A dog lost at sea found his way back to his owner this week after two weeks touring Keats Island and making some good friends.
Oscar, a young blue heeler, was on his owner Morris Plows' fishing boat Sept. 6 when a storm caused the boat to tip and Oscar fell into the water about 2 km from Gibsons' shore line.Plows tried to find his dog amidst huge waves but soon gave up hope and continued travelling home to Campbell River.
"He didn't want to keep circling because of the storm and he didn't want Oscar to follow him and possibly drown," said Plows' good friend Sheldon Hajar.
Plows lives on his 35-foot fishing boat and recently rescued Oscar from the pound, quickly bonding with the dog.
"I'd say they were more like soul mates than dog and owner. They are two unique characters," said Hajar.
Plows does not have access to a phone and was unable to speak to Coast Reporter by press time.
Hajar said Plows called him from the government dock in Campbell River and told him how Oscar had fallen off his boat. "I started calling around to the SPCA to see if he had been found and I posted a message on the B.C. Veterinarian's website," said Hajar.
Meanwhile Oscar was making friends with kids at Keats Camp.
"Keats Island isn't very big and everyone knows everyone, so people at the camp assumed the dog belonged to someone on the island," said Joan Pedersen, a Keats Island resident.
Pedersen said Oscar spent a few days at Keats Camp before camp directors loaded the dog into a truck and drove him to the east bourne side of the island, where most of the homes are located.
It was then that Pedersen met Oscar.
"He just came into our office one day while I was working and he sat right down beside me. He was very affectionate," said Pedersen.
Pedersen phoned around the neighbourhood trying to find Oscar's owner but without any luck. Later Oscar followed her to her friend Maureen Forscutt's house and quickly made friends with Forscutt's other two dogs.
"So he just decided to stay," said Forscutt.
That day she phoned the SPCA in Wilson Creek and the local water taxi to let them know she had this mysterious dog staying at her house. Soon after, the local SPCA called her to tell her they might have located the owner of the blue Heeler.
Hajar got in touch with Forscutt and soon it was evident the dog was Plows' missing canine.
"He said he'd try to get ahold of Mr. Plows and tell him we had his dog," said Forscutt.
Plows phoned Forscutt and the two arranged a reunion in Powell River.
Forscutt, her husband Dave and two children Jenny and Cole loaded up their two dogs along with Oscar and headed for Powell River on Sept. 19 where Plows was waiting to meet them.
"He was actually there a day earlier to make sure he wouldn't miss meeting them," said Hajar.