Weird Tales: An Unexplained Escape

Welcome to Freaky Friday!  I have a special treat for y’all.  You don’t have to listen to me ramble!  Alan Hopewell, longtime reader and commenter at Full-Tilt Backwoods Boogie, is guest posting about those things that can’t quite be explained.

Without further ado, heeeeeeeere’s Alan!

Hello, everyone….it’s a blast to be here.

Freaky Friday entries generally deal with the paranormal, and mine is no exception. However, after much thought, I decided to stray from the usual ghosties, and open the floor with a tale that is, to say the least, odd; after almost twenty years, I still haven’t a clue as to how this happened.

It’s 1994, and I was living in a ground-floor apartment on the east side of Cleveland. Two friends of mine rented the one directly above me, Dave, and his wife, Buddi. Dave and Buddi had a dog, a big mutt known as Doag.

He was a wonderful animal, but he hated to stay in his own yard–we tried ropes, chains, and nothing would keep Doag from roaming the neighborhood.

One morning, as I was going out to shop, I found the answer to our problem–around a hundred feet of quarter-inch phone cable, left behind by some workmen. Fetching a stepladder and a couple of tools, I set to work.

I wrapped one end of the cable three times around a post about eight feet high at the rear of the building.  Next, I tied a triple overhand knot in the cable, then drove a half- dozen ten penny nails through the free end into the post.

Next, I carried everything over to a tree in the yard, about fifty feet away, cut the cable, and repeated the procedure on a branch at about equal height.  I tested it; it was strong.

I sliced off about ten feet of cable and made a loose loop around the line strung between the post and the tree.  Using thin, coated wire, I wrapped a figure-eight lashing between the sides of the loop, so that any pulling or tugging on the cable would cause the wire to tighten on the cable.  I tied three overhand knots in the wire, then cut the loose ends.

The other end I fastened through a ring at one end of a swivel snap I’d been saving, lashing the wire in the same manner. The snap at the other end would clip onto a D-ring on Doag’s collar, allowing him to run free back and forth across the yard, but keeping him in the yard.

Problem solved (so we thought….)

About two weeks later, I’m in my apartment, when I heard Dave’s truck pull into the yard. Rather than head upstairs, I heard him walk to my door and knock.

When I opened the door, he said, “Doag’s gone”.

Sure enough, when I went out there, the cable was still in place, but there was no sign of Doag, or the lead.

Dave piled back into the Ranger to look for him–the idiot never went very far, just generally over to the next block to schmoose with the mutts over there.

As I stood there, looking up at the cable and wondering how that farshimmelt dog got that loop loose, Dave pulled into the lot, with the culprit in the truck bed, grinning in his doggy way.

Dave got out of the cab.

“You gotta see this, ” he said to me, as we walked to the truckbed.. He lifted up the lead….which was still attached to Doag’s collar by the D-ring….which still had the swivel-snap clipped to it….which still had the cable looped through the ring at the end, said cable still held in the loop with the wire wrapped to and fro in it, and at the other end of the lead….


Dave and I went over the whole setup; everything was in one piece, just as it had been when I finished it. The loop at the end of the lead had the same wire, wrapped in the same manner I’d done it originally–it hadn’t been undone.

True story.


This picture shows a younger, thinner Alan Hopewell in 1960.  If you enjoyed reading Alan’s post today, do check out his blog, Pointing the Cannon.  There, Alan muses about his hometown of Lorain, Ohio.   The tagline for his blog is, “The musings of a mind homesick for somewhere that is gone and may have never existed.”

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