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Thursday, December 29, 2005

`Escape artist' dog reunited with owner

Akron man claims pooch that fled shelter after being pulled from lake
By Carol BiliczkyBeacon Journal staff writer

After a series of missteps, Tubbs - aka "Aquaman" - was reunited with his owner on Wednesday.

Clyde Yingling Sr., 57, of Fultz Road in Akron, picked up the 100-pound-plus St. Bernard-mix dog at the Humane Society of Greater Akron. It was the second time in two days that the happy wanderer had been captured and delivered there.

"I'm thrilled to death he found his owner," said Sarah Aitkin, director of animal operations for the shelter in Boston Township. "The dog was climbing on the guy's face and licking his face."

Tubbs' misadventures apparently began on Friday, when he escaped from his fenced Akron home. By Monday, he was floundering in the icy waters of Summit Lake. Eight divers from the Akron Fire Department spent an hour inching a sled some 350 feet across the ice to rescue him.


The shivering dog was taken to the Boston Heights Veterinary Hospital, then on Tuesday to the Humane Society, where - left alone in a lobby just 15 minutes after his arrival - he pushed open the door and escaped.

Four hours later, workers at Northampton Crankshaft Service saw him walking down Northampton Road and notified Cuyahoga Falls authorities.

A Cuyahoga Falls worker picked up the dog, then stopped and left the enclosed pickup truck briefly. When he returned, the worker found the dog outside the pickup truck.

"That dog's a freaking escape artist," said the Falls worker, who asked not to be named. "I don't know how he got out."

He took Tubbs to the Summit County dog pound in Akron to spend the night. By Wednesday morning, a good Samaritan had alerted the Humane Society that the dog was in the pound and a staffer drove out to retrieve him.

Yingling, who'd heard news reports about the hapless 4-year-old, tracked him to the Humane Society. After reimbursing the shelter for two vaccinations and medical care, he took Tubbs home.

That apparently was a good thing. While Yingling couldn't be reached for comment, he had the seizure medicine that the epileptic dog needs and agreed to have him treated for the heartworm that the Humane Society had uncovered.

"Not all stories end this happily," Aitkin said.

Carol Biliczky can be reached at 330-996-3729 or cbiliczky@thebeaconjournal.com


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