By Michele Young
Daily News Staff Reporter
Kamloops The Daily News
In the eyes of many, this dog was just a typical black lab cross with white front socks.
Deb Chaplain already had two dogs of her own, but this one latched onto her daughter at the family's home at Thompson Rivers Estates near Walhachin. She called her neighbours and was told the medium-sized dog had been seen around for a few days, going to the river for water.
"Nobody knew the dog or the description," she said Tuesday.
So Chaplain called the Kamloops SPCA shelter to see if anyone had reported the dog missing/ "My daughter's called her Suki. The dog was really well behaved and obviously loved. You can tell by the temperament."
The shelter had no missing reports and also no room, so Suki stayed at chez Chaplain for three weeks. Then last Friday, a kennel space came open.
With some reluctance — Chaplain didn't want her to be euthanized if she didn't get adopted — she left the dog at the shelter. "She has a lovely temperament, great with kids. Beautiful dog, works her tail a lot."
On Saturday, Chaplain got a call. Suki was fine, and a scan showed she had a microchip that was traced to a vet clinic in Montreal. Kamloops acting shelter manager Sarah Gerow said all animals that come in are scanned for microchips.
She only had a few details, as the exchange of information was sometimes difficult between English speakers in the west and French speakers in the east.
And the story of how Pollux the dog (named after an animated kids' cartoon dog, known in English as Dougal) came west to become Suki will remain a mystery to all but the dog herself.
In Montreal, ecstatic dog owner Isabelle Robitaille had some information, dating back a year. That's when Pollux got out of the gate of the family's east Montreal home.
"She just disappeared in June, 2010. We didn't close the gate carefully and she just disappeared," Robitaille said.
Her kids — Antoyne, 8; Lily-Ann, 4; and Morgane, 20 months — desperately missed their dog (as did the family cat, who would snuggle with Pollux on the couch). Robitaille checked with various shelters to no avail. "The older kids cried a lot when she ran away. Now they're crying because she's coming home."
Robitaille herself was perplexed as to how her dog travelled so far.
Despite the long journey, Pollux is in excellent health. Gerow is hoping to fly her back to Montreal later this week, courtesy of SPCA International. Robitaille said she and the kids can hardly wait to be reunited with the dog they adopted when she was three.
"We saved her from the shelter. They were going to euthanize her because she had nobody to adopt her."
Pollux will be leaving behind people who cared about her and didn't want her to be euthanized. And she'll be returning to the family that feels the same way. "She's going to be nine this summer. She's going to have her birthday with us," Robitaille said.