When Chris Doolin saw a report about a red-nosed pit bull missing after a tanker accident on Roberts Drive, he was compelled to try and help the owner find his lost dog.
“It just ate at me ... I couldn’t stand it,” said Doolin, 28, of Ashland and owner of two pit bull dogs himself. “I love pit bulls and I would do anything I could do to help them.”
Doolin said he did not realize he had previously met the missing dog’s owner, Mike Willis, while both were searching for another missing dogs some time ago. Asking himself what he would do if one of his dogs were missing, Doolin said he had no choice but to offer his assistance.
“I told my wife, ‘When I get off work I’m going to go and help find that man’s dog,’” he said, explaining he sent out a request for assistance from other dog lovers, changed clothes and met Willis and others near the spot where the truck had crashed. Willis and Doolin took one vehicle while Doolin’s friends used his truck to spread out and look for the missing dog, a 90-pound pit bull named Bael.
“We stopped everybody we seen and asked them about Bael,” he said, later adding he was surprised at the reaction many people had when they said they were looking for a pit bull dog. After an extensive search which also included a lot of walking and calling Bael’s name, Doolin said they decided to try again the next day. “Mike was exhausted. You could tell he was,” Doolin said, noting they contacted his buddy and fellow pit bull owner Chris Dawson at his home on Mine Road before calling it a day.
“We came back to my shop and about 30 minutes later Chris called and said, ‘I’ve got the dog! I’ve got the dog!’” Doolin said, explaining Dawson had gone to quieten his dogs, who he thought were barking a deer, but instead found himself staring Bael in the eyes. “I called Mike and we reunited them at my shop. It was something to see ... you know? All Bael wanted to do was give Mike kisses.”
Doolin said the reunion was a wonderful experience, although the search for Bael reminded him of his mission on behalf of pit bulls.
“I just wish I could change people’s minds about the breed,” he said. “When we would stop and ask people about a lost dog they would ask what kind. When we said pit bull, they would say ‘There’s a pit bull running loose around here?’ They reacted like I was asking about an escaped lion.”
TIM PRESTON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2651.