When Kevin Doyle’s two dogs became stuck in an ice floe last week, all he could feel was helpless.
“Horror, complete horror,” said Doyle, from the Belledune, N.B., area.
“I’d give up every once and awhile and think I’ll never see them again.”
The dogs, King and Heidi, became stuck in Chaleur Bay last Tuesday. Emergency crews, as well as several members of the community, tried to rescue the dogs but were unsuccessful.
“There was nothing we could do about it, but everybody kept trying, kept looking,” said Doyle.
“I drove this highway so many times and I’d see people I didn’t even know out on the side of the road with their binoculars out … trying to see if they could see a dog.”
The rescue was eventually called off by the RCMP. At that point, Doyle thought his dogs were gone for good.
“There was no rescue to be had, so I had to sit around, wait, and just kept looking for them,” he said. “A lot of the neighbours kept looking for them, too — God bless their hearts.”
But after several days of uncertainty, the unbelievable happened. King and Heidi came ashore in Janeville, approximately 70 kilometres from where they went into the water.
Shania Carrier, a local resident, was also a part of the search for King and Heidi. She says when she learned they were found, she was in disbelief.
Doyle credits Heidi, just seven months old, for keeping King alive, even keeping him warm during the car ride home.
Aside from losing some weight, both seem happy and healthy.
“Winning the lottery has absolutely nothing on this. Absolutely nothing on this,” said Doyle.
“You can keep the lottery. I want the dogs.”
Doyle says the words “thank you” are insufficient to express his gratitude to members of the community who helped bring King and Heidi home.
“There are just good people around here,” he said. “Some people, I have no idea who they are.
“I’d just like to say thank you to all of them.”