Archive for Thursday, February 20, 2003

Where, oh where has my little dog gone?

A Dalmatian statue that has become a local landmark goes on a wild ride

February 20, 2003

When a pet owner discovers his or her dog is missing, putting up signs, running newspaper ads and cruising the neighborhood calling out the animal's name seem like natural responses. But what's a dog owner to do when that pet is a several-foot tall hunk of concrete?

The unnamed, realistic-looking Dalmatian statue that sits in front of Sam and Susie Crawford's Church Street home disappeared about a week ago.

"I saw where somebody picked him up, and I tracked it out in the snow," Sam Crawford said.

After getting a call from city workers, Crawford went to Eudora City Hall, where the old pup was perched on a pillar by the building.

City workers were going to help Crawford load the heavy piece of yard art to take it home, but the snowy, icy weather meant the dog was frozen in place.

"On Sunday, another had gotten him down and said I could get him Monday, but somebody had set him back up on there again," Crawford said.

Although the Dalmatian is home again, apparently it had quite an adventure during its time away from the Crawfords. When Crawford saw the statue at City Hall, the dog's red collar had a plastic bag tied to it full of Polaroid photos showing the dog "eating" ice cream, "playing" Frisbee, "watching" Animal Planet and "showering." Included was a note from the dog apologizing for having "run away."

Crawford said he had no clue to whom the mystery arm in the photos belongs, but his wife offered a suggestion.

"My wife overheard a lady saying maybe the city put the (Dalmatian) dog up there -- it was shortly after that big fire -- to more or less honor the firemen," he said.

Despite the dog's "kidnapping," Crawford said he bore no ill feelings toward the assailants.

"I thought it was kind of funny," he said. "I thought they came up with some pretty good stuff."

The dog statue, which has faced the road from the 1000 block of Church Street for several years, was a gift.

"My son bought it from a man in Williamsburg that makes all kinds of things out of concrete," he said. "He just brought him home one day."

Last week's adventure wasn't the first time the Dalmatian drew attention.

"One New Year's morning we woke up and somebody that night had decorated him and had a New Year's hat on him," Crawford said.

The petrified pet has drawn attention from other neighbors as well.

"It's amazing the number of dogs that run in the yard and bark at it," he said. "He's been kind of a pretty nice old dog."

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