Local Sheltie has incredible journey after disappearing from owner's home 0
COLLINGWOOD -- Forget the cat. The dog came back this time.
A trained therapy dog named Jesse James was found alive and well on the Georgian Trail Saturday after being missing since Nov. 28.
The Sheltie went missing for 13 days after somehow escaping from her property, said owner Maryjane Thomas.
"He was found on Saturday by a woman out for a walk on the Georgian Trail below Olser Bluff," said Thomas. "He covered in snowballs and ice-balls, but was otherwise in very good shape despite being gone for 13 days."
Jesse James and Thomas are members of Therapeutic Paws of Canada, an organization which specializes in training pets to visit facilities such as long-term care nursing homes and hospitals. Thomas said Jesse James is a regular visitor to the General & Marine Hospital.
I started with it about 10 years ago," she said.
Thomas has three Shelties, including a now-retired therapy dog.
The other two dogs stayed put when Jesse James inexplicably went missing in November.
"They don't leave the property, so I don't know what happened," said Thomas.
The woman who discovered him took Jesse James to the Georgian Bay Animal Rescue Shelter, said Thomas.
"She took her own dog back to her car and then went back for Jesse, who was just lying in a snow bank in the woods," she said.
The staff at the animal shelter then called Thomas, who rushed down to pick up the Sheltie.
The woman who found the dog refused the $250 reward, said Thomas, even after she was contacted at home.
"She said to donate it to the organization, so I'm doubling it and will be giving them $500," said Thomas.
"There were an awful lot of people involved in this," she added. "There were so many people looking out for him it was just amazing."
Jesse will likely return to his rounds in the New Year, said Thomas.