Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

Jasper spent three days lost and swimming across the Columbia River near Genelle? Photo: Steve Smith
Jasper was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith
Jasper was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith

A Great Pyrenees dog has been reunited with his family after spending three days lost around Castlegar and swimming back and forth across the Columbia River.

Mary Hummel first noticed her dog Jasper was missing from their South Castlegar home early in the morning on Friday, July 3. She immediately began searching the neighbourhood and posting on social media.

“He is hard to miss, since he is white and weighs 140 pounds,” said Hummel.

The first report of a sighting came in from a boater later that day. He had seen Jasper on the banks of the Columbia River across from Genelle. Hummel searched the area, but was not able to find the dog.

The next sighting was reported Saturday morning, this time back on the other side of the river in Genelle. Once again Hummell rushed to find the dog, but without success. The scenario repeated itself several times throughout Saturday.

“He is a three year old that had never been away from home and he was really scared, so when he was approached by people, he fled,” she explained.

READ MORE: Dog, missing for weeks, rescued from cliff near Castlegar

Later Saturday, Hummel was called by some campers who had seen Jasper floating down the river, once again on the opposite side from Genelle. They coaxed him to shore and he remained at their camp site for a while. But by the time a boater from Genelle took the owners across the river to rescue him, Jasper had disappeared again. The campers reported Jasper was weak, and had refused the food they had offered.

“We searched for a long time, but the country is so rugged, we did not find him,” said Hummel.

Sunday was a long day for Hummel as sighting of Jasper stopped coming in.

“We both thought he maybe succumbed to the river,” she said.

“We prayed and cried for a miracle.”

Finally, two more calls came in, both near the campsite where Jasper was last seen on Saturday. Hummel’s husband Brent bushwhacked looking for him, again all to no avail.

A Genelle resident then approached the Hummels, offering the use of his drone to search for the dog.

“We knew this might be Jasper’s last chance, so we came back with a guy that could report GPS coordinates,” said Hummel.

But the search was unsuccessful.

With plans to go back out the next day, the Hummels headed back towards Castlegar.

One of them said, “This isn’t like Hollywood, where your dog just comes out of the woods running toward you.”

But, that is exactly what happened.

“A miracle happened,” said Hummel. “Right in the middle of the road — there was Jasper.”

Hummel says Jasper is very weak, has lost weight and has sore paws, but otherwise is doing fine.

She says the real heroes of the story are the residents of Genelle, who along with other boaters and campers continued to help search and try to rescue Jasper.

“They shone as a community,” said Hummel.

“The community of Genelle came alive. I am so thankful.”



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

castlegarPets

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Dogs are matched with the person, not the person matched to the dog – Prince Rupert SPCA

Prince Rupert SPCA does their due diligence in adopting dogs to suitable human companions

Photo Gallery: Memorial totem pole raising in Prince Rupert

The memorial pole stands in memory of Prince Rupert carvers mother on Second Ave. West

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Memorial totem pole raised in Prince Rupert

The memorial pole was a two year project led by local carver Lyle Campbell

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Most Read