News Tribune Attic Photo Mystery: What’s The Story With This Puppy?

May 14, 1984

This photo of a “free puppy” along West Eighth Street in Duluth, taken in 1984, is a mystery in the News Tribune archives.

Was it a joke? Or was someone really giving away this adorable puppy one day in Duluth in May 1984?

It’s a mystery from deep in the files of the News Tribune. Maybe one of you out there knows the answer.

News Tribune photographer Jack Rendulich, who took the picture on May 14, 1984, wrote at the time that he had no more information than the scene he captured on film: A puppy, tied up in the yard of a home on the 4400 block of West Eighth Street in Duluth, with a sign saying “FREE PUPPY.”

Rendulich wrote on the back of the photo that it was taken too early in the morning to knock on the door, and later attempts to reach the occupants by phone were unsuccessful — as was another stop at the home later in the day. It ran in the News Tribune the following day.

Reached this week, Rendulich recalled that he lived nearby at the time, and was headed into work when he saw the puppy and stopped to take the picture. He didn’t recall ever hearing any more details about the puppy and the circumstances after the photo ran.

Of course, the dog — wherever it ended up — is long-gone now. But maybe someone out there knows the answer to the lingering mystery of this photo. If you do, please post a comment.