A Christmas miracle took place in Langley Tuesday.
Turns out Frankie, a pit bull service dog, is hitching a ride home to his family.
How Frankie got from Alberta to Langley will likely always be a mystery.
But the fact that the two-year-old pit bull is on his way home in the front seat of Scott Stevens semi today is nothing short of a Christmas miracle, the driver explained.
Langley Animal Protection Society turned over custody of the service dog to Mountain Dog Transport during the lunch hour today, with Stevens planning an overnight trip back to Edmonton where he will reunite Frankie with his owner Ashley Powers.
Back in July, “Frankie’s owner unfortunately had to go into the hospital, so she left Frankie with a friend. The friend took Frankie on a road trip out to Jasper, Alta., where Frankie escaped his vehicle. Five months later, Frankie turned up in Langley, here,” explained Stevens, who as fate would have it lives only a few minutes away from Powers and joined the Furry Hobos n’ Highway Hero’s back a few months ago.
Despite frantic efforts by Powers and her friend to find the dog, including pleas for help on social media, their hunt turned up nothing.
In the meantime, Frankie turned up as a stray in Aldergrove last month. Some concerned people found him wandering in the 26200 block of 26th Avenue, and brought him into the LAPS Patti Dale Animal Shelter on Nov. 27.
The dog, nicknamed by the shelter operators as Brad Pity (before they knew he had a name), was apparently in good shape and good temper, neutered and very well behaved. Although he didn’t have a microchip, he had a tattoo and shelter workers were convinced the owner would be searching for this him.
However, all efforts to locate the owner in B.C. over the course of the past few weeks failed, said LAPS animal control officer Jenny Ramirez. That’s when they decided to cast the net a little farther afield.
“The dog looked like he was well taken care of, it has this very clear tattoo, so we decided to take it a little further and contact Whatcom County and started calling vets in Alberta. That’s how we made the connection,” Ramirez explained.
That connection happened just last week and, anxious to get Frankie home, Powers began looking around for a safe way to get her baby home for Christmas. Flying him home wasn’t an option for the single mother. Again reaching out on social media, she learned of Furry Hobos, and reach out to the founder.
Stevens, who has delivered four dogs home since joining the truckers group in September, said he was happy to help.
Since he makes weekly trips to the West Coast, he offered to pick up Frankie and bring him home. So, before leaving Alberta with a load on Monday, he stopped in to meet Powers and pickup some food, toys, blankets, and leash for Frankie.
Today, he will head home to Alberta, to Powers and her three-year-old daughter who, this morning, ordered Mom to go get a key cut for Frankie, so that he can get in the house when he gets home.
It will likely always remain a mystery about how he got from Alberta to Langley. Did he stick out his furry thumb and hitch a ride, or use his charm and charisma to secure a lift to the Coast? Who knows, said LAPS executive director Jayne Nelson.
But her team is thrilled to be sending the pup back home to his family, who had given up any hope of ever seeing Frankie again. They’ve waved the typical recovery fees and even put together a care package for Frankie.
• More to come