Photo Credit: Supplied by Gary Shade | FLED

Around the Island in 73 Days

After months of freedom, only a cheeseburger could break Rigby's resolve.

A scrappy border collie set off on an epic adventure across

If you’ve ever heard of the classic books “Around the World in 80 Days” or “The Boxcar Children,” one scrappy border collie seems like he’s been taking notes.

Rigby is a rescue pup adopted from Colorado, and he’s been through a lot.

After bouncing around from shelters to foster families, his sense of “home” was pretty flexible, to put it lightly.

“He had baggage when he came out of that shelter,” said FLED (Find Lost and Escaped Dogs) co-owner Gary Shad to Comox Valley Now.

The pup was adopted by “somebody who had border collie experience who could read the breed.”

Despite the efforts to find Rigby a good match, after just eight days, he decided it was time to see the world.

Or at least a good chunk of the Island.

Rigby has been on an epic adventure for the last 73 days.

Hopping fences and using rail lines to get around, he set off on his Journey from Nainamo – and he got around.

At different points over the last few weeks, he was spotted everywhere, from Parksville to Cassidy.

FLED received reports of sightings about once every ten days, meaning searchers were always just on his tail.

“As soon as he would see people, he’d run,” Shade told CTV.

Much like the Boxcar Children, he did not want to get caught.

But as those kids could attest, there’s something irresistible about a good old cheeseburger after a long day (or a couple of months).

A cheeseburger ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back in Rigby’s determination to continue his wilderness survivor lifestyle.

After he was recently spotted back in Nanaimo, it took a couple of days and one of the mouthwatering burgers to lure him into a live trap.

And so came the end of his life on the open road, but it was a necessary measure.

Rigby was found very thin and in poor health, but his lifestyle is improving.

He’s been adopted by the same individuals who rescued him, and he’s still got access to wide open spaces.

Living on a farm, he gets to go for regular swims and is just starting agility training.

He’s slowly learning to trust again, but this may not be the forever end of his thirst for adventure.

“I think he will be a nice dog, but right now I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him,” said new owner Oakley to CTV News with a laugh.

“His body language tells you that ‘give me a chance, and I’m out of here.’ So that is something that we have to work on,” she said.

We’ll keep you updated, but for anyone wanting to follow puppies’ adventures across the Island, FLEDS Facebook page is the place to go.

Rigby is far from the only dog heading out by choice or getting lost on our coast, and people keeping a watchful eye out can make a huge difference in helping to get them back home.