Dog pulled Houdini to find girlfriend

By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS Managing Editor

The dog found himself in deep doo doo when he up and ran away. Actually, the deep doo doo came when my boyfriend and I got the dog back — when he fled it was more like a medium pile of doo.

Not even a dark and stormy night, this pooch picked to make his break on a bright and friendly morning. One moment the dog was with us in his happy dog pen, the next he was gone.

In addition to calling him in several languages (he usually responds to French) and blowing one of those whistles you are supposed to use when you’re getting attacked, I pulled out the big guns to ensure the terrier’s safe return.

These included contacting the police, the animal control and those people who put missing kids on the side of milk cartons.

When the milk carton people said they could not act unless the dog went missing for at least 1,720 hours, we knew we had to take action into our own paws. This included driving around at a snail’s pace as we steadily peered around alleyway dumpsters and analyzing any roadkill that looked like a Jack Russell.

We also did what all good parents do when a child hitchhikes to California or takes a Greyhound to New York — we wondered what we did wrong to make him flee. Perhaps it was screaming at him when he tried to eat my pet rat. Or maybe he bolted when we ran out of the lamb and wild rice dog food.

Instead, we found the reason was much more primal — a pooch named Dixie. Sure enough, after 1,719 hours of relentless search (almost enough to make the milk carton), we found the dog with his new girlfriend on the neighbor’s porch.

The doggerel ditty would end here except, after fortifying his happy pen with bricks and wire strong enough to pull cars, the dog once again made his break.

He pulled his second escape at night, although it still was not dark and stormy, but mild and breezeless like you find in Miami swamps. Once again, he was hanging with Dixie. This time, however, they had both disappeared, only to come swaggering back hours later to plop on Dixie’s porch from whence Dixie’s kind owner called me to alert their return.

Puppy love is less than amusing at 9 p.m.
Please note our runaway dog has remained nameless through this tragic tail (sic). In part, it’s because we are still mad at him. In another part, it’s because we are in the process of changing it.

Born and raised as Scratch, my boyfriend suggests we call him Houdini for his penchant for squiggling out a dog pen hole too small for even a caterpillar.

I prefer to deem him Napoleon, the French emperor married to Josephine who was exiled on an island farther off than a sunset.

Scratch/Houdini/Napoleon is currently exiled on a chain tethered to a chain tethered to a leash on a post on a wooden stake near a massive tree that’s decorated with part of a cow skull. This exile will most likely continue, except when my boyfriend breaks down and lets the dog in the house, or until we get the dog his very own Josephine and he will stay in the big happy dog pen.

Until then, he’ll remain in his exile, but not without being fed like the emperor that he is on lamb and wild rice dog food.

Ryn Gargulinski is managing editor for the Quay County Sun. Contact her at 461-1952 or by e-mail: