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home : current news : current news July 26, 2017

10/22/2013 11:50:00 AM
Tiny dog survives sojourn in wilderness
Dennis Johnson is glad to have Maisey back. photo by Jim Cornelius
+ click to enlarge
Dennis Johnson is glad to have Maisey back. photo by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

Maisey should not be alive.

Dennis Johnson's miniature Dachshund - all 10 pounds of her - spent a week-and-a-half roaming the wilds of Sisters Country, with her sorrowful owner giving her up for dead.

It started when Johnson, a Sisters resident for the past six months, stopped at the place he owns at Black Butte Ranch on his way into town.

"I was unloading the truck and I looked around and she was gone," he recalled.

He was horrified to think of her alone in the woods. The dog is a tiny representative of a tiny breed.

"She was the runt," Johnson said. "She was the smallest of the litter."

After searching high and low and putting an ad on Craigslist, Johnson had just about given up hope. He put together a small memorial for his beloved pet and headed up to Lake Billy Chinook to clear his head. On his way, he got a call from his recently estranged wife: Someone had responded to the ad - they'd spotted the dog in the forest between Sisters and Black Butte Ranch.

Johnson rushed back to the area and hunted over every trail he could find. No Maisey. But Johnson had a kind of premonition.

"I just had a feeling she was going to come back to Black Butte Ranch," he said.

He took his sleeping bag and slept in the house with the sliding door open, convinced she would appear. But it didn't happen. Crestfallen, he got in the truck and headed out, leaving the slider open, just in case. Then he spotted what he believed were tiny paw prints over his incoming tire


He went back to the house, and through the front door, and there she was - bedraggled, skinny and injured.

"She'd been bitten by a coyote," he said. "She was a week-and-a-half in the woods. She'd lost a lot of weight. She didn't look too good."

Johnson rushed Maisey off to Sisters Veterinary Clinic, where she was patched up and put on the mend.

The vet, Black Butte Police, and Johnson himself are amazed that she survived, literally escaping the jaws of death.

And Johnson is grateful to everyone who was helpful and encouraging through the ordeal.

"The community was unbelievable," he said. "I've only lived here six months, so it kind of surprised me. Just so much heart."

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