(Homepage video on KPTV Fox 12 Oregon)
A Newport family whose miniature dog was lost by another dog after a violent beach attack credits prayers and animal instincts for their beloved ‘Gabe’ to be miraculously rescued.
On Wednesday, Nov. 25, a 10-year-old rescue puppy, half Chihuahua and half Dachshund, was suddenly attacked at Otter Rock State Park as Mark and Kathy Watkins’ family posed for a photo seconds before the incident. Gabe, sitting on Mark’s lap, has ‘alerted’ the approaching danger in the amazing photograph.
Kathy Watkins recalled the grandkids’ cries as the violent incident occurred. He pulled open the jaws of the attacking dog, Mark said to free his frightened pet that shepherded Mark and Kathy last year through the death of a daughter.
Eyewitnesses saw Gabe heading up a logging path which was often hiked by the Watkins family and their dog. A memorial to their daughter Katherine, who passed by at 27 in 2019, is two miles up the road. In order to help them heal from their own sorrow, both Mark and Kathy accepted their emotional dependency on the once-traumatized Gabe, found in the kill-house pound.
Mark and Kathy embarked on a non-stop hunt for Gabe, spreading dog food and hiking for the next two days over 20 miles. A small tarp shelter with Gabe’s own unwashed blanket was erected along the road so that he could have shelter. Meanwhile, hundreds of Facebook supporters responded to Mark’s plea for help and prayer. Everyone in Depoe Bay and Otter Rock (located 10 miles north of Newport) was searching for a white dog.
On Friday, Nov. 27, 48 hours after the attack and disappearance, Mark was walking the steep rocky logging road and calling out his dog’s name when Gabe unexpectedly emerged around a corner, so exhausted and bedraggled that he waited for his master to come to him. He wore his tail a few times and fell into Mark’s arms.
Gabe was treated for a deep puncture wound at the Newport Veterinary Hospital, but is recovering rapidly at home.
Mark Watkins, a businessman and a 15-year-old member of the Lincoln County Search and Rescue Squad, called the state police on the incident but was shocked to find that there was no regulation in Oregon to deal with animal-on-animal attacks.