When the tornado ripped through Roxanne Cronk's neighbourhood in Angus, Ont. last Tuesday, it tore apart the second floor of her home, destroyed her bedroom walls and exposed her house to the elements. The pain and discomfort that followed, however, were exacerbated by the sudden disappearance of the family's best friend: Fonzie, her six year-old greyhound.
"He was very scared, and he just ran," Cronk told the Star. "It's day five now. He's probably hungry, thirsty and tired. He'll probably run up to people for food, we're hoping."
Displaced by the whirlwind, Cronk, an imagery technician in the Royal Canadian Navy, is now living in a temporary shelter with her husband, Master Cpl. James Wood. They were huddling inside the house when the tornado struck.
The violent winds suddenly tore the front door off and Fonzie, who had stayed calm throughout most of the afternoon, took off. His long, slender legs and his natural propensity for racing as a greyhound allowed him to cover a lot of ground — unfortunately.
Her house is being taken care of, and her family, Cronk says, has largely recovered from the devastation caused by the twister. All she wants is her family pet.
"It would mean the world to me," she said
Before he went missing, Fonzie was part of the St. John Ambulance Therapy dog program, an organization that provides comfort to residents in hospitals, senior residences, or nursing homes. Cathy Fleming, the group's former co-ordinator, met Fonzie when he was first accepted into the program and believes his therapy training should make for an easier search.
"Therapy dogs are special dogs," Fleming said. "He's not afraid of people. He will approach them."
The dog was last seen Wednesday 25 side road 56 county road. Anyone who sees Fonzie should call 705-794-5598 or the Barrie branch of the SPCA at 705-728-7311.
Meanwhile, Angus residents' efforts to clean up and make repairs continued.
Jean Wise told the Barrie Advance that when her husband Bob began using a chainsaw to clean a path through the fallen trees on their 75-foot driveway, "just after he started we heard chainsaws at the other end." Strangers had arrived to pitch in — and the small bits of good fortune did not end there.
"A mother robin built her nest on our kitchen window, and the eggs had just hatched on Monday. They made it through unharmed," Wise said. "The mother is not too happy with the chainsaws, but she's still feeding the babies."
Two area radio stations are throwing a charity barbecue on Sunday at a local store (Justin & Stacey's No Frills) to raise money for the Township of Essa Tornado Relief