Bull terrier gets unexpected joyride after thief steals truck with dog inside

Natasha Holowaychuk's truck was stolen from Barriere, B.C., while she was having lunch — and her dog Nexus was in the back seat.

‘Only thing I was concerned about was my dog,’ says owner after reuniting with Nexus 24 hours later

Natasha Holowaychuk was reunited with her dog, Nexus, the day after her truck was stolen outside a restaurant. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

A bull terrier from central B.C. has been reunited with his owner after a car theft on the weekend turned into a dognapping, as well.

Natasha Holowaychuk's truck was stolen from Barriere, B.C., north of Kamloops, while she was having lunch with her mother and sister.

Nexus, her nearly six-year-old dog, was waiting for her to return in the back seat of the vehicle.

"I had brought him along because my mom had brought her little dog and we were going to go for a walk after lunch," Holowaychuk said.

When she left the restaurant both her truck and her dog were missing, she told CBC's Jenifer Norwell.

"The only thing that I was concerned about was my dog," Holowaychuk said. "I don't care about material things at all but this is my only child and he's the only thing I care about."

Hours later, the stolen vehicle was recovered near Chilliwack — but with no dog to be seen.

Nexus is a male English Bull Terrier. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

"That's when absolute panic set in," Holowaychuk said. "I thought I was worried and upset before but when I knew that he was no longer in the vehicle, I was just terrified. We didn't know where to look."

She stayed up all night, messaging animal shelters across the province and putting the word out about the missing animal.

"Apparently, we didn't have to go to all those lengths because Nexus did not leave the district of Barriere," Holowaychuk said.

Found after 'worst day ever'

Caleb Cartwright, 15, had heard about the missing dog and noticed some suspicious tracks near the end of one of the roads in Barriere.

"I thought maybe that's where they either stored the truck or that's where the dog is," he said.

Caleb Cartwright pointing down the ravine where he and his family found Nexus. He was dumped not far from where the truck was stolen. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Caleb went to investigate with his sister and father and heard barking. They found Nexus down a steep embankment, trapped and waiting for help.

Holowaychuk said she could not believe how close by her dog had been found and raced to the scene within minutes of hearing the news.

"When he was in my arms, I couldn't believe how quickly he had come back," she said. "It was one whole day but it was the worst day ever."

A bull terrier from central B.C. was reunited with its owner over the weekend after being dognapped in a stolen vehicle. 6:49

With files from Jenifer Norwell and Daybreak Kamloops.