Everyone in FoTH and the Sunshine Coast has now heard of Boo (now known as Bear). The infamous little chap who decided to go walkabout for a week in Coolum on Easter Saturday.
Boo was only having a temporary stay in Coolum while we went away for the weekend. However, it soon became apparent that he doesn’t like bad weather. Whilst heading out for a final toilet stop before bedtime, a sudden gust of wind caused flapping of some nearby leaves, scaring the living daylights out of him. Unfortunately, he pulled so hard and fast that his lead slipped out of a very secure hand. Into the wind, rain and dark he bolted. That was the last time he was seen for just over a week.
Boo entered the FoTH family several weeks ago. He was injured whilst racing, sustaining a very nasty fracture and dislocation of his tarsus.
The tarsus is the ankle and is found in the back legs. It is made up of several little bones and joints, as can be seen in the picture above. Boo had dislocations and several nasty fractures of this region and required immediate orthopaedic surgery. His trainer at the time immediately took him to North Coast Veterinary Specialists. Here, he underwent surgery to pin and plate the fracture site. Boo was in a cast for six weeks and rested whilst his injury healed. After x-rays at six weeks post-surgery, Boo came to live with Michael and me, plus our two girls, Boo and Ella (now it’s getting complicated). I offered to take him in to foster care in order to provide intensive physiotherapy for him, getting him sound again and then on to a forever home.
Whilst he was with me, I became unhappy about how his tarsus was healing. He had reduced weight bearing on his right hind leg, and it was swollen and hot….all the signs of an infection at the surgical site. I had him back into the specialist centre a couple of times. Eventually it was decided that they would remove two loose screws and send them away for culture and sensitivity. The results came back – an infection was present. Boo was then put on antibiotics but was only part way through his course when he ran away.
Over Easter weekend, Boo went to stay in Coolum as we had a mini break booked. That’s when everything changed.
Poor Phil and Cynthia….what a nightmare. Never did they expect that an extra dog for a few days would turn into such a massive search and media campaign. From the moment Boo took off, Phil and Cynthia were on the hunt. They searched for several hours that night and then again at first light the next morning. They put the call out for helpers to come and hunt for Boo. Everyone was sharing Boo’s missing status on Facebook – people were coming from all corners of the Coast to try and find this scared little lad.
Sunday lurched into Monday, then Tuesday…. Nothing. Worry and doubt was starting to grow. Not one sighting of him anywhere. No lead, collar – any sign at all. It was very odd. Had someone got him? Was he hiding? Was he still with us? The stress levels started to rise.
FoTH spared no expense in trying to find Boo. Many called for drones to be brought in but with the terrain around Coolum, these would not have been beneficial at all. The media was contacted – newspapers, radio, TV – it was all happening. I personally did a radio interview with Hot91fm on the Wednesday. I stressed that if anyone should see him, call the number provided.
Social media was hot with Boo. It was thought that this might be the best way to find him. People were sharing his photo everywhere. So many people knew of the missing greyhound…it was our only hope that someone would spot him and report a sighting.
On Sunday 11th April, at 10am, we had the phone call we had been waiting for. A walker reported a black greyhound around 500m from where Boo went missing. A posse of people headed to the area and began the search. Initially, it felt like looking for a needle in a haystack. There was absolutely no sign of him. The area in which he had been spotted was not the kindest – shoulder high with thick grass, full of snakes and minimal visibility.
Phil donned his boots and jeans and headed into the paddock. The rest of us headed around the edge in order to keep an eye on Boo coming out. Suddenly, Phil shouted for me and pointed “he’s here!” We all looked and saw nothing. Phil was adamant he had spotted him so a small group of us headed into the grass.
Boo is very timid of males, so it was essential that a lady he knew was present if we were to stand any chance of rescuing him.
The posse headed through the paddock and under the flyover of the Sunshine Coast Motorway. Still, we looked on….where was he? Then, Phil spotted him. He was close, but wary. When I called him, his ears pricked up and his tail started to wag. Phil backed off as Boo was still hesitant. As soon as Phil was a comfortable distance away from him, Boo came up to me. His collar and lead were still in place, so I was able to grab hold of him and shout “I’ve got him”!!
Home for Tea and Medals (and Chicken)
What a result!! After a whole week out there, Boo was coming home. We carefully made our way through the paddock. Everyone was so happy. There were tears of joy and laughter, hugs and kisses, and of course, roast chicken (thanks Woody)!!
A Week On….
So, Boo, now named Bear (after Bear Grylls – expeditionary extraordinaire), returned home with Michael and me. He was around 5kg lighter than he was when we dropped him off, sitting around 25kg. He was incredibly skinny, and his tarsus was very hot and sore. When we got home, we showered him, fed him and let him have a great sleep. He was greeted like the missing friend he was by my girls, Boo and Ella – lots of licking tongues and wagging tails.
I was asked to do a TV interview on Boo by Chanel 7 news. This is I did on Monday. Boo/Bear was very well behaved, and some very well needed publicity was had for Friends of the Hound. I even managed to get a dig in there at the industry!
Unfortunately, Bear developed severe diarrhoea on Tuesday. Initially, we wondered if this was just because he was starting to eat again but as time passed, it was obvious it was more than that. By Thursday I was convinced he had a bug/parasite, such as giardia. This is very common in dirty water. Off to the vet we went (thank goodness for great connections and lovely vets who are friends). Bear was placed on metronidazole and probiotics. Within 24 hours, his tummy was settling.
Thankfully, he is now almost back to normal. He is steadily putting weight back on and will be going back in to NCVS for his metal work to be removed within the next week. At this point, he should be finally able to put his past behind him.
Where to From Here?
Well, let’s just say that it is likely that he won’t be going too much further. He is part of the furniture and our pack now. Unless there is a sudden turn of events, Bear might have just found his forever home…
By Lynne Harrison