Irreplaceable sign stolen from woman’s driveway an emotional loss

Adam MacInnis
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Donna Peart stands by the post at the end of her driveway where a dog sign a student made for her husband was stolen. Both the student and her husband have passed away and the sign was a cherished possession of Peart’s. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS

PICTOU COUNTY – If the person who took the sign from the end of her Logan Road driveway knew the story behind it, Donna Peart is sure they would have thought twice before swiping it.

Sometime overnight Sunday, someone stole the sign, cut and painted to resemble a Nova Scotia duck toller, from her property. When she discovered it was missing, she spent the day crying and desperately searching for it.

Here’s why.

While on paper, and to most people, it probably wasn’t worth much, to Peart it is irreplaceable. The sign was handcrafted for her late husband Bill before he died just last year after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. People might remember his story because of his effort to raise money and go to the United States for liberation treatment.

The sign was crafted by one of his students from Westville High School, a girl Donna said her husband thought of like a daughter. She made the sign using the skills he had taught her and he proudly put it at the end of his driveway for all who visited to see. Donna and Bill were duck toller breeders for years, which is why the student had made it in the shape of the dog.

Over time the sign became part of the way they gave directions to their home.

“Just look for the driveway with the dog sign,” they would tell people.

“It was a popular little sign,” said Donna.

Donna remembers coming home one day to find her husband crying in the kitchen. He told her that the girl who made the sign had died unexpectedly. The sign in front of his home became a fond memory of her for them both and they lovingly had it repainted on a regular basis to keep it looking good.

Since Monday, Peart said she’s searched both sides of the road in hopes the person who took it off the post might have just thrown it away, but to no avail. She’s called scrapyards and the police, but so far nothing has come up.

Donna said she doesn’t want to press charges or even to know who took the sign. She just wants the sign itself back.

She hopes whoever took the sign might read this story and realize how much the sign meant to her. Just maybe, they might understand and put it back.

“It just means so much,” she said.

Organizations: Westville High School

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, United States

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Recent comments

  • Sabrina
    September 19, 2012 - 23:33

    Okay, i don't like the fact that you said that someone 18 have done that. that is so hypercritical i am under 18 and not once i have done this or even thought about it, alot of my friends won't even do it. so please stop saying 18 and under does this!

    • John
      September 20, 2012 - 09:59

      I don't like the fact that out of this whole story, you've taken issue with a comment made here instead of focusing on what's important - a woman lost something that meant a lot to her and is hurt by it. And it doesn't matter if YOU or YOUR friends never thought of doing something like this, as the original commentor pointed out - and many others here as well - others have. So, please, keep your focus on what's important here and not your perceieved slighting in an issue which has nothing to do with you as an individual. May whoever took the sign (under 18 or above), have a change of conscious and return it in one piece to it's rightful owner to whom it means something.

  • Kevin Smith
    September 19, 2012 - 22:07

    I had Mr. Peart as a teacher, he was a great role model to his students including me, but to see this happen makes me very mad. Please whomever stole the sign and reading this or know who stole the sign, please return it and any other signs you stole.

  • Mike Kontuk
    September 19, 2012 - 21:53

    Ok, Really guys. Although you may not now realize the seriousness of what you've done, if you ever get caught with that sign, you will, because everyone will know your name and you'll end up famous for all the wrong reasons. Your best bet is to just go back and hang it back on the post and forget it ever happened. In the end, that's all everyone really wants.

  • A J Jackson
    September 19, 2012 - 10:22

    Unfortunately nothing will ever change until those certain uncaring under 18"s are identified by face and name! Then they might think twice about committing these senseless crimes.

    • Christine
      September 19, 2012 - 11:47

      How do you know they are under 18...When I worked Security it was all ages that stole...cause trouble.

