Lana de Bastiani had her dinner in the oven Tuesday evening when she decided to go for a little skate.

She walked down to nearby Rat Lake in Yellowknife, wearing her brand new Steger moosehide mukluks and a pair of combination beaver and lynx fur mitts, a cherished gift handed down to her from her mother.

De Bastiani says she noticed a fox doing circuits in the area, but with her earbuds in, she was mostly enjoying the music and the moonlight skate without giving the critter a second thought.

"We were playing with each for a little bit with eye contact," she said.

"But then I went back to my skating and at the end I went to go take my skates off and I realized that both my boot and my fur mittens ... were missing."

Lost mitts

De Bastiani's mitts were a gift from her mother, and the boot on the right is the partner to the one that went missing Tuesday evening. (Submitted by Lana de Bastiani)

"I just burst into tears," she said.

She ran home to enlist her roommate and dog in a search of the area.

"Luckily I found the mitts first thing and that was just such a sense of relief because those are irreplaceable, but we scoured the area for a while and there [was] still no sign of the boot."

Di Bastiani boot

De Bastiani recovered this boot the next day, with leather laces missing and evidence of nibbling along the top. (Submitted by Lana de Bastiani)

De Bastiani said she eventually gave up, suspecting a sly fox was probably lining its den with her still-missing Steger boot.

She went home to what was by then a burnt dinner and settled for pizza instead.

On Wednesday afternoon she recovered her missing boot. A neighbour found it with nibbles along the top, and some missing leather laces, but otherwise no worse for wear.

"I assume it was too heavy for the fox or it decided that the straps were enough of a treat and ditched the boot."

With files from Lawrence Nayally and Peter Sheldon