If you see him you will stop in your tracks because he is that cute. Saturday as I came down 7th Avenue near OHSU Tuality Hospital, I nearly missed a diminutive little dog that looked like a small fox as he shot out right in front of my tires. Right behind him was a young man at full sprint trying to catch him. West across 7th, the pup slipped the grasp of the would-be dog-catcher. What happened next was a wild chase that took me and my trusty blue Toyota pick up to the edge.
With his tongue out and his head high he ran North towards Oak Street (TV Highway East) which had 4 lanes of traffic moving at 5 miles an hour. I flew to the corner and laid on the horn and waved my arms just as the dog bolted into oncoming traffic. Lucky for me they saw me and all stopped hard, with one car just missing him in the far lane. That was one crossing. As my light turned green I zipped to the opening at the Tuality Hospital and cut the pup off. No issue- he headed West through the hospital lot and then turned right to head towards the old Hanks lot. I made it to Baseline (TV Highway West) and turned left and a block down hemmed him in again, preventing him from crossing TV Highway again.
In the distance I saw the young man coming on foot – the dog saw him and started to run. I parked and ran- after 10 strides and a couple of quick maneuvers, I thought it was over.
“I am dog watching him for a friend,” said the young man. “We have to catch him.”
“I think we have him,” I said as the two of us closed in slowly on a patch of grass the dog was stopped on.
Boy was I wrong. This dog (I actually think he is an Alien with special powers) headed South and then crossed back and forth TV Highway traffic. My new young friend flew off after him on foot. I kept working the angles and had my flashers on. Three times I was able to gain the attention of others who tried to help. Knowing how bad things would be if this beautiful dog was lost or killed, we both doubled down.
A block down a Hillsboro Police Officer saw what was happening and tried to help. I cut the dog off preventing him from once again crossing TV Highway and with a honk sent him right to the officer and the young man. Now three other young folks were in the chase. Snacks came out and the dog slowed down. The officer had a shot at him but that failed. Not being hungry, and realizing he had a growing crowd of dog catchers, he bolted East. I stayed with him but that little creature just flew and made it to the Human Bean on 10th – and that is where I lost him as he once again defied death and bolted across TV Highway. Stuck at the light on Walnut and trying to head East, I called out to a couple of guys at the convenience market.
“Get that dogs you guys…Don’t lose him,” I shouted.
The game was on, again. Past the Su Casa Super Mercado, he went spinning on a dime to the right onto 11th Avenue. I caught up to him just as the Market boys came around the block and we had him pinned in. Down a fence line, he went into an old alley with a wall at the end. I parked on a vacant lot and the others joined in. But this little red fox headed right at us and without a net, it was no match. Off he went to the West, again.
By now I was so invested in this that I had to stay on it. I made it back to 10th and the dog-headed North on the highway itself with the cars flanking him on both sides. I don’t think they even saw him. With one final bolt, he whirled to his left, shot in front of cars at full tilt, and returned to the lot where the Human Bean coffee drive-through is. Coming in Hot was the young man who was behind the dog when this all started. Under a parked car went the dog – and some bystanders and another one of the crew arrived. As traffic took me two blocks North and away from the scene, I was unsure what had happened.
Four turns later I met Hkku (pronounced Haku) and his friend Anthony Keomanivang. They were sprawled out on the asphalt and had been joined by a couple of young ladies who are their friends and family, and a couple of others who had been helping. Hkku was smiling, I swear he was. Everyone was happy, that is for sure.
What is a Shiba Inu? We needed to know because that is what Hkku is.
The Shiba Inu is a breed of hunting dog from Japan. A small-to-medium breed, it is the smallest of the six original and distinct spitz breeds of dog native to Japan. A small, alert, and agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain and hiking trails, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting.
Being curious, and you all should know I am, I actually googled “Shiba Inu Running In Traffic”. Guess what. This is sort of a thing with these dogs. I found many hits of articles from the evening news from around the country including this one:
Dramatic Aerial Photo Shows Driver Saving Dog Running Loose On Manhattan Highway – Check this out
Other comments about Shiba Inu dogs:
- The Shiba Inu is highly intelligent, but he doesn’t necessarily want to do what you want him to do.
- The more eager your Shiba Inu, the more chances they will run away from you more often.
- Well-conditioned Shiba Inu over one year of age may be able to run for three to five miles.
- You must watch your Shiba Inu closely at all times.
- It’s always a scary moment when they escape because they are so fast. And they don’t come back.
- Our Shiba has run away quite a number of times and all of them have been so awful because almost every time she was so close to getting hit by a car.
Could Hkku Be Considered Hillsboro’s Dog?
Now you know if you read my writing that it was just a matter of time before I was going to find a way to make this a very Hillsboro story. Let’s think about this –
It took a Village of us today to save Hkku <> Hillsboro is often needing a Village of us to save it.
Hkku was going so fast in all directions that he was impossible to stop <> Does this sound like our fine City?
Hkku is beautiful but is a little too smart for his own good <> If the shoe fits, Hillsboro all the way
People Love Hkku and would do anything for him <> For sure that applies to many Hillsboro Residents
Hkku and his exploits made us all want to smile <> Hillsboro, you are guilty as charged
Shiba Inus Like Baseball and are a mascot of a team <> Hillsboro is a baseball town
Shibainu’s Breeder In Fukuroi, Japan is a top Breeder of Shiba Inus <> Fukuroi is Hillsboro’s Sister City
So for those reasons and more- and because we just feel like it, we are hereby naming our new friend Hhku the Shiba Inu as Hillsboro’s Dog for 2021
Not all days are fun nor do they include dog herding in a blue Toyota (also from Japan) but this one did. Thanks to all the dog herders in Hillsboro today who helped out. The Village won on this one.