campbell river mirror, october 18, 2013

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October 18, 2013 edition of the Campbell River Mirror

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  • WebPollWe asked: Do we need stiffer penalites for littering?You said:Yes 90 votes (81%)No 20 votes (18%)Todays question: Should marijuana be decriminalized?

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    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2013 www.campbellrivermirror.com Newsstand 85

    View our eEditions online

    Kristen DouglasCampbell RiveR miRRoR

    Duncan and Lynda White were in Courtenay filling up their gas tank when their cell phone rang with the bad news.

    Lynda listened as former dog breeder Jutta Kulic told the couple their new pet was missing.

    Larry, a two-year-old Italian grey-hound who was being flown from San Francisco to Victoria where the Whites would be waiting, had escaped from Air Canada handlers at the San Francisco Airport.

    The Whites, both of Campbell River, were set to adopt Larry who had belonged to a friend of Kulics who died of cancer.

    Lynda said Larry seemed the per-fect fit for their family.

    We lost our oldest Italian grey-hound in June, he passed away from liver cancer; he was 13, Lynda said. He was Duncans constant compan-ion. This dog seemed to have certain mannerisms similar to him.

    About a year ago, Duncan was

    Air Canada loses dog destined for man battling cancer

    Continued on Pg. 3

    Paul Rudan/The MiRRoR

    Canna-bus tourMarijuana advocate Ernie Yacub along with other volunteers from the Sensible BC campaign pulled into Campbell River on Wednesday. In just a couple of hours, while parked by the Tyee Plaza, they had collected more than 250 signatures on a province-wide petition to have the province reform and relax marijuana possession laws. Learn more at www.sensiblebc.ca

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    also diagnosed with can-cer and the couple set out to find a new pet to brighten their lives. At the dog show in Nunns Creek Park in August, the Whites met up with a friend who was work-ing as a judge. She put the Whites in touch with Kulic who was looking for a home for Larry. The young Italian grey-hound seemed the per-fect match.

    Duncan is also suf-fering from liver cancer, were not sure what kind of time we have, Lynda said. We had hopes for this dog to be a compan-ion to him. Time is not on our side.

    But their plans were turned upside down after Larry escaped from his secure crate at the San Francisco airport.

    Jutta, who lives in Ohio, was in Sacramento, Calif. for a dog show but drove Larry to San Francisco, where she dropped him off at the airport Oct. 7. The plan was for Larry to catch a connecting flight to Vancouver before fly-ing to Victoria where the Whites would pick him up and bring him home to Campbell River. Unfortunately, Larrys flight to Vancouver was delayed so arrangements were made to have Larry stay overnight on the Mainland.

    We hired a profes-sional accounting com-pany to look after Larry in Vancouver and then he would fly across to Victoria first thing in the morning, Duncan recalled. So we decided to go back home and we were filling up at Costco and Lynda got a call from Jutta that Larry had bolted.

    Kulic told Lynda that an Air Canada worker had let Larry out of his crate which had four zip ties around it so he wouldnt escape despite Kulics detailed instruc-tions to the airlines cargo holders to not open the

    crate.Angela Mah, spokes-

    person for Air Canada, said staff let Larry out of his crate because of the flight delay.

    Air Canadas San Francisco team had Larrys well-being as first priority when initially caring for him during the lengthy flight delay when he unfortunately escaped, Mah said.

    Larry slipped out of his collar, which wasnt designed for a leash but rather just to carry his ID tags, according to Lynda. Witnesses told Kulic that Larry ran out onto nearby Highway 101 and was hit on the freeway entrance ramp around 4:45 p.m., within a half an hour of him escaping from Air Canada han-dlers. Kulic said three different cars pulled over and one couple rushed to Larrys side.

    Shortly after 5 p.m., a couple called a local vet-erinary hospital, saying they had picked up a dog hit on the freeway, that it was still breathing, and asked to bring it for treat-ment, Kulic said. They were referred to the closest emergency vet, but never arrived there or at any other local vet contacted to date. I con-tinue to network; social media has been amaz-ing. Someone will come forward eventually if we

    keep working on it.Lynda said Kulic has

    been very vigilant in trying to track down Larry and a $2,500 reward is being offered for his return.

    Shes been on it since the time she got the phone call (that Larry escaped) and she has not rested, Lynda said. She arrived back in Ohio last night and the only reason she left San Francisco was she knew he wasnt out in the cold by himself, run-ning around. She is quite positive someone picked him up and attempted to call the vet but thats where the information stops.

    We havent been able to find the people who picked him up or where they took him.

    Duncan said at first he believed the worst that Larry had been killed but now hes fairly confi-dent someone has Larry.

    He said there is no evidence that Larry was killed. Highway clean-up crews havent found him neither have other search parties including Air Canada.

    Mah said the airline has been doing what it can to try and track down Larry.

    Upon learning Larry was missing, Air Canada contacted Larrys han-dler and immediately instituted a search, with

    both cargo and airport staff, Mah said. We have reached out to local groups involved in ani-mal rescue.

    Additionally, we have broadly alerted the air-port community and posters are up.

    Lynda agrees that someone likely has Larry.

    The only other pos-sible explanation is that someones taken him and doesnt want to return him, said Lynda who noted Italian grey-hounds are an expensive, gentle and loving breed. However, they can also be skittish, startle easily and love to run, which is why Kulic left spe-cific instructions with Air Canada not to open Larrys crate.

    Still, Lynda said, I dont want to point fin-gers at them (Air Can-ada).

    But she hopes with all the media attention Larrys story is getting in both Canada and the United States, as well as exposure through the Larry the Italian Grey-hound Facebook page, that someone will come forward with some key information.

    Duncan said he hopes if anything positive comes out of the experi-ence, its that Air Canada makes some adjust-ments.

    I would like to see, in the future, that Air Canada has a good look at their p