Guinness the Poodle had disappeared on a hike in Anmore but was reunited with his family after a miraculous rescue by a local biker.
A missing Poodle was rescued by a mountain biker after miraculously surviving for three days during torrential rain, storms and heavy flooding in BC.
Guinness, a 6-year-old black Poodle, had been out on a walk with his owner Peter Ruben at the South Eagle Bluff trail in Anmore near Coquitlam on November 13th - just a day before heavy rains and storms caused extensive flooding across the Lower Mainland and Southern BC.
Ruben told OhMyDog! that he and Guinness had walked the trail “many, many, many times before” and were very familiar with the area. He added the off-leash Poodle had run ahead towards an intersection to greet a group of dog walkers before he disappeared from sight.
Commenting on a Facebook post her husband had shared in the Anmore Conservation group about their missing pooch, Ruben’s wife Karen said it was “as if he evaporated in the span of 5 minutes.”
Guinness’ disappearance only added to the family’s existing anguish, as just six weeks earlier, their 14-and-a-half-year-old Poodle, Kona, passed away.
“That was hard. This was harder,” Ruben said.
After several desperate hours of searching back and forth on the trails, a distraught Ruben contacted Petsearchers - as well as speaking to Squamish-based Canine Valley who had helped find a friend’s dog - to help track Guinness’ scent.
Despite the weather becoming more hazardous over the following days, the hounds used by Petsearchers locked onto Guinness’ tracks and were able to lead the search party to an area with power lines on multiple occasions - the same spot where the Poodle was eventually found days later.
"It was without doubt the worst three days of my life."
However, Ruben said the torrential rain and strong winds made it hard to hear the group speaking to one another, and despite their best efforts to call Guinness’ name, he believed the Poodle simply couldn’t hear them.
“It was really hard not to think of all the things that could have gone wrong,” Ruben said - even discussing the possibility of a cougar attack. “It was without doubt the worst three days of my life.”
After three days of searching - and with one kind community member even trying to lure the pup out of the woods with the tempting smell of bacon - barking was heard by mountain biker Reno Koeleman as he started heading down a nearby trail by the powerlines.
According to Ruben, Koeleman had seen his daughter’s post on a biking group’s Instagram account about the lost pooch so “bushwhacked” closer to the sound of rapid barking through thick brush and over a creek before finding the Poodle on a small outcrop, who was “happy to see a human face”.
Using a spare inner tire tube, Koeleman leashed Guinness up and took him down the mountain - and was even spotted by a neighbour’s security footage with the Poodle happily trotting alongside the biker.
Ruben suspects that Guinness got into the area after taking the wrong turn at the intersection, and ended up blocked by the thick brush and flowing creek. Despite Poodles being water dogs, Ruben said Guinness has never wanted to be near water, and thinks that when the water began to rise, his dog simply found a place to shelter nearby before attempting to cross the rapidly flowing creek.
Koeleman was able to reunite Guinness with his overjoyed family later that day after contacting Petsearchers - not long before the Poodle enjoyed a well-deserved meal and spa day to clean thick mud from his curly coat.
"To have survived - unscathed - it's pretty remarkable"
“Throughout his ordeal, I think what he just did is he found someplace to shelter and hunker down until the rain stopped - and when the rain stopped and the sun came out, so did he,” Ruben told OMD!.
“Dogs are much more resilient than I would have ever imagined. To have survived - unscathed - those conditions in the wild. It's pretty remarkable.”
Ruben said that for now, Guinness is staying on-leash, but the family will be investing in a GPS tracker so he can enjoy off-leash adventures in the future.
Giving advice to any pet owners who have lost a pet, Ruben said: “In situations that feel desperate like that, keeping hope is important. Don't give up, because dogs are more resilient than we give them credit for.
“And there's a really supportive community out there, an incredibly supportive community that is ready to jump in action and help.”