Real-life lassie ran four miles to help owner in ravine

This is a good news story and as expected it is all over the Internet but I feel compelled to add one more page about it based on the reporting in my daily newspaper, The Times. It concerns a man, Brandon Garrett, in Oregon, who was driving down a road with his four dogs in the back of his vehicle when he lost control. Regrettably, he was on a road with a steep fall away on one side and he careered off the embankment and crashed into a ravine a hundred feet below.

The rescue and Garrett's car at the bottom of the ravine
The rescue and Garrett’s car at the bottom of the ravine. Image: Good News Movement.

It is lucky that he and his dogs survived looking at the photographs but he did and he managed to crawl out of the wrecked vehicle with his dogs but he was badly injured and three of his dogs were also injured according to my report.

However, one of his dogs remained uninjured, a two-year-old whippet named Blue. He was unscathed and fit and ready to go and raise the alarm. He ran back to the campsite 4 miles away where Garrett had been staying with a friend.

This was a key moment in his rescue and Brandon’s brother, Tyree, said that Blue is a “real-life Lassie.”

This is in reference to the fictional collie who became a byword for canine derring-do and good deeds. Blue “let everybody know that there was something wrong” in the words of Tyree.

Tyree and several friends joined local residents to search for Garrett. They went 10 miles up a creek and thought that there were a couple of places where they could look down into the ravine. With great good fortune the first place where they stopped, they looked down into the ravine and saw Garrett’s pickup truck on its side about a hundred feet down at the bottom. They felt sure that he was a goner.

Tyree called down to Garrett but there was no response. He left the woods to find a phone signal to alert the authorities. And they came in full force: the Baker County Sheriff brushless office, Pine Valley Rural Fire volunteers and the U.S. Forest Service all turned up to help.

They felled some trees to allow a path to be cleared to assist with the rescue.

Garrett heard the sheriff’s deputy calling his name and when found was wrapped in a rescue blanket and pulled up from the ravine using a highline rope system from where he was airlifted to hospital.

Tyree confirmed that his brother was badly bruised and battered and two his dogs were also severely injured. One suffered a broken hip and pelvis and the second broke a leg.

Garrett is now recovering at home with his family with his dogs at his side. The rescue has been shared on Facebook by the sheriff which also prompted comparisons between Blue and Lassie (can’t find the post – it may have been removed after the story broke on news media).

Tyree added that his brother is a dog lover and that his rescue and the assistance of Blue ‘were amazing’.

1 thought on “Real-life lassie ran four miles to help owner in ravine”

  1. Another great story that reminds us of the special bond between dog and human and how canines have served us for up to 30,000 years. Thanks for the story.

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