'I started crying': Vancouver man reunited with stolen dog
Mishah, a Chihuahua cross, was found in the Gastown area on Thursday
A Vancouver man has been reunited with his dog — which he describes as "family" — one week after the Jack Russell-Chihuahua cross was allegedly stolen.
Michael Lorimer, who often sits outside a neighbourhood restaurant in his wheelchair, said his dog Mishah went missing late last month.
The dog was spotted by a good Samaritan on Thursday evening.
"I started crying and was happy," said Lorimer after he reunited with Mishah. "The dog was peeing and jumping around and screaming at the top of her lungs like a seagull.
Last week, Lorimer stepped iinto a Church's Chicken at East Hastings and Nanaimo and left the tiny brown-and-white dog outside. When he came back, Mishah was gone.
Lorimer's luck turned around on Thursday.
Police say two people spotted Mishah on Water Street, near Abbott Street, around 6:30 p.m. PT and phoned 911.
Garrett Ruesen was one of them. He was walking his two dogs through the Gastown area and took a shortcut through an alley on his way back home.
He said he noticed a man with a baby stroller and didn't think too much of it at first — until he realized it was actually a dog in the stroller.
"The situation seemed really weird," he said Friday.
Ruesen quickly recognized Mishah from missing dog posters around the city and phoned a number from the poster. He followed the owner at a distance for a while, then decided to alert police when he believed he saw the man hitting the dog.
"It was intense," said Ruesen.
A statement from police said they found Mishah with a 33-year-old Vancouver man. The dog was taken back to Lorimer and the other man, police said, was arrested on an unrelated warrant.
Police said the dog didn't show any signs of physical trauma.
Ruesen said he hasn't met Lorimer yet, because he wanted to give him space after he reunited with Mishah — but Ruesen said the dog owner seemed "overwhelmed."
Michael Lorimer describes what Mishah means to him:
Lorimer, who said he was devastated to find Mishah missing, is partially paralyzed and has panhandled in the neighbourhood for several years.
"She was with me 24-7. She's just a great little dog, a good little companion," he said on Dec. 2.
Vancouver police Const. Jason Doucette said the people that spotted Mishah in Gastown recognized the dog from media coverage.
"This is a great example of how the public, media and the VPD can work together and make good things happen," the officer said.
With files from Jon Hernandez
With files from Gian-Paolo Mendoza