Dog survives jump from truck on I-70 in Summit County |

Dog survives jump from truck on I-70 in Summit County

Rob Ryan
Summit Daily News
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark FoxBob Wallace of Silverthorne is a very happy dog owner these days after 7-year-old Scooter survived a fall from the back of Wallace's pickup truck two weeks ago while driving on Interstate 70.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado – As Bob Wallace of Silverthorne drove his son to school on May 18, a woman pulled up next to him, honked her horn and pointed to the rear of his white Ford F-250 pickup. That was when he noticed Scooter was gone.

“I’m glad I didn’t see it happen,” Wallace said. “I kept expecting to see a bloody ball of fur.”

Scooter, Wallace’s 7-year-old Lhasa apso and wheaten terrier mix, had jumped from Wallace’s truck as he was leaving Silverthorne, heading west on Interstate 70. The dog survived the jump, but Wallace said he hasn’t been able to figure out where exactly Scooter jumped and is still astounded she jumped at all.

According to the Summit County Animal Shelter, there are no regulations on having pets in truck beds. Wallace said Scooter loved riding in the back of his truck.

“She’s been riding in the bed since she was a pup,” Wallace said. “You can’t make her jump out, but she did this time.”

After noticing Scooter had jumped, Wallace stopped his truck and began to look for the dog, walking down the interstate calling her name. His brother-in-law, Mike, did the same thing along Ryan Gulch Road. Wallace’s son Nick was in the truck while his father and uncle searched for Scooter – an experience he described as nerve-wracking.

“I got to sit in the truck for what seemed like hours,” Nick Wallace said. “I remember thinking ‘my dad’s MIA, my dog is probably dead, and I’m 2-and-a-half miles from a phone.’ “

Eventually, a good Samaritan spotted Mike Wallace and asked if he was looking for a dog. Wallace’s memory of what the stranger told him is (understandably) a little fuzzy, but he said the man found Scooter running across the interstate. The man picked Scooter up and took her to Buffalo Mountain Animal Shelter in Silverthorne.

“He was a real nice guy to do what he did,” Wallace said. “Everyone at the vet’s office fell in love with her.”

Dr. Mark Cowan treated Scooter at Buffalo Mountain and said she was lucky to escape with only minor injuries. Cowan said he has treated animals for jumping out of cars before, though none at interstate speeds.

“Scooter was a very good little patient,” he said. “Part of her luck was she was a small dog. She really just had abrasions, no real traumatic wounds”

Today, Scooter is back at Wallace’s side and in perfect health. At 17 pounds, the tan-colored mutt is hardly your typical construction dog. She has a very mellow, cheery disposition and sits quietly under a table as Wallace retiles a condo in Keystone.

Wallace said he’s still unsure as to the cause of Scooter’s flight, though he suspects she might have been startled by some cargo moving in his truck bed. He said he isn’t going to let Scooter ride in the back of his truck anymore, no matter how much she wants to.

“She must’ve flown like a flying squirrel,” Wallace said. “I just can’t imagine what I would’ve done if she had died.”

If you are the man who took Scooter to Buffalo Mountain Animal Shelter, give Bob Wallace a call. He says he still owes you dinner, whoever you are.

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