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Black lab mix OK after 60-foot tumble

GALICE — Christine Martin was hiking the Rogue River Trail last week with her black lab mix, Travis, when Travis suddenly went missing.

He had been running ahead as Martin enjoyed the scenery past the Grave Creek boat landing, then running back every couple of minutes to check up on her.

But then Martin noticed Travis wasn't running back.

"I found him by the second stream crossing," said Martin, who had been hiking the trail Thursday while visiting the area from Fairbanks, Alaska. "Unfortunately, I didn't see it happen. That hike has a lot of steep cliffs, and along one creek, he lost his footing exploring something."

Travis, an older dog who has suffered from arthritis for years, had taken a 60-foot tumble. He had injured his right hip and was unable to climb out on his own.

Martin was out of cellphone service range at the time and had to drive back to where she was camping at Indian Mary Park to call for help. A rescue squad from Rural/Metro Fire Department hiked to the remote spot in 20 to 30 minutes.

Six members of the Rural/Metro Fire Department climbed down to where Travis fell, rigged him into a harness and lifted him to safety.

"They lifted him into the back of my Highlander, and he was very happy to be in the car," Martin said. "It's a nice big seat, and he was happy to drink and eat all his food."

The elderly dog also got a nice treat Friday after his scare Thursday night.

"Today he got some steak," Martin said.

Despite the harrowing experience, Martin was grateful to have the help of the Rural/Metro Fire Department volunteers in getting Travis back to her safely.

"He'll be OK," Martin said. "He's injured his hip before trying to jump in car and slipped. He usually can't walk very well for a few days, and this will be more than a few days this time."

According to Rural/Metro, the whole incident lasted about four hours.

"Got the dog out and everybody was happy," Austin Prince, division chief of Rural/Metro, said Friday morning.

Reach reporter Madeline Shannon at 541-474-3813 or mshannon@thedailycourier.com.