A South Surrey woman was starting to lose faith that she would be reunited with her 16-year-old dog Sheba, who escaped her yard on April 1.
But shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Saturday (April 10), and 10 days after her dog went missing, Sherri Storoshenko received a phone call that at first, she didn’t believe.
The woman on the phone told Storoshenko that she found Sheba stuck on an Ocean Park cliff near 1,001 Steps in South Surrey.
“I was honestly in disbelief when I got the call just because it’s been so long,” Storoshenko told Peace Arch News Sunday morning. “I hate to say it, but I almost thought they had the wrong dog. When I pulled up and saw her I instantly broke down… bawling my eyes out. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard in my life.”
The woman who found the dog, Nicole Lunde, told PAN she planned to go to Crescent Beach Saturday evening to watch the sunset with her boyfriend Cali Martinez. However, at the last minute, they changed their mind and instead elected to go to 1,001 steps.
Lunde and Martinez were at the bottom of 1,001 Steps, located near 15A Avenue and 126A Street, when Martinez spotted a dog stuck on a little clearing on the cliffside.
“There was brambles everywhere and she just happened to be sitting in this little clearing where there was no brambles,” Lunde said.
Martinez and Lunde climbed up the hill and sat with Sheba before carrying her to safety.
“There was something in the universe saying don’t go to Crescent Beach tonight, it’s going to be way too busy, instead go down this trail,” Lunde said, adding that the 1,001 steps trail has been blocked by the city due to COVID-19 concerns. “Nobody probably has been there all week because it is fenced off.”
Lunde and Martinez took Sheba to their car and planned to bring her to the animal hospital. While they were in the car, Martinez spotted one of Storoshenko’s missing dog posters.
Lunde said she made contact with Storoshenko who was “in hysterics” to be reconnected with her pet, “but good hysterics.”
“She just dove into the car and was holding Sheba and crying. It was such a feel good moment. With everything going on in the world right now, I needed this,” Lunde said.
Storoshenko offered Lunde and Martinez a cash reward, which they declined.
“We’re both animal lovers, we’re not in something like that for the money. You want to get their pet back home, safe to their family,” Lunde said.
Storoshenko said when she got home, she called her family to let them know that Sheba was home.
“The first thing she did was go lay down in her bed because she was extremely exhausted,” Storoshenko said.
Storoshenko said she took Sheba to the veterinarian to stay for the night. She plans to pick up her dog at some point today (April 11).
Last week, PAN published an article about the search effort that was underway to find Sheba. The community effort involved drones, search parties and bloodhounds.
“I am so thankful for the community and all of the effort they made,” Storoshenko said. “I don’t think I would have been able to hold on as long as I did if I didn’t have so much support.”