Dog who swam B.C.’s Columbia River multiple times while lost featured in children’s book

Jasper after he was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve SmithJasper after he was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith
The Hummels found Jasper in the middle of a dirt road on the opposite side of the river from Castlegar. Photo: Steve SmithThe Hummels found Jasper in the middle of a dirt road on the opposite side of the river from Castlegar. Photo: Steve Smith
The book is available on Amazon.The book is available on Amazon.

The story of a dog that swam back and forth across the Columbia River near Castlegar looking for his home has now been turned into a children’s book by its owners.

Jasper, a Great Pyrenees, wandered away from his Castlegar home on July 3, 2020. Later that day, he was spotted by a boater on the opposite side of the river across from Genelle.

The next day, he was seen in Genelle — he had crossed the river again.

Later the same day, Jasper was noticed by some campers, floating down the river on the opposite again. They were able to coax him to shore, but Jasper was skittish and refused to eat or stay.

Jasper’s owners, Brent and Mary Hummel, spent hours looking in the wilderness for their beloved dog.

After giving up for the day and heading back to town, one of them said, “This isn’t like Hollywood, where your dog just comes out of the woods running toward you.”

But, that is exactly what happened.

“A miracle happened,” said Hummel. “Right in the middle of the road — there was Jasper.”

RELATED: Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

All throughout the search for the dog, residents of Genelle pulled together to assist the Hummels in their search. People walked the area, used their boats to search the river and even used drones to search the wilderness. The book, Mary said, is a show of gratitude.

“It is a thank you to a community who rose up in the middle of COVID to help,” said Mary.

The first draft of the book was penned shortly after Jasper’s rescue.

Mary says Brent just sort of blurted out the story and she typed it up. They read the story to their grandchildren, who were captivated with it. That’s when they knew they could turn it into a book.

“It is a fun story — so why not share it,” says Mary.

Around the same time, Mary had to undergo back surgery, so she spent her recovery creating the illustrations for the book.

The original version was 3,500 words, too long for a children’s book, so they also had to trim the contents down to 1,350 words. That meant the story had to be condensed, and some of the people the authors had hoped to mention by name had to just be grouped together as a part of the story.

King of the Columbia, Jasper the Great Pyrenees can be found on Amazon in e-book, paperback, hard cover and audio book formats. The Hummels also hope to have the book in local stores soon.

The audio version was read by Mary and recorded by Drew Zibin in Grand Forks at Sound Advice.

The Hummels and Jasper have now moved back to their Grand Forks farm where they raise sheep and Jasper spends his days as a happy guard dog.



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

castlegarColumbia River

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City staff has passed an order requiring remedial action on a building that was severely damaged by fire last fall. Trevor Crawley photo.
City council orders remedial action on vacant buildings damaged by fire

City council has issued a remedial action order relating to vacant buildings… Continue reading

At the library
At the Cranbrook Public Library

By Mike Selby The Library is now open with extended hours (with… Continue reading

Candice Marie Neale was last seen by her family on May 5, 2021 around 11p.m. Cranbrook RCMP are asking anyone who sees Neale to contact police. (Submitted file)
UPDATE: Previously missing Cranbrook woman located, found safe and sound, says RCMP

Candice Marie Neale was reporting missing on Monday, she has since been found

Sisters Becky McArthur and Robin Hansen are the owners of Twisted Peaks, which marked its first birthday, May 11, 2021.
Twisted Peaks marks first birthday

Happy first birthday to Twisted Peaks, the frozen yogurt shop that began… Continue reading

GoByBike week takes place in Cranbrook from May 31st to June 6th. There are several challenges to participate in for the chance to win prizes, and the championship title. (Townsman file)
GoByBike week in Cranbrook returns at the end of May

Ride your bike to school or work between May 31st and June 6th

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read