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

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Local artist stages ‘Explorations into Impressions’ exhibit

The art exhibit will showcase impressionist paintings of well-known locations close to Golden

Okanagan Correctional Centre outbreak due to training session: Interior Health

Interior Health said in a statement the staff members were at an off-site training session

Morning Start: A Texas law allows astronauts to vote from space

Your morning start for Friday, August 14, 2020

Invasive mussel monitoring stations detect 10 boats

Boats were headed to Okanagan and Thompson regions

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Vernon pedestrian struck dies from injuries

Emergency responders are on scene on Main Street near the CIBC, traffic affected

UPDATE: Fire in Lake Country a “smoke chase”

A water bomber reportedly took off from Penticton and is on the way to Lake Country

Kelowna man convicted of not paying taxes after turbulent trial

Man claims he doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘person’ under the federal Income Tax Act

Accused in Kelowna’s 2018 Canada Day killing granted bail more than 1.5 years later

Esa Carriere was stabbed to death during the Canada Day fireworks in downtown Kelowna in 2018

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Most Read