I first met Lexie at the Oregon Humane Society while I was volunteering there. She had recently been surrendered by her owners, again for a third time. I had walked her and realized what a good candidate she would be for the OHS dog running team which I was a member of. The OHS running team is comprised of volunteer runners to run the high energy dogs to help expend some of the pent up energy that develops in the shelter environment, especially for some of the high energy hunting and running breeds like the hounds which Lexie was. This helps them to have a calmer disposition and makes them more likely to be adopted by citizens of the community when they are visiting the shelter and looking for a dog. So I made the recommendation and she became my running partner. I ran her for a while and was surprised that after a couple months she was still at the shelter and had not been adopted.
One day when I went to run her she was not in her kennel and had been ordered to be removed off the floor to quarantine by the OHS director due to her having shown some high level dog aggression and aggression towards some people on the floor. The animal behaviorist at OHS said that the prospect for Lexie was not good and that she would not be put back on the floor as she was deemed unadoptable and that she would need to be rescued and found a home and fast as there wasn't much time. I rallied and advocated for Lexie, reaching out to everyone I knew in hopes of finding her a good home. With no luck and a week of trying and time running out I realized that the only hope for Lexie was for me to rescue her. I needed only to convince my husband who had never had a dog and had no interest in getting a dog at the time.
While I continued to run her while she was in quarantine, I convinced my husband one day to come with us out on a day trip to the Columbia Gorge. We went to Latourell Falls and hiked, and it was there at that little Guy Talbot Park at the base of the falls where Lexie melted Rob’s heart and the rest was history. That was seven years ago.
Lexie was born on June 7th 2006 and passed August 7th 2016 shortly after 7 pm that night. She was just ten years old and was in excellent health until the end. We had her for seven years.
Lexie became such a good canine citizen, if only the Oregon Humane Society knew what she did. With the right training, people, patience, trust building, love and affection she became beloved by all. She rescued four lost cats on separate occasions by tracking them down by scent, and one lost dog (Charley) earlier this year, whose life she saved by tracking him to where he had fallen off a cliff into the Willamette river and had to be rescued and taken to dove Lewis emergency hospital and treated for shock, hypothermia and dehydration. He would not have lasted the night the veterinarians said. The night Lexie passed coincidently I received a call from the owners of Charley asking if Lexie was available for hire to rescue their friends cat that went missing. Sadly I guess it was Lexie’s turn to be rescued that night. She will always be remembered as the "Hero Hound". We had tried everything we could to save her from the anemia and internal bleeding she incurred with western and eastern medicine and emergency surgery to stop the bleeding, but in the end it was too much and her little body succumbed and came to rest. She passed a peaceful natural death at her favorite park in my husband’s lap in the back of his "getaway car" where she had first met him at the Oregon humane society when we came to pick her up and take her to the Columbia Gorge that winter day seven years ago.
The bond we shared with Lexie was immeasurable and she was truly grateful for us and the love, time and devotion we gave her and in return gave us tenfold. While her time here on earth was rather short and came to an end so suddenly, I'm honored for any and all time spent with her here on earth and hope one day we will be reunited with her again.
The reason for the Lilies is that two days before Lexie passed it was Rob and my anniversary. I had bought a bouquet of Tiger Lilies for Rob, which are one of my favorite flowers, and he coincidently had bought me a bouquet of flowers that had Tiger Lilies in them as well. After Lexie passed a couple days later we let the seven Lilies one at a time into the Willamette river; one for each year we had her, with a wish for each. They floated single file down the river. The Lilly, I learned later, represents devotion and loyalty, and has frequently been associated with funerals and death. I had no idea of this beforehand. The number seven is also of significant importance and symbolizes perfection, creation and is the most symbolic number in the scriptures.
Lexie will be loved and cherished forever and her loving kindred spirit will remain free to run and play forever. I feel her with me on my runs by my side.