Tiny pup's wild adventure

A Victoria terrier is back home after three days and nights on the loose, surviving the streets, ocean currents and an overnight stay on an isolated island populated with predators such as mink and otter.

Poppie, a five-year-old Yorkshire terrier, was out for a walk Monday at Cadboro Bay Beach. After she was let off her leash, a bigger dog chased her out of the park. Poppie panicked and wouldn’t come back.

“A couple of people saw her and said she was running just like a bat out of hell,” said owner Dianne Weed, who lives in the Hillside area with Poppie’s litter mate, Daisy.

After Poppie disappeared, ROAM (Victoria-based Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing) was alerted. 

What followed was three days and nights of sightings all over the 10 Mile Point area. There were near misses and unsuccessful attempts at trapping. Search-and-rescue volunteers in a Zodiac vessel helped out to no avail.

On Tuesday, a couple spotted Poppie through binoculars on nearby Flower Island. “They thought: ‘That’s not a mink, that’s not an otter or a seal, that’s a terrier,’” Weed said.

She and her daughter were rowed over in a canoe, but couldn’t coax Poppie to come. When wind and waves picked up, someone called the rescue team. A rescue wasn’t necessary, but the crew still answered.

They even showed up the following morning and ferried the Weeds back to Flower Island to continue their search.

Despite hours of calling, singing, and waving and wafting sweet-smelling treats such as roast chicken and bacon, Poppie never responded.

In the end, she was found Thursday, exhausted and hungry on someone’s front porch on Arbutus Road. She had swum back from Flower Island.

Weed said when she got the call to let her know Poppie was rescued, she fell to pieces. “I haven’t cried like that since I was a child,” she said.

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