TIMBER COVE - One could hardly blame Ray Frost for breaking down when he was reunited with his dog, Mike, a few days ago.
Frost and most of his family had given up hope of seeing their beloved shepherd mix ever again after he disappeared seven weeks ago.
So when two fishermen at the bottom of a cliff stumbled upon an emaciated dog Thursday night with just enough energy left to nab one of their fish, it was as if a miracle had befallen Frost, his wife and their three grieving daughters.
"It was quite a homecoming," Frost, 54, said Sunday. "It was pretty amazing."
"We just thought he was gone forever, you know?" his wife, Alicia Frost, said.
Folks all over Timber Cove and environs know Mike, who goes everywhere with Frost, perched atop the silvery tool box in the bed of his owner's white pickup, as he has for the past decade.
It's not clear how the nearly 12-year-old German shepherd/Akita mix found himself stranded about 150 feet down a ravine below Highway 1 just north of Ocean Cove, but Frost believes he may have "chased a varmint" off the cliff and been unable to climb back out.
The day, March 27, had otherwise been fairly normal, Mike going with Frost about his daily chores managing properties and maintaining landscaping in the area.
They had been working across Highway 1 from the family's home, and came home in the late afternoon for a little play time in the back yard before Frost put the dog's dinner out and went to feed the family rabbits.
Later that night, when his wife came home from work at the Timber Cove Lodge, she noticed Mike hadn't eaten and wasn't around to get the scraps she usually brought home from the restaurant.