WITH the help of a few good friends in uniform, Jodie Cohan is now the proud owner of Niobe the lost Doberman.
On Sunday, Cohan, her boyfriend and members of the West Vancouver Police Department's canine unit pulled the frightened canine, reported missing last month, out of the bushes beside the Upper Levels Highway. The dramatic rescue was a happy ending to the three-week search Cohan, a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the WVPD, had led for the dog.
The two-year-old pet ran away from her new owner, Christopher Angeletti, just 45 minutes after he brought her to his West Vancouver home July 31.
As many people on the North Shore do, Angeletti called 9-1-1 to report the dog missing. Dispatchers redirected him to the non-emergency line, then made up a notice about the lost dog and posted it in the call centre.
A week later, a call came in from a man who had spotted the dog. The report made Cohan realize Niobe was still missing, prompting her to start her own search. She put up posters and consulted a dog behaviourist about the best way to approach the frightened animal. Whenever a tip came in, she or her boyfriend, Darcy Wyness, would go out to scour the area. Cohan's 16-year-old son also helped with the search.
After sharing her story with the North Shore News last week, "people started phoning like crazy, helping to look," said Cohan. "It was phenomenal, the amount of help that people had," she said.
On Sunday, the effort paid off. She was at work when she got a call from the West Vancouver SPCA. A resident had seen the dog.
"He was riding his bike in the area where we had been looking, on the Upper Levels Highway," said Cohan. "He looked down and he heard a whimper and saw her lying there."
Cohan quickly dispatched Wyness to the area, who also spotted the canine but wasn't able to coax her out of hiding. Cohan headed up to join him on a break, and she was just about to return to work when: "All of a sudden, I see her. I could hear her in the bush. I made eye contact with her and . . . started (trying to) coax her out."
But the dog wasn't budging. That's when the cops showed up.
"I hear a car pulling up behind me, and it's the West Van member that I've been working with. He blocked the traffic somewhat to make it slow down, because we were right on the highway. He could see me lying on the highway, trying to get her."
It was all over when Const. James Harding, a dog handler for the WVPD, appeared on the scene. "He just went in, head-first, and got her," said Cohan. "She made a half-assed attempt to bite him, but it wasn't happening. He pulled her out and she went limp in his arms."
Niobe was taken to the vet where she was treated for a badly fractured pelvis, inflamed stitches and dehydration. She is now resting at the West Vancouver SPCA shelter where she is being nursed back to health. Angeletti and his family have agreed to give Niobe to Cohan. She is planning to introduce the Doberman to her two Pomeranian Maltipoos, Bear and Cubby, as soon as Niobe is healthy.