Millie (left) has been missing since April. 28. She was last seen on Aug. 22 (right photos). (Photos courtesy of Joanne Bandstra.)

Homeward bound: One woman’s search for her lost dog

The toy-Australian-Shepard has been spotted dozens of times around Abbotsford

Five-year-old Millie is a scared, fluffy and incredibly elusive toy Australian Shepherd who has been lost for just over four months.

But Millie is alive. She has been spotted roaming around the city well over a dozen times but has proven to be tricky to catch. The last sighting was on Aug. 22.

“You go two weeks [without a sighting] and you get sad and think she’s gone. Then all of a sudden somebody sees her and you’re back up,” said dog-mom, Joanne Bandstra.

Bandstra has shown a dogged determination in her search for Millie: she’s gone door-to-door, put up over 2000 posters, waded through a swamp in gumboots, hired a pet-searching company, contacted animal-trackers from Alberta and local drone operators and set up trail-cams with feeding stations and traps.

“I miss her like crazy,” she said. “I just want to see her fluffy little feet and her little wiggle butt.”

Bandstra is covered in cuts from bushes, thinks she’s cracked a tail-bone from a fall, her car has popped two tires and reeks of trap-food. To top it off, last week she had her trail-cam stolen.

Yet quitting has never crossed her mind, she says.

“If I give up on her, I’m not keeping my promise to her. A dog will do anything for their master, in turn the master should do the same.”

Word around town has spread from a total of 35 Facebook posts made by Banstra.

“When I walk into stores and say do you know who Millie is? They say, ‘yeah, that little dog!’”

Millie is naturally skittish, but now she’s believed to be in “survival mode,” according to Bandstra. Whenever somebody has tries to call or catch her, she darts away – fast.

Bandstra advises people to observe what direction she’s headed and call her directly at 604-807-4290.

RELATED: Trail-cam thief unaware of being on camera

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