  • Kirby
    September 19, 2012 - 09:31

    Likely the same culprits that painted obscenities on Glen Lovat's sign in Wood burn and the new Mail boxes in Woodburn. Mail boxes were cleaned up by the Neighbour's. You can likely follow their trail through to Little Harbour.

  • Debbie Roberts
    September 19, 2012 - 09:10

    So sorry to hear about this. Like the other posters, I feel it was probably done by kids out on a lark - they probably have no idea of the meaning of the sign to you. I hope this story touches their hearts and they bring it back.

  • Geralyn and Dennis Tobin
    September 19, 2012 - 08:45

    Good luck Donna, I'm sure the person who took it, (if they have a heart )will return it. I sure hope so. I understand its value and meaning!

  • FireHouse Ironworks
    September 19, 2012 - 08:15

    If the sign is not returned, we would be happy to replicate it for Mrs Peart.

    • mike
      September 19, 2012 - 10:05

      What a nice jester FIREHOUSE IRONWORKS. That is amazingly generous of you. Although it is not the original, looking at the new sign should also spark fond memories. Nice to see that there are still some great people in our world. So sorry to read this story Ms. Peart. Hoping that your original is returned.

    • Donna Peart
      September 19, 2012 - 13:19

      Thank you very much Firehouse Ironworks for your generous offer! Of course I am still hoping that the original sign will be returned but if not I will definitely call you. Thank you so much again!

    • Gregson Signs
      September 20, 2012 - 00:40

      Our best dog ever was a toller, he died many years ago. I'm sorry you've had so many losses in your life Mrs. Peart, and was going to offer our services to replace your sign if you could provide photos of it for our shop to reproduce. Looks like the good people of Firehouse Ironworks have been very generous and are going to handle things for you. I just bet that duck tolling retriever shows up in the next few days, right where it belongs.

  • Logan Road Resident
    September 19, 2012 - 08:10

    I live on this same road as Mrs. Peart and now that I have read her story, realize that my own unique handpainted driveway sign depicting my street number 611, has also been stolen. I noticed it missing Monday night, but thought it must have blown off, but realize now it has reached a similar fate. My father cut out the design for me and it was painted by me. I too, would like to receive my sign back.

  • Catherine
    September 19, 2012 - 07:54

    I truly hope the individual(s) who are responsible for taking this sign read this story and return it. What a shame! Thinking of you, Donna!

  • wm ferguson
    September 19, 2012 - 07:53

    Someone child was bored! Now it is time to grow up and bring back the sign in person and apologize do not leave it at the end of the driveway on the ground in a cowardly way.

  • Nursie
    September 19, 2012 - 07:40

    I hope you get your sign back in one piece. The little jerk(s) who took it probably are waiting for a reward now to return it. I cant believe what a miserable place Pictou County has become.

  • barb burns
    September 19, 2012 - 07:24

    I have known the Pearts for many years , we live in the same neighbourhood. Bill was a good man and Donna is a good women. But in our area we don't see the police much. But when Trenton had a police force, they were always out this way. Donna I hope who ever took your sign will but it back. We need to see the police more and maybe some off the noise and the four wheelers going upn the road will stop. and maybe some people will stop shooting their guns.

  • Lynda Hixson
    September 19, 2012 - 05:20

    I sure hope that compassion moves the person who took this sign to bring it back ....... I know how much Donna is missing that sign ....... a memorial to her husband Bill and his student. Thanks so much for such a well written story

  • Denise Baillie
    September 18, 2012 - 23:49

    Oh, Donna, how horrible! I sincerely hope you get the sign back! I'm sure the person who stole it would never have touched it if they only knew....hopefully they see this story and return it to you!

  • Hopeful
    September 18, 2012 - 23:01

    I hope the person that did this comes forward and returns the sentimental property!

  • margie
    September 18, 2012 - 21:20

    What a shame. People today think they can take what they want for kicks and giggles while the person they took it from is crying from a broken heart. Not funny. Sad sad sad. I hope the person who took it does return it as it has no meaning to them.