Finley’s Story

Some recoveries simply leave you breathless. Finley’s is one of them..❤️

This sweet young rescued dog became lost while cottaging at Eels Lake in Haliburton County on the evening of May 25th, when fireworks detonated across the lake. He had been with his new owners, Brendan & Casidhe, only two weeks. Both are Paramedics, and their rescue instincts immediately kicked into high gear. They searched day & night, set up trail cams, distributed 100’s of flyers & spoke to everyone. Sightings did come in, they’d get on site right away, but he was never around. Finley was very elusive & scared of everyone.

He wasn’t going to be easy to get...

We took on the case June 6th, just as sightings had gone dry. Neon signs were quickly made & installed. On the fourth day of nil sightings, owners & team member France set out to search the woods where he’d last been seen entering, concerned he might be stranded in there. We trudged through 2.5kms of forest looking for any clue, while enduring the incessant assault of thousands of mosquitoes & black flies. As we came out of the bush, a call came in that would take us in a completely different area: Pusey! Janet had seen one of our signs while visiting friends & had spotted Finley the night before along the highway. We moved & reinstalled all the signs to that area, and sightings resumed again. He was then seen trotting down the side of the highway!! The family stopped traffic one way while we went ahead of him to try & lure him. The first attempt didn’t pan out; the second attempt was so close, only a 1/4” to his collar, he ate out of our hand, seemed to want to trust, but traffic resumed & so did he; the third attempt resulted in our diverting him off the highway into an abandoned property. Perfect we thought, if he could settle long enough, we’d have a chance. We set our pen trap in the area and watched at a distance 24/7, to see if he was still around & where he was going. We saw him & determined his routine. But Finley was a moving target, never sticking around anywhere long at all.

Throughout the search, other things were going on...a small dog running the highway was returned home, the family found an injured fawn & brought her to a wildlife rehab centre (she will make it), and numerous turtles were taken off the roads so they wouldn’t get killed.

Finley moved again & returned to a neighbourhood south of Wilberforce he’d been in before, surrounded by forests & trails. So we watched him again, attempted luring again, then decided to set a feeding station by a dead deer carcass he liked. That worked long enough for us to do what was needed: relocate the pen trap yet again, just before a heavy thunderstorm rolled through. He showed up during the heavy rain, but retreated once thunder & lightening hit. We held our breaths...we knew he’d come back. And he did. Within less than 30 minutes, he finally walked into the trap & was safe!

Here are numbers...

- 8 (# of times we had to relocate the pen trap)

- 4 (# of luring attempts)

- 35 (# of kms he travelled)

- 1,000’s (# of mosquitos!)

- 100’s (# of bites we all sustained)

- 19 (# of days he was lost)

- 1 (# of ticks Finley had on him)

Biggest challenges:

- the terrain & remoteness

- internet connection barely there or not at all in most of the area

- bears & wolves

- mosquitos!!!!

Finley was immediately whisked to an emergency vet clinic, for obvious reasons. He was kept there overnight & hooked up to IV for dehydration & antibiotics. He will fully recover but it is a long road ahead for this precious soul. Please be aware that we’ve included a lot of photos that may be disturbing, but this is the reality of recovery work. We really don’t think he had many food sources at all.

We want you to know that this family is composed of outstanding individuals who would rescue any animal or human, who would give the shirt off their back to help another. They went through hell during this ordeal, and have learned so much. The family knew very little of how different international dogs actually are, and should have been provided more guidance upon adoption. They love Finley so very much, and will see him through his rehabilitation.

On behalf of the family & ourselves, we wish to sincerely thank the communities of Eels Lake, Wilberforce & Harcourt for keeping watch. In particular, Janet Barker for her invaluable assistance and Terri & husband for allowing us access to set our trap. Brendan & Casidhe are incredibly grateful to Teri, Kosmo, Jerry & MJ (all family members) for their constant support & assistance.

So thrilled for everyone❤️