Astro, a Shih Tzu/Poodle mix, created quite a scene in Washington DC recently as he bolted down the I-495 expressway. Fortunately, apart from hurting the pads in his paws, the dog is fine and back with his owner.
What made the chase even more notable, at least according to Don Yingling, a Montgomery Fire and Rescue Captain, was the speed of the dog who managed to evade capture once he escaped from a fire department vehicle.
The incident started when Liyah Young, the owner of Astro, was involved in a car accident with the dog inside the vehicle as well. When she was taken to the hospital to treat her minor injuries, Astro was placed inside a vehicle owned by the fire department to keep him safe. But that didn’t last long as once the door was opened, he bolted out and ran down the expressway.
Members of the fire department ran after him, but Astro surprised everyone with his speed. Although the dog was in little danger on the side of highway where traffic had been stopped, he found an opening in the wall that separated the expressway and ran into oncoming traffic.
The scene was harrowing for a while as Astro managed to head underneath one vehicle but emerged without being injured. Astro showed no signs of fatigue as he darted through traffic all while being chased. Although remarkably fast for such a small dog, members of the rescue team were gaining on him over the course of the seven-minute breakout.
The chase ended when a tractor-trailer stopped which scared Astro, caused him to take a U-turn, and run up a hill before winding up in some bushes. It was there that he was caught by the rescue team. With Astro safe, he was kept by the fire captain until he could be returned to his owner. This time, Astro was not left alone in the vehicle and was carefully watched so he could not escape again.
Astro may be a dog, but he demonstrated the several lives of a cat as he avoided what must’ve seemed certain injury or worse when running into oncoming traffic on an expressway.
A Shih Tzu/Poodle mix is generally not considered a fast dog by most people. But it was clear that Astro was in pretty good shape and could turn on the speed when needed. Although he was propelled in large part by his shaken state, his endurance was considerable and lasted far longer than most people would normally suspect.
Although somewhat shaken by the incident and incurring some damage to the pads of his paws, Astro was otherwise fine. He did manage to impress all those who witnessed his escape and forced many to reconsider just how fast a small dog could be when at a full run. Plus, this incident may change the way that pets are treated when recovered from an accident. They will be watched carefully and not allowed to break free from a vehicle when at all possible.