UPDATE: TriMet just sent out a press release about Buster with pics! Read it after the jump!
Something good! On the bus! It's a Christmas miracle, guys! In stark contrast to our "True Tales of TriMet Terror" feature from this summer, I was greeted by a tail-wagging bundle of cute when I got on the #14 this morning. Buster, a graying beagle with a jangly collar, came rip-roaring off the bus to do a bit of sniffing by my feet. (Apparently all dogs named Buster end up riding the bus at some point!) The bus driver, Chera Collings, started yelling, "Buster! Come here, Buster!" and we got him back on the bus. Apparently she saw him running across the freeway near SE 94th and Foster, stopped the bus, and saved him from being hit by traffic. He was shaking and scared, and she promptly put him on the bus and called the phone number on his dog tags. But his people weren't home. So li'l Buster was delighting all the TriMet bus riders as he cruised up and down the aisle, getting pets and nice words from a group of folks who normally aren't so full of smiles and endearments. One gal got on the bus at SE Division, was told Buster's story and promptly checked him for injuries, like cuts and scrapes, and she gave him a clean bill of health. Turns out she was a vet tech. A stop later, the bus driver's supervisor was waiting in a TriMet vehicle to take Buster
to headquarters where he would wait for his people to come get him home. He left with his tail wagging like a crazy dog.
So I think the moral of this story is that every TriMet route could really use a therapy pup. I haven't seen riders look that happy since it snowed earlier this week.
Hit the jump for the full story on how Buster got home.
Bus operator spots lost dog running in traffic;
supervisors deliver this “package” home
Buster Brown may have busted out of his yard but TriMet employees made sure he made it back home for the holidays. Line 14 bus operator Chera Collings spotted the dog in traffic on SE Foster Road near 94th just before 9 a.m. The beagle was brought onto the bus while Collings called TriMet dispatch. A dispatcher contacted the Multnomah County Animal Control, but no one was available to come get the dog. So riders fawned over the little wet dog, and a vet tech that just happened to be on board checked him over until a supervisor could catch up to the bus.
TriMet Road Supervisor Jerry Zornado met up with the bus near SE 50th and Lincoln. The dog had a collar with his name – Buster Brown – a phone number and an address on the tag. Zornado tried calling the number. No one answered so he put the dog in his vehicle and drove about three miles to the dog’s house. No one was home, but there was a note on the door asking that packages be delivered to the back. What is a more important “package” than a lost dog? So, TriMet Lead Supervisor Jim Waddington, who was nearby, met Zornado at the house and the two men lifted the dog over the fence and into his backyard.
Zornado and Waddington spotted the hole that the dog likely used for his escape and plugged it up with some flower pots and other items. With a wag to his TriMet buddies, Buster Brown was off. They saw him dart through the doggie door and into his house, happy to be home and maybe a little hungry and thirsty from his big adventure. What took TriMet employees less than a half hour, the dog’s owner Jennifer Estevez calls a huge Christmas present for both her and 12-year old Buster Brown. To the TriMet “elves” Estevez says, “Thank you so much for taking the time to not only rescue him but for making sure he got home safely. That was above and beyond the call of duty and I appreciate it so much!”
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