It’s not everyday that you get a call from the US Coast Guard. What more if you live in a different country!
Kailaan Walker and his partner Lydia Selin tended horses and other animals on an 80-acre farm in Guelph, Ontario, and their dogs enjoyed the outdoors and had plenty of space to run and explore. So on a visit over the holidays to family in St. Joseph Island, it wasn’t unusual for one of their dogs, Logan, to run ahead and follow a deer trail while they were out on a walk.
Unfortunately, after a while, Logan didn’t come back.
The couple tried their best to find Logan – they looked everywhere, put up posters, asked locals, posted on social media, and even set up trail cameras – unfortunately, without any luck. The family was heartbroken. “It was really difficult and I kind of felt hopeless,” Kailaan said. “We didn’t have any leads to go on so as you can imagine, it’s a large island and we really didn’t know which way to go to look.”
Eventually, they had to make the difficult decision to leave. “We stayed as long as we could, but one of our horses got hurt and we really needed to go home.” Kailaan added, “I sat at the four-way stop trying to leave and head towards the bridge and I went back and did another lap through the farm and called and called again.”
It had been 11 days since they lost Logan.
Despondent, the couple returned to their home in southern Ontario. Later that night, their phone rang with the caller ID showing a number from Michigan. The man on the other end of the line was excited and delivered a sweet surprise, “Did you lose your dog?”
The call was from the ice breaker US Coast Guard Mackinaw, which had Logan.
Kailaan recalled, “I was just speechless. At that point I didn’t know what to say. My brain just couldn’t even comprehend the fact that after this long, someone had actually found him and he was alive.”
Apparently, Logan had run out onto the ice and crossed the border towards uninhabited Lime Island, Michigan. Luckily, the US Coast Guard was patrolling the straights of Mackinaw and tracked the dog. The crew initially thought it was a coyote but got excited when they saw that it was a domestic dog. They witnessed the dog break though the ice, then struggle to the shores of the island.
The ship sent out a landing party of 20 to comb the island to find the dog, who was too frightened animal to come to their calls. Kailaan related that the crew set up a bonfire on the island, built him a dog house, and left some food to the dog to them. “They left him macaroni and ribs,” he said. “They came back the next day and sure enough Logan was sitting out on the pier, almost waiting for them and hoping they would come back.”
The dog instantly became the star passenger aboard the US Coast Guard Mackinaw! The doctor on board called a vet to get advice on how to treat Logan’s wounds while someone contacted the number on the dog’s collar. The ship sailed to Cheboygan, Michigan where they would be met by Kailaan and Lydia.
After a 7.5 hour drive, the couple and Logan had their happy reunion! “Logan’s eyes were wide and his ears were going every which way,” according to Kailaan. “He came over and it was just surreal. He was so happy to see us. The crew had done such a good job feeding him … and giving him all the attention and love that they possibly could.”
Happily, all Logan had to show for his misadventure was some minor frostbite. When they picked him up, he was happy and healthy! “All four paws were wrapped. They had antibiotic cream and they had treated him with antibiotics as well. Other than being extremely hungry, he was in really good health.”
Kailaan and Lydia are so appreciative of the care the US Coast Guard gave Logan, who is safely back home.
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