Izzy, Boomer, Jana, Spike, Me. The good ol' days when they lived across the street from me.
Thirteen days ago I got a message from my friend Jana. It said, "We need your prayers, we have been in a rollover accident. Sergio and I are fine but both dogs were ejected from the truck. We found Izzy but Spike got spooked and ran off into the woods." I immediately began praying night and day for them.
I found out the next day that the accident happened on a two lane highway in a very small town on the border of Idaho and Montana. They were on their way home to Seattle from her parents house in Billings, Montana.
Jana said she saw Spike running away and actually tried to catch him. There was snow on the ground and she was barefoot and had no jacket. She ran as long as she could and he finally disappeared into the very dense wilderness that was covered in extremely deep snow. The paramedics took her and Sergio and Izzy to a motel nearby. Jana's brother got there two hours later and they all went out and searched until it got too dark. They went out first thing the next morning and hiked while calling his name all day long.
Two days later they had to made the dreadful drive seven hours away, home to Seattle. Before they left they posted fliers everywhere, contacted all the shelters within a 200 mile radius and got everyone in the small town involved in searching for Spike.
Day after day went by and before we knew it, a week had gone by. She told me a shelter thought they had him but it turned out to be a different Lab. Damn!
Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call from Jana. She told me there had been two sightings of Spike, under an overpass right by the crash sight. Tuesday night they loaded up Izzy and made the seven hour drive to see if they could get him. Nobody could get near him without him running away. I told her to go get him and bring him home where he belongs.
First thing Wednesday morning Jana, Sergio and Izzy started their search. She hung around the overpass for hours and hiked for miles. She put out steak, treats, dog food. The food kept disappearing but naturally she couldn't guarantee it was Spike that was eating it.
Thursday morning I was walking Boomer around the neighborhood and was praying so hard for Spike to be found safe. I felt so good. I figured for sure, this was going to be the day Jana found him. Late Thursday evening she sent me a text saying they left the area, drove two hours away to a cabin her parents own. She said the weather had gotten so bad it was dangerous for anyone to be out in it. She was convinced at this point that the sightings were not Spike after all.
This afternoon she got a call from a guy riding a snowmobile. He said he can see Spike and he is sitting under the overpass again. It is freezing cold and blizzard conditions. He brought down some sausage and Spike ate it and stayed under the bridge. Jana, Sergio and Izzy got in the car and drove as fast as they could to the small town again. When they got there they parked a little ways away from the bridge. Jana had some ham and a leash and walked under the bridge. She sat down and began calling softly for Spike, once again. Finally, she said, he came toward her, crouching down and gently wagging his tail. His collar was no longer on him and he is "skin and bones". She picked him up and wrapped him in a blanket. To say she was happy would be an understatement!! She sat with him in the back seat (with a harness on) for the two hour drive back to the cabin. He cuddled next to her with his head on her arm the entire way.
I never gave up hope for Spike. I'd go to bed each night and fall asleep praying for him. I'd wake up every morning and lay in bed praying. I just had faith he would be found alive. He is one of the toughest dogs I have ever met. I have been on many hikes with him and to see him rip through the trails and brush is amazing. If any dog would make it out of this situation, it was going to be Spike.
Thirteen nights of below freezing temperatures, in steep terrain with deep snow and blizzard conditions where wolves and bears live - this dog survived. They don't know where he slept at night or where he hid during the day. They have no idea if or what he ate. What they do know now - miracles can happen!!
This proves even more how important it is to always keep hope alive. As long as there's hope, a lot can happen.
Thanks to everyone on Facebook that followed along and prayed like crazy for Spike and his family.