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Originally published Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM

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Zeb, come home: Dog crosses 520 bridge in rush hour

A dog is home safe after a harrowing trip on foot across the 520 bridge.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Good thing he didn't make his break this spring. He might have faced a hefty toll.

It was rush hour, after all, when Zeb made his escape across the Highway 520 bridge.

Zeb, an Australian shepherd, was back home Thursday in his Madrona home after his owners found him across the lake in Hunts Point, two days after he fled the Eastlake home where he was being cared for while his owners were out of town.

Owner Megan Ferestien said she thinks Zeb, who's 6 years old, was trying to get home. "He should have taken the Arboretum exit, but missed it," she said.

Friends who had been caring for him posted notices on Craigslist and received reports of him crossing the 520 bridge on Tuesday afternoon, weaving across the eastbound and westbound lanes. Drivers reported that cars on the bridge were driving defensively on Zeb's behalf, slowing down to protect the wayward pooch as he made his way east.

The Washington State Patrol tried to capture the dog, but he eluded troopers by jumping over a jersey barrier. Reports kept coming in to Craigslist. The State Department of Transportation tweeted that a dog "walked entire length of 520 bridge!"

The dog was spotted in Medina. Friends searched for him Tuesday night through Wednesday, before Ferestien and her husband, Dana, found Zeb about 8:30 a.m. Thursday hiding in Hunts Point.

He was starving, said Ferestien. He smells bad and has a torn paw, but otherwise seems healthy.

"Both my husband and I are now firm believers in the power of social media," Ferestien said. "Without friends spreading the news through various networks and strangers responding to Craigslist postings, I don't know if we would have been able to narrow our search and bring him home.

"This is a feel-good story," she said. "He's a special little guy. It's a miracle he made it across 520."

She later joked about it all.

"It's a good thing we won't get a ticket in the mail because he crossed without his transponder."

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com

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