Missing dog rescued after four days trapped in mud

May 14, 2019

Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks after all — as 12-year-old Izzy the dog is now home safe after getting stuck in the mud for four days in the woods behind her Dartmouth home.

Last Tuesday Izzy’s owners, Jen and Steve Canario, discovered that their three dogs had gotten loose though the back fence in the morning.

Two of them, a Great Pyrenees and a lab mix, returned later that day.

But the elderly Izzy — also a Great Pyrenees, and who at twelve had already practically outlived her lifespan — was missing.

Izzy also has arthritis, and was on medication for it as well as for the pain.

The Canarios immediately started searching for her, but she was nowhere to be found — so they posted it online where word quickly spread.

“We got such a response from the community,” Jen said. “I had reached out...it was amazing. Everybody just banded together and started looking.”

By Tuesday night Izzy had already missed a dose of medication, and Jen thought she wouldn’t get very far. But they couldn’t find her anywhere.

Like the Canarios’ other two dogs, Izzy was a rescue. She became part of their family six years ago after a short first visit.

“Of course, we fell in love,” Jen said of that day. “She came back the next day, and she never left. It was like she belonged here.”

By Thursday, Jen said that she and her husband were starting to lose hope.

“We were devastated,” she said. “I just felt like, without her medication, being so old — we wondered did she walk off to go die alone. They say animals will do that.”

Over the four days Izzy was missing, they searched everywhere for her. And they weren’t alone.

“It was wonderful to see how many good, nice people there are in that community that were so willing to help with an elderly dog,” Jen commented.

They didn’t find her until Friday evening — six years to the day that she had originally joined their family.

After nearly nine hours spent searching, Steve had a sudden inspiration.

“We drove home, we’re sitting in the driveway, and I’m crying,” Jen explained. “And I’m like ‘This is it. She’s gonna die — I mean she can’t last, no food and no water. It’s been four days.’”

But her husband suggested searching the woods back behind the house, way back past the places they’d already looked.

“So, on a whim — we didn’t bring our backpacks, we didn’t bring water, we didn’t bring leashes, we didn’t bring anything. We just started walking.”

Jen didn’t realize how far back those woods actually went.

When they finally saw Izzy, they weren’t sure if it was even a dog — she was so covered in mud, she looked like a fallen tree.

Steve called her name, and she barked. Izzy was sunk so deep in the mud she couldn’t get free — so Steve scooped her out and then went on to find out where they had ended up.

She had gotten stuck just around the corner from their house. “All we had to do was drive around the corner,” marveled Jen. “It seemed so far walking...and in actuality she was only a quarter of a mile away from home.”

The Canarios called the vet as soon as they got in.

Jen said her first priority was to get Izzy warm. “She was freezing, shaking. This mud was just crusted on her. One more day — I don’t think she had but one more day and she would have passed out there.”

New friends from the community helped them nurse Izzy back to partial health, including one woman who brought Pedialyte to help with dehydration, as well as a neighbor who loaned them an electric blanket to keep the canine warm.

And although her appetite hasn’t quite returned yet, according to Jen, she’s now strong enough to climb the back stairs on her own — so she’s getting a little bit better every day.

“I think she’s gonna be okay,” Jen said cautiously. “Seeing her on Friday was like falling in love all over again...She is wonderful. She has been the best dog. Not a lot of people want the older dogs — they want the puppies. And I understand that. But...she’s an amazing, amazing dog.”