By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
A service dog who has comforted mental health clients for the last four years is missing.
“It’s been a sleepless two weeks of us worrying for her if she is out there in the cold or if someone has her not knowing she belongs to us,” Maritza Encines, Clinical Director at Buena Vida Counseling said.
Encines is the owner of Goldie, a Red Nose Pitbull, who went missing two weeks ago in the Three River Area, south of Sunriver.
Goldie isn’t just your average dog, but a service dog, who helps mental health clients.
“I’ve seen clients clutching her and her leaning into them as they tell their stories and talk about mistakes they have made in their life,” Encines said. “So she is a very special service dog for that reason.”
Encines, who has worked in mental health for 20 years says she saw Goldie on a social media post by a kill shelter in California.
She commented on the post, saying she wished she could do more.
“Someone from Portland offered to have her pulled and treated at the vet and transport her all the way here four years ago, which is really an amazing and incredible story about how Goldie is meant to be with us,” Encines said.
Goldie’s story has caught attention around the Three Rivers area.
“We actually woke up at 6 a.m. Saturday morning and spent that morning until about noon just kind of staking out Sunriver,” said Rhonda Freeman, a volunteer to find Goldie.
Freeman did not know Encines or Goldie, but saw the missing posters and wanted to help.
Kathy Summers, another volunteer donated $500 of her own money to the reward, which is now over $1,000.
It is a no questions asked reward.
“There is something about his story that touched my heart,’ Summers said. “I just felt something drew me to this dog and these people and I felt I just had to do something.”
Goldie has a microchip and was last seen wearing a pink collar with a dog tag in the shape of a bone.
The last place Encines knows Goldie was spotted was near the intersection of Snow Goose and Pintail.
“We just really hope with the public’s assistance to locate Goldie.”
Encines asks that if you are able to locate Goldie, call 541-786-8373