Stolen dog found on Interstate 205

Taken from downtown parking garage, Phoenix surfaces 9 days later

It was a happy ending, after all.

Southeast Portland residents Michael Griffin and Tony Loeffler are reunited with their dog, Phoenix, who was stolen from their car in a downtown parking garage Dec. 28.

Phoenix came home late Thursday, four days after a 24-year-old Vancouver, Wash., resident spotted the stranded dog on a median of Interstate 205 and coaxed her into his car.

'There were tons of cars; I can't believe nobody else stopped,' said Jordan, who didn't want his last name used because he said he 'just did what I think any decent person should've done.

'I knew somebody was looking for her,' he added. 'She was clean, well taken care of.' Seeing that the dog wore no tags, Jordan didn't know where she lived, so he visited the animal shelter, checked for a microchip (there was none) and filled out a lost-dog report.

He and his brother also posted fliers around the neighborhood with her description and looked after her for four days, treating her to six walks a day outside their condo and numerous games of Frisbee in the park.

'The dog's an awesome dog,' Jordan said. 'We called her Girl. After a week, we were going to give her a name.' As it happens, someone spotted one of Jordan's fliers and connected Phoenix's image to Griffin and Loeffler's 'stolen dog' fliers, posted throughout the city.

A phone conversation quickly determined that the pet, an Australian shepherd mix, was indeed Phoenix. With a bit of sadness, Jordan brought her to her owners' home Thursday evening. He watched the dog bolt down the block to her home, bark excitedly and greet Griffin and Loeffler on the doorstep with sloppy kisses before she promptly fell asleep on her bed.

Although Griffin and Loeffler had offered a $500 reward for the dog's return, Jordan said he would accept only $200 at their insistence.

'He saved her life, really,' Loeffler said. 'I can't imagine what would've happened if she stayed on the freeway.'

He and Griffin are still mystified, however, over the first six days of their dog's disappearance, and how she came to be stranded on I-205. 'I wish she could tell us,' Loeffler said.

They urge pet owners to be vigilant of their pets' whereabouts at all times and to get a pet identification microchip, as they did over the weekend at a cost of $75.

Most of all, the Baltimore natives are inspired by the community response to their search. Said Loeffler: 'I feel like there's so many more good people in Portland that it makes up for the couple of bad people.'

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