LUBBOCK, Texas — A dog sleeping in a trailer when someone stole it was reunited with his family Thursday afternoon. The dog, DB, was taken from the parking lot of a Lubbock hotel the morning after Christmas.
After three days of roaming the streets, DB was found feet away from the highway.
“My biggest fear was him getting hit,” DB’s owner Josh Baca told KLBK News.
As fate would have it, a man named Ja’Mez Martin was driving on the highway with his friend Richard when he saw two cars swerving in front of him. Seconds later, Martin sees a dog.
“I’m glad [they] did not run into this dog,” Martin said. He asked Richard to hop into the driver’s seat and put the car in reverse.
Martin moved to the bed of his truck while Richard, using hazard lights, slowly drove in reverse on the side of a busy highway.
DB would not approach Martin, but that didn’t stop him from trying to save the pup’s life.
A few days ago, Martin “roped a bull” for his grandfather, so he still had a lasso in the back of his truck. He grabbed the lasso and proceeded with a true west Texas rescue.
“My rope was able to capture his two back feet, then I pulled it tight and snug,” he demonstrated. Martin then moved the rope to his neck and directed DB to the car.
When he opened the back door, DB jumped in immediately. Pictures and videos posted on social media show a happy DB panting a few minutes after Martin saved him.
“He went over and beyond,” Baca said. “How many people passed by and seen him and didn’t do what he did- put himself out there on the highway, on a dangerous road- with people whizzing by?”
Martin said he cared for DB like he cares for his own dogs.
“We washed him down. We brushed him. We fed him some chicken, rice and diamond dog food with a little bit of corn,” Martin explained. He said he had to separate his dogs from DB because they were having “a little too much fun” at bedtime.
“They wouldn’t quit barking at each other after he found out she was in heat,” Martin laughed.
Martin and Baca agreed to meet on Thursday afternoon in Farwell- 5 hours from Baca’s home in Grant, NM and 1.5 hours from Martin’s home in Lubbock.
“My truck. It’s been tripping lately. I’m glad that I actually was able to make it this far today. So it’s another blessing that it didn’t tear down on me today,” Martin said.
Baca expressed gratitude for Martin’s persistence, saying, “DB did not immediately come, and so it was meant to be. God bless him. We will forever be indebted to him.”
Richard initially told Martin he wanted to keep DB, but Martin saw DB’s collar and felt determined to find his family.
“I’m not gonna lie, if it wasn’t his dog, I could have kind of kept it for myself. I actually liked the dog. Everything that I tell him to do. He directly does,” Martin said regarding the tricks DB knows. “He’s pretty much like a nice human. That’s a fantastic dog, but I’m glad that I was able to get it back to Mr. Joshua.”
Near the end of the reunion, the Baca family gave Martin a card with the $1,000 reward inside- which Martin didn’t know about at the time of his good deed.
Martin said he’s going to use the reward to enter a dirt bike competition because it’s something he’s always wanted to do but hasn’t been able to afford. He said he could win if he had the opportunity.
After more than 100,000 views on a social media post regarding DB’s disappearance and hundreds of shares, Baca said he also owes thanks to the Lubbock community.
Baca received several calls regarding possible sightings and messages of support from strangers in Lubbock who hoped and prayed for the best outcome.
He said the bad experience he had in Lubbock was completely outweighed by the good people.
“I can’t say enough of those people in Lubbock. Thank you very much,” Baca said. His girlfriend Issa who stood next to him echoed, “We are truly grateful for them.”