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Thursday, June 11, 2009

And On The Lighter Side of Towing...


Here's a story from MI's Ann Arbor News:

Until recently, Ruben the dachshund was just ... well, Ruben the dachshund.

After a sometimes dangerous 2.5-hour chase involving cops, bikers, pedestrians, a cab driver, security guard, rescue workers and a tow truck driver, his owner has dubbed him "The Rubenator."

It all happened on May 31 when Laura Swope of Ypsilanti took 6-year-old Ruben to Pet Supplies Plus on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor to have his picture taken as a fundraiser for DHK Animal Rescue of Milan.

She was carrying him because he didn't wear a leash since having back surgery last summer.

"I warned them that he wasn't on a leash," recalled Swope. "They said, 'There's four of us. Where's the little guy gonna go?'"

Little did they know.

As soon as Ruben's paws hit the floor, he took off, racing toward the front of the store, where he must have been giddy to find the door wide open.

With Swope and a few others hot on his trail, Ruben dashed under and around cars in the parking lot.

Spectators joined the chase, all calling his name.

But "Ruben! Ruben! Ruben!" was not stopping.

He ran past the Speedway gas station and - to Swope's horror - dashed across busy Plymouth Road.

At Speedway, Swope had to sit down to rest.

"I thought I was going to watch him get hit," she recalled.

Luckily, the Rubenator made it to the sidewalk and continued toward the former Pfizer property. A cab driver who'd watched the drama pulled up beside Swope and said to get in; he'd drive her to Ruben.

But it wasn't that easy, even with the help of a security guard, a pet store worker, pedestrians, other drivers, and the six cars of animal rescue workers who pulled up after a call from DHK Animal Rescue.

Finally, unable to find Ruben in the area, Swope called the Ann Arbor Police Department only to learn that Ruben was trapped under a low-sitting car at North Campus Housing on Cram Circle, and a tow truck was on the way.

After Ruben was freed, a University of Michigan police officer took him to an emergency veterinarian clinic and made a donation to help defray the cost of pain medication Ruben needed.

That was a happy relief to Swope, who spent thousands on Ruben's back surgery. But mostly she was glad to have him back in her arms and grateful to all who helped.

She was also quick to buy a new leash, which she said Ruben will wear. Whether he likes it or not.

Jo Mathis can be reached at jmathis@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6849.

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