By Ryn Gargulinski:QCS Columnist
The New Mexico dog that has been perpetually running away for more than a year to find a girlfriend has taken off again.
When he was gone a week we formulated a theory. He found a girlfriend.
When his absence stretched to 14 days we got a new theory. He up and got married.
Since newlyweds are broke and honeymoons therefore only last about 22 hours, Scratch is expected back any day now.
He may even arrive with his new girl in tow, depending on how it worked out.
Experts say dog divorces are on the rise, thanks to wandering devices like the retractable leash.
The honeymoon could have lasted longer, of course, if they decided to spend it in the French Riviera. That would mean at least a two-week wait until passports were issued or they figured out a method to stow away between suitcases marked “Vive la France.”
But there seems no reason they could not stick closer to home, with the loads of hotels in nearby Lubbock or Tucumcari.
Being a large Jack Russell with a handsome brown spot on his side, Scratch would have no problem finding a gal. Granted, he was a little weird ever since he fell off a cliff a few years ago and he had a giant chunk missing from his rear after returning from his last escape, but women eat up that stuff. It makes the guy look tough.
In fact, he even had Dixie, a lady in waiting, with whom he used to frolic in the dead grass near Route 66 when we lived there for a brief spell. (This further perpetuates the close-to-home honeymoon theory.)
In any event, the dang dog should be back to his owner in Texico by now, who waits daily with a welcome mat — or at least a bowl of Scratch’s favorite tortilla chips.
I joined the search party myself, or at least attempted to, by contacting my new hometown’s California Coastal Commission since I know they have helicopters.
Alas, not even the promise of an honorary groomsman title at Scratch’s wedding would persuade them to fly so far inland. They said they could figure something out if New Mexico, in fact, had a coast, but otherwise the paperwork would look suspicious. Ute Lake and Conchas Dam, they said, just didn’t cut it.
To keep hope alive, new hypotheses are formulated daily. Scratch and his dog wife could be living it up in Santa Fe where they found the cultural conglomeration simply charming.
Since Scratch never seemed too interested in my art, save for his one attempt to bite the head off one of my homemade voodoo dolls, that doesn’t seem a likely option.
Perhaps they discovered Albuquerque, a big city where they could just blend in.
Or, since dogs are known for chewing on shoes, they may simply be hiding in the back room at Joe’s Boot Shop.
Maybe they even made a run for the border and are hanging out near the Gulf of Mexico. Since Scratch hates baths — would start cowering even if he glanced at a garden hose — this doesn’t seem a likely option.
But maybe the wife dog insisted on the Gulf and they had a fight — the first of their marriage! This could have slowed down progress immensely, as it always does in relationship tiffs. Of course, while they were fighting about one issue — going to the Gulf — all kinds of other topics would come spewing forth, as they always do in relationship tiffs.
Scratch would bark she is wasting their money on novelties like the rhinestone collar. She’d yap about his too-long toenails or his massive consumption of tortilla chips.
Of course, they’d dog kiss and make up. They would even do that magical thing called compromise.
Instead of heading even further south, they’d just go a tad, to Carlsbad. The bat caves would be a grand haven for dogs, provided they didn’t get bit on the nose. This would lead to the Cujo theory wherein both dogs would become rabid, rapidly turn into St. Bernards and terrorize a small town while foaming at the mouth.
Eastern New Mexico police reports indicate no such activity.
The reports don’t say much about dead things, either, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few cow corpses kicking around out there. Scratch loved rolling in dead things. Of course it would surely mean he found a wife with similar interests.
With all this worry and sadness looming around from Scratch’s absence, the dogs could be gleefully mushing themselves in a ribcage, blissfully unaware the Texico tortilla chips are going stale in waiting.
This activity in itself could take several years. Since they know a trek back to Texico after such a rollick would involve a bath, perhaps they are scared. Maybe they hover in the tumbleweeds, planning their next move — something frivolous, fun and dog-like, that won’t include a bath or bout of rabies.
Ryn Gargulinski writes for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at: