Adam Bartsch and his dog Bailey on his boat.

Search for veteran’s therapy dog comes to an end

Although it’s not the conclusion Adam Bartsch was hoping for, he did find closure in his month-long search for his dog Bailey.

The purebred French bulldog went missing while out for a walk with her owner just north of Campbell River Nov. 9.

A few days ago, Bartsch received results from a veterinarian, after locating some wolf scat near the area in which he last saw his dog.

“He was almost positive Bailey was in the scat,” he explained. “I’m pretty sure she was killed by elk, and the wolf came along that night and carried her away.”

Last month, Bailey and Bartsch were walking back towards his truck on a gravel road about one kilometre south of the Brown’s Bay turnoff near Ripple Rock, when Bailey bolted towards a heard of elk. Despite a frantic search, Bailey could not be found.

For the Canadian Forces army veteran, his dog was more than just a pet. For the 15-year Combat Arms member who served five years overseas, she was his therapy dog.

While Bailey wasn’t formally a service dog as he didn’t have the paperwork, both his doctor and health care professionals agreed the dog assisted him and made a difference in his day-to-day actions.

“She’s a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” he said last month.

Bartsch noted Bailey had been out in the woods “hundreds of times” with him previously and had never chased an animal.

“She loved to go with me into the bush; she was not a city dog and would go fishing, go for walks with me all the time. It’s just really horrible luck.”

With a dedicated core group of people assisting him with the search for Bailey, including Nikki Watts of Campbell River Paws, Bob Wild, Shalaine Lawson and Jacquie Bourdon, Bartsch admitted he is overwhelmed and appreciative of the support and assistance he’s received in the search.

As a thank you, Bartsch’s wife Chantelle has organized Bailey’s Buddies – a fundraiser through Facebook to raise funds to help find lost pets and for emergency medical expenses for pets, with all funds going to CR Paws.

For more information or to donate, visit bit.ly/2kkW7H1

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