A Pickering family has had many sleepless nights since one of its furry members ran off two weeks ago.
While Ray Hummel and his partner Brittany Burrows continue to search Petticoat Creek for Ricky the dog, they’re receiving help from Team Chelsea, a local group that’s been reuniting hundreds of lost pets for the past decade.
“Just knowing they’re on your side definitely keeps your spirits up,” Hummel said.
Hummel said they were walking the trail along Petticoat Creek in south Pickering a couple of weeks ago when Ricky, their six-year-old German shepherd-Labrador mix, went missing.
“Ricky’s always running up ahead a little bit, but that particular day, he just got a little too far out of sight and next thing you know, he was kind of gone,” Hummel said.
They’ve been searching day and night, splattering posters where ever they can.
“He’s all black with some white markings on his chest. He definitely chased something — it’s definitely pretty standard for Ricky, but when he does do that, he always comes back within minutes,” Hummel said.
From day one, the couple turned to Team Chelsea.
“The number one thing is to search the immediate area,” said Jackie Baird, administrator of Team Chelsea.
In 14 days, they’ve had to expand the search area with help from hundreds of volunteers.
“He could be anywhere,” Baird said. “His nose could have led him somewhere. He could be hunkered down. He might be in the area and hiding as well. But when they get into this mindset, that’s when it becomes a little more difficult.”
Typically after 48 hours, Baird said lost dogs change their mindsets. They become afraid of things they used to be comfortable with and perceive everything as a threat, even their owners, Baird said.
“They don’t respond to their name. They are now in survival mode, so instinctually they’re looking for food, looking for water, and they’re now just in their own zone,” Baird said.
While they haven’t found him yet, there have been suspected sightings with a chance he could even have been picked up.
Hummel and Burrows remain hopeful, vowing to return to Petticoat Creek every day until they can be reunited.
“Ricky, he is a big focal point of our family,” Hummel said.
If you think you’ve seen Ricky, contact Team Chelsea at 905-666-4676.