Only on Orcas | Letters

Our two cocker spaniels disappeared from their cyclone-fenced yard on Feb. 22 when a wind gust blew a gate open. Annie, age 12 and deaf, and Brickle, age 6 (a three-months-new-to-us adopted dog), were missing. There were tracks in the snow uphill and downhill in our Rosario neighborhood.

We called APS, Moran Park and Rosario employees and alerted neighbors. Due to power outage on island at the time, we could not post on Facebook.

I took off on foot and Dave was in our SUV, calling for Brickle, as Annie would not hear us. We met at our house again within an hour and set out again when Annie came back down the driveway to the house. After she was secured in the yard and was rested and refreshed, I leashed her and headed back out on foot, thinking Brickle might return to her. No luck. Dave continued in the vehicle to the park areas. At the 2.5-hour mark with no sightings, we were discouraged and had both returned to the house.

Just then, a knock at the door and there stood our house/pet sitter Angie Boucher with Brickle leashed with her earbud cording. She did not know Brickle was missing and she had just been to our home two days before. We had no idea that she had a day off from Ray’s that day. She decided to hike the lake trail and near south campground saw a cocker and realized it was Brickle. The dog was tired and lost and frantic, but she grabbed her and started walking toward our home on Cascade Way. She eventually fashioned the leash. We do not know who was more amazed – Angie seeing Brickle on a trail or us opening our door to see Angie with our dog. Brickle might have responded to her as she had just cared for the dogs, and her voice was familiar.

We have an amazing island, where things could have ended in tragedy and yet “right place-right time” presented an unexpected, joyful ending. We are indebted to Angie.

Mari & Dave Gardner

Orcas Island