A furloughed federal worker and his family loaded a camper Sunday with outdoor supplies and their 8-year-old English bulldog, Jack, and took a road trip to Bend.
The goal was a short getaway that didn’t involve a lot of stress for the Newport residents. The reality was quite different.
As Michael and Abby Card and their three sons made their way on U.S. Highway 20 west of Sisters, a white car sped up around them with hazard lights on, its driver honking the horn and motioning for them to pull over.
Stopped on the side of the road, the Cards watched the driver open the car’s hatchback and then stood in awe when they saw Jack inside. He was dirty, bloody and shaking, wrapped in a rainbow quilt. The Cards had no idea Jack had pushed against the camper door until it broke open and had rolled out onto the highway.
“At first, I didn’t even realize it was our dog,” Abby Card said. “As soon as I realized, I was completely terrified.”
Jack had broken his right leg and had road rash on his stomach. The family rushed him to the Bend Veterinary Clinic, where he was kept overnight Sunday and released Monday morning.
In the frenzy of finding their dog in another person’s car, the Cards never asked for the driver’s name or phone number.
All they remember is the driver was a middle-aged woman with shoulder-length salt-and-pepper hair and a slim build.
They hope to find her and thank her for saving their dog’s life.
“I would love to be able to give her the quilt back and maybe give her a piece of artwork or have the kids make her a card,” Abby Card said. “Just something to let her know how much it meant to us and for her to know Jack is OK.”
The road trip was supposed to be a break for the family. Michael Card, an officer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been working without pay for the past month due to the federal government shutdown.
The family thought the trip would be an affordable way to get out of town and enjoy the snow around Bend with Jack, whom they call their fuzzy potato.
They planned on camping, hiking and sledding.
Instead, they spent most of the time at the veterinary clinic and had to spend more than $1,000. After Jack was released Monday, the couple’s three boys — Asher, 13; Oliver, 10; and Gabe, 6 — went sledding in Tumalo before heading home to the coast. It was a much-needed distraction, Abby Card said.
“They found a hill and took their sleds down it,” she said. “They did get to have a little bit of fun.”
Abby Card shared the experience on Facebook in hopes of finding the woman who saved Jack. The Facebook post has been shared hundreds of times, and many people have offered their well-wishes and support.
“I’ve been really touched with everyone’s effort to help find and thank this woman for what she did,” Abby Card said.
Abby Card imagines the incident must have been terrifying for the woman to see a bulldog rolling her way on the highway.
“I cannot imagine the shock and horror,” she said. “It’s just horrible.”
Jack, who is expected to make a full recovery, will never ride in the camper again, Abby Card said. On future trips Jack will ride on her lap like he did as a puppy.
“He can sit on my lap,” she said. “His 60-pound dog dream is coming true.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7820, firstname.lastname@example.org