You never know what will happen when you head out on a trail ride. Tammy Stevens went for a ride on her horse, Bo, and she brought her two dogs along for the fun. The Australian Shepherds, Wilson and Maddie, plodded alongside Tammy and her horse as they enjoyed the outdoors. The group didn’t expect to save the day, but that’s exactly what happened.
What started off as a fun walk at the Moalalla River Recreation Area quickly turned into panic when 2-year-old Iris Nix disappeared from the trail. The toddler was spending time with her grandmother, Gayla Ann, when she got excited and ran ahead. Gayla went after her energetic granddaughter, but the trail soon split into four different directions. Gayla searched frantically on her own for 15 minutes, but Iris didn’t show up. Not willing to waste any more time, Gayla called for help. She told FOX 12,
“Yea, 15 minutes I could tolerate. After 15 minutes I started to lose it.”
The Coackamas County Sheriff’s office responded to the call and organized a search. Several sheriff’s office deputies, local police officers, and nearby loggers joined forces to comb through the thick wilderness. As the search continued, several area residents and visitors also joined the effort–those included Tammy, her horse, and her two dogs.
Tammy searched the area from the saddle with her two dogs sniffing the ground below. After about 20 minutes, she heard a child crying. She said to her dog,
“Go get her!”
Four-legged Wilson followed the child’s crying up a steep embankment. He kept climbing and climbing, and Tammy eventually had to dismount Bo and tie him to a tree. She followed her dog up what she estimates to be a 70-foot slope, and there she was. Iris was crying and upset, but she was otherwise unharmed.
Tammy, Bo, and the dogs successfully got Iris back to her family after the toddler had been missing for two hours. With unpredictable weather and wildlife, the entire community is grateful that Tammy decided to go on a trail ride at the exact right time.