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A Pup’s Escape From Danger: Lita’s Story

By Belinda Cai

Jason Medina unexpectedly came across Lita, a Jack Russel mix, one evening in downtown Portland, where he lived several years ago. Someone who appeared to be a runaway told Jason he didn’t have the means to take care of Lita, who was a puppy at the time. Jason took her home, and the two have been inseparable since. 

Lita is now ten-years-old but still has the energy of a playful puppy. She can be anxious sometimes, but loves to play — and is always friendly. 

Jason and Lita now live in Los Angeles. One day, when Jason was out with Lita, a larger dog appeared and started to chase after her. Lita escaped her leash, and the two dogs were off. Jason was incredibly worried and devastated, thinking she would either get attacked or the two dogs would get hit by a car in the busy street. What actually happened surprised him, and is nothing short of a blessing.

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A happy Lita as a pup.

Dog Whisperer HQ: Describe how you felt that day when Lita escaped and was being chased by a larger dog. What went through your head? 

Jason: When the dogs were running toward the busy main street, I was sure that either Lita would trip and the larger dog would catch and hurt her, or that one or both of them would be hit by a car. Once I saw them successfully cross the street, I initially was relieved, but then had a sinking feeling that if Lita managed to escape, she was going to be lost. I wouldn’t be able to find her, especially on foot.

DW: So these two women, who were strangers, offered to help drive you to find Lita? How did you feel when they helped?

J: I was sincerely grateful that they were willing to interrupt their day to help me, but also felt a little bit like I was humoring them. I honestly didnʼt think that we were going to find Lita.

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Jason and Lita.

DW: After the long and tiring search, what happened? 

J: I [went back to my car and] saw Lita next to my car — it really felt as though I was dreaming. It went from the worst day ever to the best. I honestly canʼt remember having felt that level of happiness before, having felt totally hopeless just before.

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It went from the worst day ever to the best. I honestly canʼt remember having felt that level of happiness before, having felt totally hopeless just before.

DW: What advice would you give dog owners who encounter a similar situation, with their dogs escaping or being chased?

J: It still seems like a miracle, but having experienced this, I would say to never, ever give up hope, and donʼt take your dogʼs brain and instincts for granted. I would have never guessed that Lita could maneuver her way back to a location that weʼd only been to once, especially in a high-stress situation.

DW: How is your bond with Lita now?

J: I donʼt know that much has changed since that incident, but I certainly have a different perspective on her — and dogs in general — specific type of intelligence. Iʼm only responsible for myself and for her, so she gets plenty of my attention, and Iʼm happy to give it. Sheʼs a happy dog, and fun to be around. 

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Lita at home.

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