Zoë, a two and half-year-old Golden Retriever, went missing when Kim Woodbury and her family decided to go backpacking at the Frontenac Provincial Park for last week.
On Oct. 9, their second day in the park, Kim said they were going through rough terrain when Zoë — who was attached to Kim’s waist with a leash and a harness — was pulling her.
“We are used to backpacking but I am still not very balanced when it comes to hard terrains yet,” Kim said in a Facebook post after Zoë’s disappearance.
“I am a big lady but she still can pull me down hills and hurt me very badly. This is the reason at the time we lost her she was not tied to me. Other than those times she is always tied to me,” Kim continued.
Kim said when they were going through the particularly rough parts, Zoë was running back and forth between her and her son Dannick, who got slightly separated from her during the walk. When they all made it back to the campsite, Zoë was gone.
“We all went crazy, we completely went crazy.”
“My husband just left to see if he could find her asap,” Kim wrote in her Facebook post.
Kim said her husband Michel and Dannick went out again searching for the dog that night, but to no avail. The family stayed to search for the dog the next day but still could not find her.
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Exhausted and defeated, the Woodburys returned to their home in Saint-Eugène, Ont. Oct. 10 where Kim began a concerted campaign to search for her lost dog.
Kim also involved a dog search and recovery team called Aid 4 Paws Search and Recovery, run by France Lajeunesse.
Lajeunesse told Global News she and her team helped coach Kim and her family how to lure Zoë out of hiding. Lajeunesse noted that the dog is normally very skittish, and in the wild she would be afraid of interacting with strangers.
“Lost dogs behave very differently than they do at home,” Lajeunesse said. Her team advised the Woodburys to place several pieces of clothing and blankets around the park that would draw Zoë out of hiding with their scent.
Zoë had been missing for nine days, when finally, on Thursday, the Aid 4 Paws plan worked.
Lajeunesse says Zoë was found by two hikers on Thursday morning near a blanket that belonged to Kim’s mother. The hikers alerted the park’s staff, who then called the Woodbury’s, who made the trip down to pick Zoë up.
The dog was found in good condition, but she was covered in ticks, so Kim and Michel set up an appointment for her at a veterinarian’s office in Kingston.
Other than losing a few pounds, the veterinarian says Zoë is in good shape.