A Duncan man has put his life on hold to find his best friend, Keno. Keno is Jesse McMaster’s four-year-old husky-shepherd cross, who went missing one week ago Monday on Mt. Prevost in the Cowichan Valley.
"He saw an elk and he took off real quick and I lost him out of my hands," said McMaster. "He ran as fast as he could after him, up the mountain."
As he ran, McMAster says Keno dragged a 10-foot leash behind him.
"I stayed out there for another three to four days," said the distraught dog owner. "I slept in my car and took work off."
McMaster never found Keno but there were clues. Lesli Steeves is with ROAM, an organization that helps reunite lost animals with their owners on Vancouver Island.
"There were his footprints in the snow and you could see where his long line was trailing," said Steeves.
Then those footprints disappeared. But, where they stopped there were vehicle tracks.
By Saturday, McMaster had received several reports of people spotting Keno.
"We had a sighting up in Coombs at the Coombs Country Campground," said McMaster.
Nearly 100 kilometres away from where Keno was last seen, there were reports of a dog matching Keno’s description at the campground, including a leash and collar still attached to the animal. People said they saw the dog licking the grill of a BBQ at a campsite.
"The one in the campground is a for sure sighting," said Steeves.
After that, another sighting was reported on Chatsworth Road in Whiskey Creek. Now, Jesse is staying in town, hoping Keno is close.
"Last night, I was actually offered by a very generous local out here in Whiskey Creek, they offered me their fifth wheel," said McMaster.
Now that there are several strong leads into Keno’s whereabouts, the question is, how did he get there?
"There's a couple of potentials," said Steeves. "Apparently there are some transient people that camp on that side of the mountain, so the north side of Prevost, who go to Coombs a lot. So he may have gone there with them."
The other possibility is he followed the power lines himself, all the way to Coombs, according to Steeves.
"He means the world to me," said McMaster. "I have taken every day off of work, I have stayed out in the rain everyday for 18 hours, waiting, looking."
"I just want my boy," he said.
ROAM is encouraging anyone living in the area to check outbuildings and barns for Keno. If you do spot him, you are asked to not approach and instead try to get a photo of him and call ROAM as soon as possible to report the sighting.