Some local pet owners are celebrating now that their dog is home safe after eight frigid nights lost in the snow and ice.
“I was in disbelief, absolute disbelief. I just couldn’t believe that in the midst of all this rain and the ice on roads still, and traffic that it was really her,” said Carol Hellebuyck, dog owner.
Bailey, the 9-year old, eight pound Shih Tzu-mix rarely leaves her mama’s side.
“She’s our little girl,” Hellebuyck said.
So eight nights apart out in the elements was excruciating for everyone involved.
“There are coyotes, raccoons, and possums in the neighborhood. There are also cars that could hit her,” Hellebuyck explained.
Hellebuyck says last Tuesday when she was gone, Bailey slipped out the back doggie door of their southwest Portland home, and escaped from a hole in their backyard fence. She believes the dog was spooked when maintenance crews showed up to work on the house.
As soon as she walked in the door, she knew something wasn’t right.
“The dogs greet me at the door, and there were only two not three dogs,” Hellebuyck said.
Day after day, Carol Hellebuyck and her husband Bruce refused to give up searching for their pup.
“We took our flyers door-to-door for two and a half to three hours during the snow,” Hellebuyck said..
Eight days came and went, and over a foot of snow sat on the ground.
“It’s 15 degrees at night, and we were thinking we’ve probably lost her for certain,” Hellebuyck recalled.
After checking with their vet, the Humane Society, and neighbors, they had one last idea.
“We just decided to Google ‘search and rescue’, and found this guy, and he’s only an hour from here, and seemed to have a great track record,” Hellebuyck told FOX 12.
Harry Oakes and his two search and rescue border collies drove out from Longview, and after a sniff of Bailey’s little dog sweater, they were on the trail.
“We found her within 30 minutes,” Hellebuyck exclaimed.
The search and rescue dogs found Bailey about a mile from home, curled up in a wooded area.
“She was wet down to the core and shivering,” said Hellebuyck.
But it wouldn’t be that easy.
“The dogs were coming up to her, and she scooted out of there and ran down Canyon Road,” Hellebuyck said.
Thankfully, two men in a car pulled over when they saw little Bailey bolting across Canyon Road. They caught her and held her, until the search group got to her.
Hellebuyck and her husband have their theories of how Bailey survived.
“My guess is that she was in someone’s garage,” Hellebuyck said.
But they’ll never actually know what their four-legged child went through, eight nights on her own.
“This is when you really just wish they could talk,” said Hellebuyck.
The first thing they did when they found Bailey was take her to the vet. Other than being very tired and hungry, they say she’s in great health and good spirits.
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