Plateau dog back home safe

The story of Rocket, the elusive Italian greyhound, has a happy ending.

The 19-month-old dog now spends his days curled up on a blanket, snoozing in the sun, in the home of Enumclaw’s Ralph and Marsha Tuttle. That’s a far cry from two weeks ago, when he was confined to a Spokane kennel, or one frightful night he spent roaming loose in Enumclaw, lost and terrified of strangers.

The Tuttles have two Italian greyhounds and made arrangements to take in Rocket, a littermate of their dog Cougar.

Feb. 13 found Ralph Tuttle making a quick trip to Vantage, Wash., where he took possession of Rocket. The dog was in Enumclaw for just a brief moment before he wriggled violently, slipped from a collar and was gone in a flash.

A search that night was unsuccessful and the effort was renewed the following morning. The fact that Rocket was reunited with his new family is a miracle, Tuttle believes, shaking his head at the string of events that transpired.

First, there were the two women out for a Sunday stroll who suggested the Tuttles call local veterinary clinics. Next was the fact that the Tuttles’ son and daughter-in-law immediately drove from Bellingham when they heard of the missing dog. Then came the call from Country Animal Hospital, where an employee saw Rocket wandering outside their door.

The frightened animal wasn’t about to be coaxed indoors, however.

Finally spotted on busy 244th Avenue Southeast, Rocket was wandering dangerously in and out of traffic and Tuttle and his son Will tried in vain to capture the animal. Tuttle is indebted to a mystery woman in a green Subaru who pulled over to lend a hand and keep the pet safe.

Eventually, the father-son team cornered Rocket in a briar patch. With its back to the wall, the dog behaved like a wild animal. When Tuttle lunged and grabbed Rocket, he received bite wounds to his face and hand; his son was on the receiving end of Rocket’s bites, too.

But the overnight ordeal was over.

“He was 15 pounds of greased lightning,” Tuttle said.

Now, Rocket is settling in to his comfortable digs, doted upon by the Tuttles and getting along fine with the two other dogs in the home.

The only thing bothering Tuttle is he never learned the identity of the Subaru driver who went beyond the call of duty to help protect Rocket. He would like to talk to the woman and let her know how everything turned out. He’s hoping she calls him at home, 360-825-1857 or at work, 360-825-6100.

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