Calgary Transit bus driver helps rescue runaway dog

Calgary Transit driver, two teens save escaped pooch from busy southeast road

Shannon Sammel, left, Leslie Sammel, centre, meet with Operator David Bolander, to thank him for saving Charlie the dog. AZIN GHAFFARI

Leslie Sammel and her daughter Shannon were taking Charlie for a walk for the first time this past Saturday when the dog slipped out of his collar and ran off.

“It was the first time that Charlie had been without me, so I think it was a little scary for him,” said Shannon. 

Leslie tried to chase after Charlie, while calling out his name and asking for help, but wasn’t able to keep up with the dog as he ran along Promenade Way SE toward McKenzie Towne Link SE.

“At that point I could do nothing,” Leslie said.

David Bolander, who was driving his Calgary Transit community shuttle bus in McKenzie Towne, saw Leslie’s distress while she was running after the loose dog and pulled his bus over at the stop light on 52 Street SE and put his hazard lights on.

Bolander, with the help of two teenagers, Wyatt Moss and Kaden Mitchell, corralled the dog, preventing him from accessing a busy 52 Street SE.

“If he would have made it to the 52 Street, I don’t think he would have made it past the street,” said Bolander.

Bolander jumped out of the bus and yelled out to two teenagers to help him stop the dog from running away. At this time Charlie was running in the middle of the street.

The three rescuers chased after the dog to the other side of the street and were able to grab him in a bank of snow by the sidewalk. Charlie was saved and carried across the street to Leslie’s arms.

“It felt really nice. The look on her face went from sheer terror to joy,” said Bolander.

Shannon has been dealing with some health issues including Auto Immune Disease and she rescued Charlie about two months ago to help get her through the hard time she has been having. 

“He forces me to not always focus on myself, and what’s going on with my condition. It’s really helpful,” said Shannon.

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