BULLETIN (Friday, Nov. 23, 2007): After six days of wandering in a fire-scarred and mountainous area of British Columbia, Griff came home late Thursday afternoon, exhausted and sore, but very much alive.
His soreness will heal and he'll be back to his normal rambunctious self in a few days, and, perhaps, his wandering days are finally over after such a trying ordeal.
On Thursday afternoon, he collapsed when he finally arrived at a nearby motel's front yard, hungry and dehyrated.
His family appreciates the great concern for his safe return of the local neighbourhood and beyond.
Below is the newspaper column which appeared on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007:
He drools while chomping at any semblance of food. In other words, Griff's a hulking, lovable lug of a St. Bernard -- and he's missing.
While the world ponders the latest from the resident Ahmadman, The Missus has been crying and Susan has been holding her head in her hands. Bill B. and the Ol' Columnist, meanwhile, have been sulking while spinning our wheels in the backroads of B.C.
Yes, Griff (or Griffey to some) has been among the missing since Saturday morning and his family is already in mourning. Of course, there have been reports from insensitive residents that if he had been chasing deer up in the mountains, they would have turned on him and killed him. When I heard that word, it shook me to my boottops.
Then another claimed that if a nearby "bitch" was in heat, Griff would have been solicited for his "services." Of course, I didn't bother to tell them he'd been "fixed."
This tale of woe began Saturday morning around the Ol' Homestead. There was the usual visitations to the back stoop; the little Lab named Sadie, stalwart Benny, known as The Philosopher, and the "wanderer" Griff all expected a (dog) biscuit or two or a dozen. Griff slobbered as he woofed down his share and then he and Sadie left.
At noon, I asked the question: "Where's Griff and Sadie?"
Everyone had a blank look on their faces.
Then the suggestions came. "Maybe, they wandered down by the river," said one. It had been something that his family had often feared since Little Sadie always tagged along with her friend, Griff.
The hours passed by, and as darkness settled in around Whispering Pines, there was no sign of either one of them.
Then the search party continued patrolling the area, shining flashlights into fields and as the winds picked up, a chill went through my bones as I drove along Highway 97 towards Falkland. No sign of either one of them.
On my return to the Ol' Homestead, Bill B. told me: "Sadie's home." Then he quickly added, "But there's no sign of Griff."
Sadie was exhausted as she showed up, whining at the door. She hadn't been down by the river since her shiny black coat wasn't wet, but her feet were tender and she was hungry from her day-long ordeal.
"Let's get some sleep," someone suggested, knowing full well that was the last thing on our minds.
As a feeble light welcomed Sunday morning, the search began anew.
The cries of "Griff, Griff," could be heard throughout the entire Pines' area. Our green "chariot" again searched the ditches, under area bridges and even among the cattle in numerous fields ... no sign of Griff.
"At least Sadie came home," one said. There was no relief in that statement.
Throughout Sunday, the Ol' Columnist pasted up posters with a picture of a short-haired St. Bernard in the neighbourhood, which read: "Where's Griff ??? Beautiful St. Bernard Missing Since Saturday In Whispering Pines Area. Call 379-2757 or 379-2980."
Monday the search slowed to a crawl; no one had seen the lovable lug with a tattoo inside one of his sensitive ears. He had vanished.
Then I began to find out more about one of the world's most favorite breeds. On a number of websites, the St. Bernard is identified as being very ancient and especially famous for rescuing lost travelers near the hospice of Great St. Bernard in the Swiss Alps. Those lovable dogs are also known for their acute hearing, which far exceeds human beings.
If that is true, can you hear me calling: "C'mon home, Griff, your family misses you."