Wendy (Burgess) Johansen with the little brown dog

Wendy (Burgess) Johansen with the little brown dog

Freeway finds a new home

Exhausted after a frantic week or more of running from one end of the city to the other looking for her babies, Freeway is now resting comfortably in a new home.

  • Jul. 28, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Exhausted after a frantic week or more of running from one end of the city to the other looking for her babies, Freeway is now resting comfortably in a new home.

Freeway is the name given to the little brown dog that had been spotted roaming the city for a couple of weeks.

She obviously had puppies somewhere and appeared to be searching for them, but she would run away when approached by strangers.

Exhausted and foot sore Freeway lapsed into a deep sleep in the St. John Lutheran Church yard on Hodgson Road Saturday, where Bonnie Burgess and her sister Wendy Johansen were finally able to execute a rescue.

“She was so scared but so exhausted and foot sore that she just laid her head on my arm when we lifted her into the truck,” Johansen says.

According to the information the sisters have been able to gather, Freeway’s drama likely began in the Stampede Grounds during a thunder storm.

Johansen says she first spotted Freeway on Friday, July 15 trotting by the side of Highway 20 heading over the bridge towards the fire hall. She followed Freeway to the Tolko Lakeview office, then, not having a cellphone, went home to call her sister and the BC SPCA.

By the time the sisters got back to Tolko, Freeway was gone again.

“Bonnie and I then started searching for her after work and during our lunch hour,” Johansen says. “We spotted her a number of times but each time couldn’t get close to her.”

She says they were advised by the BC SPCA that there had been several sightings of Freeway but no one had been able to catch her.

She had been spotted in as far distant locations from one another as Esler subdivision, the store on Dog Creek Road, the fire hall, and Mackenzie Avenue.

On their searches the sisters spotted Freeway on Highway 20, on Mackenzie Avenue, down South Lakeside, on Broadway north near the Carson Street lights, and near the Lutheran Church on Hodgson Road.

Johansen says her husband spotted Freeway by the St. John Lutheran Church last Friday, so on Saturday afternoon she and her sister went to the church where they were each able to quietly make their way around opposite sides of the building to close the gates and corral Freeway in the church compound.

“When I knelt down and spoke softly to her she sat down and let me pet her,” Johansen says. “It was immediately obvious she was not aggressive and very tired and hungry.”

The sisters lifted Freeway into their truck and tried to take her to both veterinary hospitals and the BC SPCA but all three facilities were closed by then, so they took Freeway to Wendy’s house where she has spent the last week or so recovering.

“It was Debbie (Woods, animal control) from the City who named her Freeway,” Burgess says. “Debbie was great, she spent a lot of time looking for her as well and arranged a spot for her at the SPCA if needed.”

When found, Freeway wasn’t wearing a collar and didn’t have any tattoos or identification that the sisters could see.

“We have since found out there was a woman at the Stampede Grounds looking for her on Tuesday, July 19,” Burgess says. She says the story is that a woman who was riding her horse in the Stampede Grounds reported that another woman had approached her and said she was searching for a little brown dog who had been frightened and run off in a thunder storm. The report they received was that this woman had Freeway’s puppies but when they went to find out who the owner might be they couldn’t find any postings about a missing dog through the normal channels at the SPCA, radio station, veterinarians and newspapers. The sisters have put up found posters at the Stampede Grounds and information on the radio lost and found bulletin board, but so far to no avail.

There is a great mystery surrounding Freeway that the sisters hope to have resolved.

Was she a stray that was living on the streets and in the Stampede Grounds with help from well wishers? Does she have a good home somewhere with a responsible owner? And where are her puppies and how are they doing without her?

“She’s a wonderful dog and deserves a good home but it would be nice to see her reunited with her puppies, although we’d like to see her spayed and identified with a collar,” Burgess says.

In the meantime the sisters say a number of people have come forward wanting to adopt Freeway. And they have found Freeway a new home with a young family in town with the knowledge that the original owner may still claim her.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gibraltar Mine general manager and community sports coach Ben Pierce moved to Williams Lake in 2008 for a career, and has fallen in love with the area while raising his family in the Cariboo. (Photo submitted)
OUR HOMETOWN: Mine manager on solid ground

Juggling academics, sports and a family was a challenge, but Pierce said he and Liselle made it work

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

Habitat Remediation Working Group takes a tour in 2020 of what was then the newly-constructed confluence of Edney and Hazeltine Creek channels. Mount Polley Mine is expected to reopen by September, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Mount Polley mine expected to open by fall 2021: Imperial Metals

The reopening will create about 300 full-time mining jobs

The red rock garden in Williams Lake was filled with new rocks in recognition of the National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Red rocks left as reminder of missing and murdered local women in Williams Lake

May 5 marked the National Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Most Read