While not the high-speed car chase that action movies are made of, a “slow force” effort to capture a runaway, 4-year-old Pomeranian was enough to paralyze traffic along a major Portland, Ore., highway.
Police dispatchers in Portland began getting calls from drivers around 4 p.m. Monday reporting a dog on the loose along the city’s busy 1-405 highway.
The pooch, Mango, had been with her owner, Dan Dowdy, at the nearby Gateway Transit Center when she slipped out of her collar and ran onto the highway.
Proving that dogs really are man’s best friend, instead of becoming frustrated, drivers stopped their cars to help the tiny pooch.
Live video captured by Oregon Department of Transportation cameras show drivers blocking the road to protect the dog as speeding cars came to a dramatic halt.
The chase turned into a relay race as other drivers, and even a nearby police officer, picked up Mango’s owner, Dowdy, along the way so he could keep up.
“I’ve never run so far in all my life,” Dowdy told Portland ABC affiliate KATU.
At one point Dowdy, chasing Mango with a coat, took a face-first dive while in hot pursuit of his pooch.
“I was kissing asphault, yes,” said Dowdy. “I tripped over my own feet to throw the blanket, and you see what happened.”
After 15 minutes, Mango finally gave his would-be rescuers a break by running up an on-ramp and into a neighborhood.
By then, the chase had drawn the attention of news photographers and even a TV helicopter crew, when a KATU videojournalist spotted the dog and called animal control.
Dowdy explained to officers that Mango serves as a companion dog for his wife, Linda, who suffered a stroke two years ago. He had brought the dog with him that afternoon to pick up his wife from first day of school at Portland’s Mount Hood Community College.
Animal control officers realized Mango would only stop for Linda. Once she showed up, Mango ran into her arms and the chase was over.
“I’m really thankful, you have no idea,” Dowdy said.