next day when a married couple spotted the small dog from their porch on the uninhabited Flower Island just off Ten Mile Point.
The husband and wife duo, then boarded a canoe and paddled over to the island, where they confirmed it was Poppie. As the couple got closer to the shore the 5-pound-dog quickly disappeared.
ROAM describes the ocean’s conditions at the time as dangerous, like river rapids, and were amazed that Poppie made it to the island through the current.
“The current and waves were so strong and high that day,” said Roam.
“It actually makes us shudder to think of how horrible it must have been while she was in the water, and what unbelievable luck that she was able to make it to the island.”
The canoe couple then made several trips back to shore to help ferry over Poppie’s owners and other volunteers to the island.
While the search for Poppie continued, a brief encounter of the pup was all volunteers got before she bolted and hid within the island for the remainder of the day.
ROAM then set up surveillance cameras on the island in case Poppie reappeared.
Poppie remained unseen until Thursday, when reports came in that the small dog had been seen back on Vancouver Island in the Ten Mile Point area.
Volunteers were shocked that she had evaded the cameras and made the treacherous ocean swim back to shore, but ended up finding her sitting on a doorstep in the neighbourhood, tired but safe.
“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.’
“I slowly walked up to her and got a hold of her harness and scooped her up in my arms. She was safe!”
Poppie has since been reunited with her family, exhausted and dehydrated but otherwise uninjured.