Dog on a Cold Tin Roof
The true story of Merlin’s daring rescue as told to me by our hero Officer Chris Duso of the Greenport Police:
After two and a half days on the run, with multiple sightings in a huge circle from Spook Rock Road to Byrant Farms to Williams Lumber to Bell’s Pond to Treeland Farms Road to Linlithgo and then back north to Buckley’s Corner and Route 9, Merlin finally seemed to be hunkering down at the fish farm on Route 9. My neighbor Frank Heiser had seen him there and got us permission to come onto the property to look for him. My friend Hanna and her dog Derek found his tracks there and Sadie, my other dog, also picked up his scent and peed on it several times.
We set up a trail camera, a blanket, food, and placed clothing with my scent in the area, hoping that he would return. He did not. But he was seen later that night crossing Middle Road toward Mt. Merino, where we began searching again the next morning.
I thought that he might end up at Olana, since we walk there quite often and it’s a familiar place for him. Or that he might head back to Linlithgo, where he had picked up my scent on Adam Papp’s snowmobile. (Adam had seen him on Spook Rock and drove me around on his snowmobile, looking for tracks.)
I was planning to leave some more scented materials at Adam’s when I got the call from Jennifer Pinkowski, the Greenport Dog Control Officer, that the Greenport Police had found him. On a roof.
I met up with Officer Chris Duso in the Stewart’s parking lot at 9 and 23. He told me the story of how he rescued Merlin but I was much too elated at being reunited with Merlin and much too discombobulated from three days of anxiety and constant searching to take it in at that time.
This morning, Merlin went to the Greenport Police department to thank Officer Duso in person and that’s when I got the story of how he got on the roof and how Officer Duso got him off:
He was on the roof of a building attached to an apartment building with three stories and an outside staircase. He had walked up the stairs and got on the flat roof of the structure attaching the two buildings. The second building has a pitched roof: one side is shingles and the other is tin. Merlin apparently climbed up the shingled side and then slid down the tin side, where he was stopped by the snow jamb seen in the photo.
Officer Duso had rope and a leash in his patrol car and used the rope to climb up the pitched roof and then attached the rope to the leash and was able to attach them to Merlin’s harness. I’m not sure how he did this but perhaps he is as much a magician as Merlin is. In any case, he was able to guide Merlin back up and over to safety.
Merlin and I are eternally grateful to Officer Duso and all the amazing people who helped in so many ways during the past three days. It’s been an incredible experience, and a reminder that even in a time marked by divisiveness and fear we all have things in common: we all understand what it is to love and what it is to be lost.
Thank you everyone!
Dog on a Cold Tin Roof