Rambo might seem like too big and brave a name for a sweet little nine-month-old Yorkshire Terrier. But in the case of a dog who stood his ground and waited patiently after being left behind by his owner at a Missouri rest stop two weeks ago, it fits.
Arkansas-based truck driver Michael Siau was driving through Missouri when he stopped at a rest area. After stretching his legs and visiting the restroom, he returned to his vehicle.
“Didn’t even cross my mind that [the dog] might jump out; he never has before,” Siau told the Hannibal Courier-Post. “I jumped back in the truck, put it in gear, and drove off. And I just thought he was in the back asleep.”
But he wasn’t. Rambo had followed Siau out of the truck — probably to perform his own version of visiting the restroom — and had not yet returned when Siau unwittingly drove off without him.
But hey. If you were traveling with a fellow human — say, your spouse or child — and this person happened to be so small as to not be immediately visible in the vehicle after you’d left it for a few minutes, would you simply rev up and hit the road without confirming that he or she was there? Or would you assume, upon slipping back into your vehicle and not immediately seeing your companion, that he or she was hiding? Crouching deep in the recesses of the backseat, or on the floor? Wouldn’t at least a basic verbal check — “Hello?” — be prudent?
Siau drove 170 miles before realizing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he had left Rambo behind.
“He couldn’t turn the company truck he was driving around; his time would have been thrown off and he would’ve lost his job. The thought of not seeing Rambo again was devastating,” the Courier-Post reports.
Siau isn’t a mean guy. Last fall, he took several months off work to deal with his grief after Rambo’s father, Ollie, was struck by a car and killed. Following in his father’s pawprints, Rambo became Siau’s new companion on road trips.
Upon realizing his error, “I was freaking out. I had to calm down and think about how he could have possibly gotten out. And it came to me that [the rest stop] was the only time that I could have got out and I wouldn’t have seen him. I was just sure he was there,” Siau told the Courier-Post.
Siau called the police department nearest to the rest stop, then waited on pins and needles — “in tears, sobbing” — for two days. Sent to look for Rambo at the rest stop, Hannibal animal-control officer Tim Ledbetter found the Yorkie there, “sitting patiently.”
What timing! Ledbetter arrived just as a family that had stopped at the rest area was about to adopt the apparently lost puppy,” the Post reports.
“In about 60 seconds, he would have been gone,” Ledbetter said.
Siau was reunited last Tuesday with Rambo, who was being cared for at an animal shelter.
When a shelter worker brought out the Yorkie, Rambo heard Siau’s voice and “began to whimper, tremble and squirm. Once in Siau’s arms, Rambo climbed up his shoulder and began kissing the back of his neck.”
“You’ve never been this excited,” Siau said.
Siau told the Post that he will “always make sure Rambo is on board.”
Well, yeah — now that his nearly disastrous forgetfulness has become national news!
Sources: Hannibal Courier-Post