SOLOMON A couple whose dog turned up 800 miles away in Auburn, Ala., won't have to take the more than 20-hour drive to retrieve their wandering beagle.
An Auburn couple who already planned to travel to Kansas to visit relatives in El Dorado called Tim and Jennifer Cross after reading about their dog Norman in a local newspaper and offered to bring the dog back. The Crosses are scheduled to pick up their dog this evening in El Dorado.
"It's crazy," Tim Cross said Monday. "I don't know what in the world he did. If he could only talk."
Cross last saw Norman on March 28, when he took the 8-year-old beagle and the couple's other dog, Shadow, on a walk, off-leash, along a tree line about a quarter-mile from their home, which is near Interstate 70. Norman showed up Friday outside an Auburn University computer repair shop.
"Sometimes he likes to go hunting, and he puts his nose down and takes off," Cross said. "He doesn't always watch where he's going. Usually he'd go out hunting and 10, 15 minutes later, here he'd come. He usually found his way home."
When Norman didn't show up after the March 28 walk, Cross said he checked the dog's usual haunts around this small town about 90 miles west of Topeka.
The couple's best guess as to how Norman found his way to Alabama was perhaps in the company of a truck driver or an Auburn University student returning east from a spring break skiing trip to the Rocky Mountains.
"I really can't see a short, round dog (walking) between 20 and 23 miles a day," Cross said. "He was two pounds heavier than he was when he left. If he did (walk), he ate awfully well when it was night time and he stopped to sleep."
Cross said he and his wife will take care to make sure Norman stays closer to home for a while.