A relieved Ashley Ramsay could finally rest Monday night, after her dog Jack was returned home following five days in the Saskatchewan cold.
Wednesday, October 25 was when Jack first went missing. The blue heeler escaped with his husky brother after chasing an antelope during what was otherwise a normal night of exercise. When only the husky returned home full of porcupine quills, Ramsay and her husband knew something was wrong, beginning a whirlwind of a weekend worrying about their furry-best-friend out in the prairie cold.
On Thursday, Ramsay and her partner began 8-10 hour shifts searching for Jack, with no real indication of his direction outside of a reported appearance near Elrose during that Wednesday afternoon.
Running away from the Kyle region, Jack strayed very far from home.
"He was spotted all over the map. He was in Elrose, next he was in Rosetown, then he was in Fiske. We could not track him down, it was so hard." said Ramsay.
Numerous outlets had their eyes open for Jack.
"Social media was able to get the word out super fast. The radio, we had RCMP looking."
Thankfully a special piece of attire made Jack a very recognizable dog.
"He was known as the dog in the orange vest. Any farmers house I went to said 'I know that dog! I'm keeping my eyes open!'"
That was the status-quo until Monday afternoon.
Ramsay had just finished up another driving shift with no results, when the phone finally rang with the good news. Jack was back with his family a short-time later, in need of some healing after fending for himself for almost a week.
"(Jack) was very skinny, and had quills still embedded in him. But he's home, happy, and safe; and that is all we could have ever asked for."
If it wasn't for the help of west-central Saskatchewan Jack might still be out in the fields. They quickly learned that neighbours span far more than just your street block, as before they knew it help was coming in all directions.
Originally from BC, the about year-long Saskatchewan residents weren't sure what to expect trying to find Jack across the prairies.
"They make the joke that you can see your dog running for days... but we just couldn't see him!" joked Ramsay, who can afford to do so with Jack back home.
With the direction he was headed, there's a chance Jack was just trying to find the mountains.
"We joked that he was running back home to BC, because he kept heading northwest. Glad we got him before he hit Alberta."
Feeling more connected to west-central Saskatchewan than ever before, Ramsay wrote WestCentralOnline afterwards to share the following message.
"Massive thank you to everyone that kept their eyes peeled, everyone that came out to search, and everyone who shared and got the word out. It will be a slow recovery to get Jack back to his normal weight, but my family is reunited and this mum can finally rest easy. From the bottom of my heart, thank you west-central!"
What is Saskatchewan, if not for prairie hospitality.