Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My brother, Mark, does not have any children.  However, he has two dogs, Lily and Daisy, Jack Russell Terrier mixes and both rescues.  These are his children.  Because Lily was a rescue, she is very shy around anyone other than Mark, or his partner, John. 

Several weeks ago, one Thursday morning, John was walking both dogs in downtown Seattle near Western and the viaduct, when they were set upon by two other dogs, whose owner could not hold them back.  Both Lily and Daisy slipped out of their collars and went running.  John was able to grab Daisy but  his last sight of  Lily was of her running up the off ramp to the viaduct and heading south. That would be the lower level of the viaduct, which is  pictured below being repaired after one of our earthquakes:

John called Mark in a panic.  Mark was at work in the operating room at the hospital  (he's an anesthesiologist), and Mark found a physician to sub in for him, and he and John went searching for Lily on the viaduct.  Someone had seen her heading off to the industrial part of Seattle south of downtown, so they, together with neighbors and relatives from John's side of the family, began a sweep of SoDo that lasted Thursday, Friday and part of Saturday.  I had just returned from Hawaii and had just had an infusion, so was not able to help in the field.  As a result, I participated by assisting Mark by putting an ad with a very generous reward on Craig's List, and by listening to both Mark and John as they went through this very traumatic event for them.  It is a very desolate area where Lily was thought to be, with 16 wheelers all over the place,  and dozens of railroad tracks blocking traffic.  But the group was indefatigable, placing signs, knocking on doors of warehouses, factories, and even a sweat shop once!  Mark and John were in the industrial part of Seattle  at 3am both Fri and Saturday mornings.  And then getting up at 5 or 6 am afterwards to resume their search.

On Saturday, Mark increased his already generous reward on Craig's List five fold.  And then at 11 a miracle happened.  A young man, on his way to Tully's (the old Rainier brewery) on the west of I-5, saw an exhausted dog shivering on the doorsteps of a vacant office building.  He took this picture with his phone camera:

He went up to the very tired, cold dog, whose front paws were shredded, and put his jacket over her to warm her up.  Then he fashioned a collar and leash out of some string he had in his backpack and he and the dog went to Tully's where the dog could further warm up, and he could meet the friends he was planning to meet and get some coffee.  He called his wife and texted the dog picture to her.  She went online to Craig's list and found my brother's ad with his picture of Lily and said, "I think I found the dog."  She called my brother's number and Mark and John zoomed down to Tully's to a very jubilant and tearful reunion with Lily.  It was just incredible.

The couple was very kind.  They were the loving parents of  a rescue dog themselves, and insisted that they didn't want the reward, but my very stubborn brother was having none of it and he wrote them the check for the full amount.  Which was truly serendipity because this was a young couple living in a one bedroom apartment in Ballard, and it seemed that they not only deserved the reward but that they could use the money.

So that Saturday evening, the guys held a champagne celebration for Lily in their house on Perkins Lane, and all of John's relatives and all their neighbors who assisted in the search came over and toasted Lily's return. 

I had a nice conversation with some of their neighbors and, as it does oftentimes with me, we discussed modern day politics.  And to no one's surprise here,  I have very definite opinions on things and was quite free with them.  Well, it turns out that the one of the persons I was talking with works for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  As a Judge.  Well....  Good thing I practice in state courts. 

His wife raises black labs, so they too, are dog lovers and it turns out that one weekend evening when he was out of town, she was walking one of their labs on the Magnolia bluff and her dog fell over the bluff and was caught in the branches of a tree.  She called Mark and John and they lowered Mark on a rope so he could grab the lab and they pulled them back up the bluff.  She said she felt, that in searching for Lily, she was only returning the favor.


Dan Matyola said...

There are good reasons that dogs are called our best friends. I glad to hear everything work out well, after what must have been a long, stressful search and wait.

Stay Strong.

swisstraveler said...

And now I have to go and dry my tearing eyes! Great, but very emotional story! I am happy it ended so well, since from personal experience it seldom does.---Madeleine

odp said...

So good to know that there are kind caring people out there (and smart dogs, to not get hit by the semis). Best wishes to Lily for a long happy life, and a hug for Mark and John!

Dorothy said...

Happy beyond words that Lily was found safe and mostly sound!! Thanks for sharing this story.