Twenty day search for missing Labradoodle ends with tears of joy

“I didn’t want one of my kids to say to me ‘you should have done more, you could have done more’…I couldn’t have lived with myself.” - Jared Palfrey

After twenty days of worry, thousands of kilometers driven, hundreds of social media updates and dozens of volunteers on the ground, the search for missing Larbadoodle Mordy came to a happy end Sunday when he was reunited with his family.

Some credit has to be given to a pup named Chili and a follow-up cheeseburger.

Mordy, who went missing August 26, was spotted Sunday morning on the KVR near Cormack Marsh.

Family members and friends – along with another canine named Chili – rushed to the area and managed to get close enough to entice Mordy to safety. He was then led to a warm, waiting vehicle.

“Chili, Mordy’s best dog friend, was what lured Mordy, and the cheeseburger kind of sealed the deal to get him in leashes and into the truck,” said a very relieved Angie Palfrey, who along with her husband Jared and their six children had been frantic about Mordy for nearly three weeks.

Angie and Jared were at home in Abbotsford when they received the news.

“We got the text saying ‘we got him!’ We were screaming and crying.”

By 9 p.m. Mordy was sleeping comfortably on the living room couch under a blanket.

His near-three week ordeal in the wilderness took a physical toll. Mordy lost approximately 15 pounds and was covered in burrs that weighed down his ears and closed one eye.

He had to be shorn, a process which left him “completely relaxed,” said Jared.

Mordy was in the care of the Palfrey’s niece last month when she was visiting her grandmother in Princeton.

The dog escaped from an enclosed yard, setting off an exhaustive search that brought the family back to Princeton six times, and also included the hiring of a professional tracker who employed bloodhounds.

Related: Professional dog tracker, bloodhounds, brought in to search for lost Labradoodle

Jared acknowledged the efforts to get Mordy home were time consuming and expensive.

While both Angie and Jared love Mordy, he said their motivation in finding him came from their children. “I didn’t want one of my kids to say to me ‘you should have done more, you could have done more’…I couldn’t have lived with myself.”

Mordy, a skittish animal by nature, was spooked by the efforts to rescue him, and ran from those trying to help.

Saturday the family was hopeful after Mordy was spotted in a yard near Burton Avenue. The previous day they spent following Mordy all over the Princeton map.

“It was a four hour and 20 kilometre chase, up and down the mountain and across the river and everyone soaking wet,” said Jared.

But by Sunday something had changed.

“He wasn’t as afraid as Saturday or the day before.”

Princeton residents were caught up in Mordy’s saga, following and reporting his movements on Facebook. Many went out and searched on their own.

“The people of Princeton B.C. are the finest people we have ever met, without a doubt,” said Jared. “Miracles happen all the time and Mordy being found is one of them, but the softer miracle was the community coming together for complete strangers.”

The Palfreys also received support from around the province and around the globe, after Mordy’s story was first published on-line.

“We’ve had messages from people as far as New Zealand and France telling us they’ve been following our story and congratulating us on being reunited. It’s amazing,” said Angie.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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