GUELPH/ERAMOSA – After sleepless nights and hours spent searching through the early morning hours for their beloved pet, Macy has been found.
It’s a bundle of good furry news for the Mace family who were rocked by a Nov. 13 fire which ravaged their home, only purchased in May.
Kendra, her husband Brandon, and their youngest son Cohen were in Milton for a hockey tournament. It was just after 5:30pm when Kendra’s phone rang. It was their eldest, Ashton, calling to say the family home was ablaze.
Their two dogs, Cooper and Macy, had managed to escape the home in the ensuring chaos.
And while Cooper stayed at the scene, being outside wasn’t enough for Macy and the pooch ran off into the night.
“Normally Macy, the one that went missing, is crated,” Kendra said in a Nov. 18 phone call with the Advertiser.
But in the late afternoon on that fateful day, Ashton left for work, leaving the two dogs together in a sunroom.
“I think [she] ended up just pushing on it and jumping at it and scratching it enough to pop the door open and the two dogs got out of the sunroom,” Kendra said.
By the time firefighters had begun clearing after the fire, friends were already on the hunt for Macy.
She was seen sitting nearby on the front porch of the family’s old home but took off when approached.
Friends searched until midnight. But the couple weren’t about to rest—that wouldn’t happen for another two nights.
Kendra and Brandon went out several more times, finally taking a break around 3am before resuming their search again into the early morning hours of Sunday.
“We really didn’t know what the hell to do at this point, we were just hoping that she would just pop out,” Kendra said. “I was just devastated.”
Friends and strangers in the community started taking on different roles in the search to find Macy.
“I mean, people were calling the Humane Society, like we had so many people doing all that kind of stuff, because I think they knew that we couldn’t even figure out how to tie our shoes at this point because we were just so overwhelmed,” Kendra recounted.
Later that Sunday morning, “hundreds” of people came out to try and find the vanished pup.
For Kendra and Brandon, the day was carved up by fire and insurance investigators while also keeping up the search.
“At this point we had gone and plastered the whole area in posters with Macy, we were doing door-to-doors on the farm fields,” she said.
They even hired a dog tracker.
But as Macy had returned to their old family home, she too returned close to this one. It would be their neighbour John, living across the street, who heard her yelps and cries on Monday.
“I was talking to the gentleman that lived there and she started crying and so I ran … and then she just kind of stuck her head out between these two-by-fours that had fallen into this big foundation of a building,” Kendra said.
Kendra describes herself as being “hysterical.”
“She was licking my face and my neck and wagging her bum,” she said.
A checkup at the vet, complete with X-rays and blood work, showed Macy was in the clear.
Kendra and Macy returned to their temporary address of Brandon’s cousin, Kelly, and her husband, Grant Brubacher, and after having not slept for what felt like days, both Macy and Kendra finally found rest.
“The night we found her, she slept beside me and I literally wrapped my arms around her,” Kendra said.
“She’s like a child,” Kendra said. “The big joke in my house is I love my dogs more than anybody else … they become part of your family.”
Now that the family is one again, it’s on to figuring out how to live after losing everything they owned.
“You don’t think of everything that you’ve accumulated over the years and then all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, it’s gone, so now you’re rebuilding your entire life from scratch,” she remarked.
And that rebuilding, she compares to a full-time job, having taken the place of her role working as a nurse at Guelph General and Cambridge Memorial hospitals from where she’s stepped back to deal with the family’s state of limbo.
“I feel awful and I know we’re in a nursing crisis right now with the pandemic and everything, it’s horrible,” she said.
But Kendra is one to find silver linings when she speaks about the family’s circumstances.
“Everybody is safe,” she said, adding, “it can only get better.”
“We got awesome support, I feel like we can get through it, it’s just going to be a massive headache some days, I’m sure,” she said.
The charred remains of the house they were planning to fix up over the winter months will likely have to be torn down. Fire officials have pegged a preliminary damage estimate at $450,000.
“We’ve been told that it’s going to be probably a full tear down … it’s going to be almost a year before we even can get back in, or we’re gonna have to rebuild the house,” Kendra said.
In the meantime, an insurance company is looking for alternative living arrangements.
Asked by the Advertiser if there was anything the family needed from the community, she said, “We have a roof, we have heat, we have food and that’s all that really matters at this point; there’s other people out there that are suffering way worse, so we are still completely fully blessed.”
“We don’t even know how to repay our community, like they’ve just been amazing, everybody’s been amazing.”