The rescue of an elderly man and his little dog from a deep ravine in Cowichan Bay has earned a local construction company the gratitude of the man’s friends and neighbours.
Tom Browne’s dog Scruffy, a small terrier mix who he recently adopted, went missing on Feb. 2 from his home on Pritchard Road.
Browne put the word out to the local community that Scruffy had gotten loose and for people to keep their eyes open for him.
He said a neighbour called him on Feb. 4 to report that he had heard what sounded like a small dog barking in a ravine near Wilmot Road where Superior Excavating is currently working on a new subdivision.
“I went there that night but couldn’t do much because it was dark and the area was a posted construction site and I couldn’t go in,” Browne said.
“I went back there at 8 a.m. the next morning.”
Brent Anderson, owner of Superior Excavating, said work had just started for the day on Feb. 5 at the work site when Browne pulled up in his vehicle and asked if he could investigate the ravine.
Anderson said he escorted Browne to the trail leading to the ravine, and asked if he needed any assistance to check and see if Scruffy was in there.
“He said he didn’t, but I insisted that he punch my cell phone number into his cell phone so he could call me if he got in any trouble,” Anderson said.
“It was a good move because a short time later, Tom called and said that he found his dog, but he couldn’t climb back up the snow-filled ravine.”
Anderson said he discovered Browne and his dog about 20 feet down the ravine, with Browne looking very tired and unable to climb any further.
“I got four of my guys to help and we made our way down to Tom and his dog,” he said.
“Tom was winded and the dog was very cold and shaking uncontrollably. That shouldn’t be a surprise after spending three days and nights in the cold of winter. We took both of them back to one of our trucks to warm up and they were soon all right. I’ve been more than 30 years at this job and this is the first time an incident like this has happened. Me and my crew were more than happy to help out.”
Browne acknowledged that he and Scruffy are fine, and thanked Anderson, the workers at Superior Excavating and the members of the community that kept their eyes open for Scruffy.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better,” he said with a smile.
Jay Garrow, a friend and neighbour of Browne, said Browne is loved by all in the community and they are grateful that he and Scruffy were not harmed.
“We wouldn’t want anything to happen to Tom,” he said.