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A Woman, Her Dogs, And Her Horse Look For Missing Toddler In The Woods

The woman was out riding her horse, Bo, on a nearby trail with her two miniature Australian shepherds, Wilson and Maddie. She suddenly heard an old woman crying, so she followed the noise.

She knew something went terribly wrong. When the crying woman told her what had happened, she couldn’t believe it. What could she do now?

Tammy Stevens was a retired lady who was very active and loved nature walks. And he had the best company for her hikes.

Each time she went out into the forest, she would take her horse and two dogs with her. They were her only family left, and she loved them dearly. They were also the ones who would make the most unusual discovery on one of their hikes. 

Tammy Stevens was 59 years old but still kept exercising, almost like in her younger days. She was from Beavercreek and stopped to help when she noticed the first signs of disaster.

Tammy was out riding her horse, Bo, on a nearby trail with her two miniature Australian shepherds, Wilson and Maddie. What they encountered on their trail left them scarred for life.

Tammy found on her hike that day something she had never encountered before. An older lady was crying and gesticulating as if she were under the influence. Tammy was scared. She didn’t know if she should approach the old woman or not.

Eventually, the old lady came to her. She was holding the hand of a little girl. She tried saying something but she couldn’t. She needed to calm down first.

The crying woman’s name was Gayla Ann Jay. She was out with her two granddaughters when the most terrible thing happened.

Gayla, 62, of Molalla, was hiking with her two granddaughters in the Molalla River Recreation Area when 2-year-old Iris Nix ran ahead on the trail and slipped out of sight. The old woman was desperate. She didn’t know what to do. 

When Tammy found Gayla in the woods with her other granddaughter, she was already trying to find the missing girl. But she didn’t manage to make any progress.

Iris was still lost, and the clock was ticking. Gayla had to find her granddaughter fast before the night would settle. What could the two women do to find Iris in time?

After calming Gayla down, Tammy suggested it was time to call the authorities. Time was essential in their search, and they couldn’t wait any longer.

But Gayla was outside of cell phone service range. So, she went out to the road and began flagging down passersby. Two people drove ahead and alerted the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. There was still hope.

Four loggers and Tammy Stevens, 59, of Beavercreek, joined in on the search. Tammy had stopped riding her horse, Bo, and was trying to keep her two miniature Australian shepherds in check.

The loggers split up and began combing the area, and Tammy went in another direction. They also gave the other little girl, who was scared for her sister, water and candy.

Tammy knew the area well, so she set out on her horse to a well-traveled but steep area to find Iris.

She just kind of followed her instinct and really thought about where would this person be? The area was heavily traveled because it was located where the north and south trails came together. Was she on the right path, or would she become lost in no time?

Tammy set out on a side trail and took her horse and two dogs with her. She had hoped that they would help her track down the little girl.

After wandering around in the woods for a while, her two dogs stormed off, and the horse began to act out. Something was hiding in the bushes and was making the weirdest noises. Was that a human or some dangerous wild animal?

What were the strange noises coming from the bushes? The woman was worried, but she knew she had to check. What if it was the little girl?

Tammy told her dog Wilson, “Go get her,” and he began running toward the cries. The woman tied her horse to a tree and followed him, climbing about 70 feet up a steep hill to where she found Iris sitting on Looney’s Trail, about a half-mile from Hardy Creek.

Due to her location, Tammy had difficulties pulling the little girl out. It was a steep hill, and she knew she couldn’t do it alone. She needed help.

Tammy and her dogs then found a logger nearby who went and helped get the child back to where the rescue team was located. Everyone was relieved the little girl was alright. 

But the news of the miraculous rescue didn’t reach everyone, as there was no phone service in the area. There were still people looking for the little girl.

Her grandmother Gayla was still out looking for Iris when she was found. Only when she returned to the meeting spot did she see that the little girl was rescued. The old woman was overwhelmed with joy and burst into tears.

By the time the grandmother returned down the hill, the little girl was in an ambulance, looking perfectly content with three EMTs surrounding her. They were trying to assess her situation.

Iris was checked out by paramedics with Molalla Fire and was doing well. She was healthy. She was just a bit dirty and scared.

Gayla was totally freaked out. But so many people came to search that she did have faith that Iris would be found. The little girl’s family had already jokingly given the girl a new middle nickname – Iris “Danger” Nix. Iris always had a wild side, but no one thought it would get her into so much trouble one day.

Iris’ rescuers were grateful they were in the area at the right time and could help. “It was a really good story,” Tammy Stevens said. “I was so thankful.”


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