PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After spending four days lost as the Rum Creek Fire ravaged nearby, a “geriatric” pup was reunited with his family, fire officials said Tuesday.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, Sandy and Robert Clark of Merlin were visiting the Whiskey Creek lookout with their two dogs, Rum Creek fire officials posted on Facebook. When it started to get toasty, the couple headed back to their car. But their Jack Russell terrier, Otis, had other plans.

Despite their calls for return, the Clarks said Otis turned around and bolted down a steep slope into the creek’s drainage. The couple told officials they looked for hours but didn’t have any luck.

The Clarks returned the next day and asked anyone that would listen to keep an eye out for Otis. A search party soon formed, which included Lynn Bennett, a shuttle driver in the area. Roads in the area were soon strewn with flyers searching for Otis.

Four days later, Michael McDaniels, the Rum Creek Fire helicopter dip site manager, found a dog stuck in the mud at the confluence of Rogue River and Whiskey Creek.

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“He could hardly move his back legs,” McDaniels said. “I tried to get him to follow me, but he couldn’t, and I thought ‘Oh, boy’.”

When McDaniels couldn’t locate the canine’s owners nearby, he notified fire communications who told him Otis had been reported missing. McDaniel reportedly took the shirt off his back and his sternum strap to stabilize Otis’ legs, while McDaniel and his crew carried him up the Rogue River Trail.

Missing dog found stuck in mud near Oregon's Rum Creek Fire
Sandy and Robert Clark reunite with their dog, Otis, on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022 after he was missing for 4 days (Courtesy:(Northwest 13 Incident Management Team).

“I love a good ending,” Robert reportedly said, while he and Sandy waited at the Grave Creek Boat Ramp.

Fire officials said Otis was reunited with his family Thursday night, adding Otis was “no worse for wear” after his four day adventure.

“After resting up and making up for several lost meals, Robert reported that Otis was back to his old self and getting around as well as ever,” fire officials said.