It’s been more than two months since Sylvia Martinez-Medrano saw her dog Yottabyte, but she still hasn’t given up hope that she’ll find him.
The Lacey resident still spends hours every week posting signs, fielding calls from people who may have him, and walking her neighborhood in search of the 6-year-old husky.
“I’m still hoping that I might see him, that he might just come home,” Martinez-Medrano said.
For Martinez-Medrano, Yottabyte is more than just a pet — he’s a service dog trained to detect seizures. He’s also a gift from her grandmother, who died shortly after giving Martinez-Medrano the dog.
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“A little while after I got him, my parents noticed that he seemed to know when my seizures were going to happen,” Martinez-Medrano said. “He would nip at my fingers and bump into my legs. At first we thought he was just being bad, but after the third time we realized what he was doing.”
The family decided to have Yottabyte professionally trained, and Martinez-Medrano credits the dog with giving her the courage to move from California to attend school at Washington State University in Pullman. After finishing school, she moved to Thurston County, eventually settling in Lacey.
Martinez-Medrano said she can still picture Yottabyte running away when he escaped on Dec. 5.
“That’s probably the worst part,” Martinez-Medrano said. “I wonder why I didn’t try harder to catch him. But he always came back, so I guess I wasn’t that worried.”
She also regrets not getting Yottabyte microchipped, and said that if she finds him, that’s the first thing she’ll do.
Martinez-Medrano and her friends have a few theories about where Yottabyte might have ended up. She’s received dozens of calls from people who claim to have spotted the dog — the most recent was Jan. 18 — so there’s still a possibility Yottabyte is roaming the streets of Lacey, scavenging for food. Or, he may have found a family to take him in.
“Wherever he is, I hope someone knows he likes fluffy pillows and having his tummy rubbed,” Martinez-Medrano said.