After a dog went missing for three months on a remote Vancouver Island, her nightmare finally came to an end when two surfers spotted the dog and rescued her. While on a surfing and fishing trip close to Vancouver Island’s Juan de Fuca trail in British Columbia, friends Matty Johnson and Zach Regan noticed the dog on the shore. They were near Magdalena Point in their boat, when they noticed movement near the caves that were located onshore.
As Regan shared with CTV News, “Just glancing in the caves as we were going by, I saw tan legs walk out, just a glimpse, and I thought, ‘Oh that looks like an animal’.”
Prompted by his potential discovery, the friends decided to get closer to shore and investigate. That is when they confirmed that it was a dog, and she was stranded in the cave near an area of rough terrain just off the popular hiking trail. Regan noted that it was clear that the dog couldn’t get out of the cave and as a result, was stuck on the small shoreline.
When Johnson and Regan realized that there were no other humans in the vicinity, they took it upon themselves to rescue the pup. Johnson got into his wetsuit and grabbed his surfboard in order to paddle over to the cave. With a little coaxing, he managed to get the dog onto the board and then swam back to the boat with her. Regan helped hoist her on board and noted that she was incredibly weak and just collapsed in the boat.
The two men wrapped her up to keep her warm and also put a life jacket on her before they began the journey back to civilization. Once on land again, the friends fed the dog and gave her a bath. They then reached out to Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing, or ROAM, for help. Leslie Steeves, the founder of ROAM, knew that they had their work cut out finding the dog’s family. Steeves was in shock when she learned about the dog’s harrowing rescue – amazed that the pup had survived that long in such an environment.
Starting the search for the owners, Steeves went on CTV News in order to share the story. Luckily for everyone involved, within a day of the news story airing, they received the call they’d been hoping for. It turned out that the dog’s name was Stella, and her owners had seen the news segment about her survival. They filled in Steeves on the story, explaining that she’d joined the couple on their honeymoon when she went missing. They had gone on a hike with Stella and their other dogs when she just vanished into thin air. They spent a week searching for her, but ultimately had to go back home without her. Needless to say, they were overjoyed when they learned she was still alive. Regan said it was nothing short of miraculous. And in an effort to help the dog get back home he did the honors of driving her to be reunited with her family. As he noted, Stella “perked up 10 times more” as soon as she saw her family. It was clear that no matter how much time had passed, Stella was thankful to be right back where she belonged.