The Adventures of Moto the Mountain Dog

PHOTO: Michelle Hannon- NewsPlus

Moto the Mountain Dog: Moto had a grand adventure a few months back and here is the tale that created the myth that is Moto the Mountain Dog.

One Saturday morning not so many months ago, Moto, a Male Chihuahua/Jack Russell Mix, was home at his cabin in Wrightwood as his owner ran some errands. Moto was with his little girlfriend, BB, a Female Chihuahua/Min-Pin Mix.

To the owner’s dismay, she arrived home, after hours of errands, to find Moto was gone. Being a stubborn dog, Moto would not put up with being left behind, even if it was with his favorite companion. He pushed the screen door open, went into the backyard, and jumped the fence. His owner had believed that both dogs were perfectly safe and content by themselves. Moto would show his owner! BB stayed inside, sleeping. Perhaps it was BB’s interest in catching some “Z’s” instead of paying attention to Moto that set into motion the events in this story.

Two different helpful neighbors spotted Moto’s daring escape and tried to stop him, and this just confused and startled Moto. Now scared he’d be caught, Moto ran down the street evading capture, thus beginning his epic adventure. The neighbors anxiously waited for the owner to return home to reveal the events that had occurred earlier in the day.

Moto, being the breed of dog he is, weighing only 5 pounds and with short hair, would not fair well in the cool evenings of the mountain community and the downright freezing nights in Wrightwood. And on top of that, the imminent threat of coyotes, mountain lions, and automobiles. Moto is also a one-human kind of dog, so he would most likely run from anyone who tried to coax him into their hands. As word got out over social media, he was spotted on Irene Street, then Cedar Street, as the wonderful folks from the community volunteered to walk around and drive around to find him. Moto’s owner also drove around sobbing; she could hear people she didn’t know calling for Moto walking and looking for him. Where could he have gone? What was he thinking, the owner lamented.

Several days had gone by without any additional sightings of Moto. Missing her dear Moto and saddened that she couldn’t find him and fearing the worst of outcomes, Moto’s owner heard her phone ringing. This ring seemed slightly different from the typical ring that usually came from her phone. With a sense of anticipation, she rushed to answer it.
It was a miracle! A woman living in the hills above a small trailer park across the highway from Moto’s home had spotted Moto on her property. She knew it was Moto because she had seen his picture on social media and on posters around town. Moto’s owner was overjoyed!

The search and rescue effort was back on, this time with increased urgency. A frantic hike took place, searching the property where he was spotted. No luck; Moto had evaded them once again. Then, the next day, the property owner spotted Moto again. And again, Moto’s elusiveness kept the owner from finding him. Day after day, this went on. Was Moto exacting his revenge for being left behind?

The woman who owned the property took on the challenge to rescue Moto and also wanted to ensure he had food and water, so she began to put it out for him. She soon realized that something was eating the food, so she put out a hunting camera to see if it was, in fact, Moto that was eating the food.

Moto’s owner brought over Moto’s little doggy bed and placed it on the hillside in hopes he would have a warm place to sleep, and sure enough, little Moto found his bed and was seen on the camera poking his head out but would run when approached.

Then one night, in a moment of hope, Moto’s owner left her car at the property with the vehicle door open, and sure enough, Moto got in but ran off when he was approached. This was caught on video as the woman tried to capture Moto. Moto’s owner never knew all this was happening because she could not stay there 24 hours a day and view the video. Finally, in a final act of desperation Moto’s owner got on her knees at the hillside property to pray for the dog’s return and capture.

Later that day, she drove to her church for some unrelated business, and as she pulled into the driveway, she received a call. Moto had been found and captured and was finally safe. You see, Moto had followed the sound of his owner’s car as she left hillside property and ran as fast as he could, finally giving up and resting on the front porch of a house off the highway. A young girl and boy had found him and their grandmother posted that he had been found on social media. One volunteer who joined the search a week earlier called Moto’s owner from Newport beach when she saw the post. The lady that lived at the hillside property drove Moto’s owner to where Moto was being kept, and a fabulous reunion came out of the whole adventure; after seven days, Moto was safe. And this is the tale of how Moto became Moto the Mountain Dog.

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