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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dog - missing 5 years - comes home to Nova Scotia

CBC News, August 24, 2005, Canada

Tosca, a black dachshund, was found last month on a road near Miramichi, in northern New Brunswick.

The dog was only five months old when it went missing from its home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in October, 2000.

Sylvia Macdonald, the dog's owner in Dartmouth, was heartbroken: "I cried all night. I thought she was never coming back."

Suspecting the dog had been stolen, the MacDonald family put up posters in the neighbourhood and eventually heard that a woman in the area had been given a very similar dog. MacDonald couldn't find the woman, so she hired a private detective.

The detective eventually located the woman and went to her house with a photo of the missing Tosca. A dachshund resembling the missing dog was in the home but the woman insisted it wasn't the same animal.

Police were contacted, but the woman had moved to New Brunswick and couldn't be found.

Macdonald kept trying to find her, even tracking relatives, but had no luck.

Then last month a caller from Miramichi told MacDonald he had the dog.

Kevin Burchill was driving on New Brunswick Highway 11 when he saw a small dog sitting on the side of the road. "He was just sitting there and he looked like he was begging," said Burchill. "You drive by dogs every day, going for a walk or whatever, but he looked lost."

The dog was wearing a rabies tag bearing the number of a Nova Scotia vet. Burchill called the vet and was given Macdonald's number.

He was stunned to learn how long the dog had been missing.

Macdonald couldn't believe the dog was actually Tosca and called Burchill back several times that night asking for more details about the animal's appearance. Burchill finally described two blond dots on the dog's eyebrows and that sealed it for Macdonald, who along with her husband drove to New Brunswick the next day to be reunited with their pet. "Her face hadn't changed a bit," said Macdonald. "I picked her up and gave her a big kiss."

No one knows why the dog was on the side of the road in New Brunswick.

Tosca the dachshund has now re-joined her sister, and three other dogs, in the MacDonald family home in Dartmouth.

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