‘Geriatric’ dog lost for 4 days near Rum Creek Fire rescued by firefighters
JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - A fire crew working on the Rum Creek Fire in Josephine County is to thank for rescuing a dog that had been lost for four days.
On Aug. 21, Robert and Sandy Clark were visiting the Whisky Creek lookout with their “geriatric” Jack Russel Terrier, Otis. It started to get too hot and the Clarks decided to go home when Otis suddenly turned and began racing down a steep slope. Otis ignored the Clarks calls to come back.
“The Clarks stayed for hours, walking and driving around, calling for Otis, getting no response,” Rum Creek Fire officials said in a Facebook post. “Early the next morning, they resumed the search, leaving a blanket, food, and water, and asking everyone they met to keep an eye out for Otis.”
Friends and strangers also joined the Clarks search for Otis, and flyers were posted around the area.
Four days later, Rum Creek Fire helicopter dip site manager Michael McDaniels found Otis sitting in mud at the confluence of the Rogue River and Whisky Creek.
“He could hardly move his back legs,” McDaniels said. “I tried to get him to follow me, but he couldn’t, and I thought ‘Oh, boy.’”
McDaniels learned from fire communications that Otis had been reported as missing. After fire communication staff contacted the Clarks, McDaniels and his fellow crew members took turns carrying Otis up the Rogue River Trail to meet the couple at Grave Creek Boat Ramp.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to us,” Robert Clark told the trio of firefighters who rescued Otis.
Robert, who worked as a wildland firefighter in the 1980s, said some of his best memories are of finding and returning lost hunting dogs to their owners.
Robert says after making up for all the meals he missed and getting some rest, Otis is back to his old self.
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