My dog’s 3 long days lost in the urban Beaverton wilderness: I hope my story helps others who’s dogs run off
So our story begins on a Saturday morning, March 27, 2021 as my dog, Layla, and I got off the bus at the Beaverton transit center on Lombard Ave. It was a bright and sunny, cool crisp day as spring just took the baton from winter and the world was just getting its footing.
We were sitting across from a field when I made the mistake of tying my dog Layla to my briefcase for a minute while I plotted and planned our path to success for that day. I should have known better since Layla is a Red Heelerish Rottweiling ball of happy nervousness AND lighting quick skittishness that left unattended can get a little haywire. Which is exactly what was about to happen.
Yeah, that Max came tooting its horn and rolling around the corner just unexpectedly enough to send my dog into a run and with the briefcase dragging behind her, this only upped the level of commotion. She broke into a full sprint (briefcase still attached) and crossed the field in a flash. I frantically tried to call her back, but she was off without a thought of turning back. The briefcase broke off and before I knew it, she was out of sight into an apartment complex.
I was in a state of disbelief and terror. I knew my dog well enough to know she would be pretty much impossible to catch and that where she was likely running was full of fast cars and streets that she would probably be flying down; likely darting back and forth in between traffic.
Running around the complex, I talked to everyone I saw without luck. Next, I called the police and asked them to be on the lookout. One officer actually got back to me saying a dog fitting Layla’s description had been reported running down Canyon Road near Lombard.
On the officer’s advice, I called the animal shelter which helped, but the more invaluable help came from a woman named Kim who is part of a private Facebook club dedicated to finding lost pets. Kim is like a professional dog rescuer and helped get the word out to the public.
Kim also counseled me that after a while, a lost dog would most likely shelter in place, meaning she would remain in a location indefinitely while focusing on food, water, and shelter.
Over the next two days, my life was a blur:
- Another sighting on the 217 on-ramp with a small piece of her leash dangling from her neck.
- Searching the big grassy area across from Fred Meyers.
- Checking in with different shelters.
- Searching the industrial along Hwy 217
- Putting up posters with Kim
- Returning home briefly to take care of my cats, eat a bite and take a nap.
- Walking the train tracks in downtown
- Checking out another sighting near 111th Ave. where a driver scared away two coyotes harassing my poor Layla!
Day 3… I can’t remember exactly what went down but I felt I was running out of time. Throughout the day I thought about the coyote sighting so around 7pm, I returned to the industrial area near 111th Ave.
I put down my stuff in a safe spot and then proceeded to weave in and out of buildings, ducking behind dark corners, under ropes and other such ‘keep out’ boundaries. By the time I circled back to my stuff, it was very dark, but I heard a dog barking.
At first, I thought maybe it was a police K-9 unit I saw parked nearby. But as I got closer to my stuff, I heard the barking come closer. I started to become incredulous. Could it be? Closing the gap, I pointed my flashlight toward my stuff, and there, standing by my stuff, barking, and wagging her tail, was a black whimpering excited little puppy. Layla had found me!
I called Kim with the miraculous news. She and I had both gone through a lot of effort just to have a shot at getting this dog back. Kim came to pick us up and graciously drove us back home. She also took a couple of neat photos at the exact spot of the reunion that came out pretty cool because Layla and I were surrounded in a green pool of light.
Many thanks to everyone who reported seeing Layla during those three scary days but most of all, a huge shout out to Kim and her amazing Facebook group!
By Brandon Morgrove. If you ever find yourself in my situation, do not hesitate to reach out to Lost/Found Pets – Washington County, Oregon on Facebook