Gallery D

Tim and Dutch

Page 3
Page 2

Ghost Boy And His Dog

By James Donahue

This is an eerie rewrite of a wonderful ghost story posted a year or two ago by an unidentified Pennsylvania man who appears to have really encountered a ghostly apparition of a 12-year-old boy and his big Newfoundland dog named "Dutch."

As the story is told, the author grew up with the boy, named Tim, and he remembered a youthful time of hiking with the boy and his large dog along Four Mile Creek through Wintergreen Gorge in northern Erie County.

Tim apparently grew up in a house located on the banks of the creek. He received the dog as a gift when he was just 10. The writer said that "hardly a day passed that you would not find him with walking stick in hand on his way to have a new journey." Tim and Dutch were always together in those days.

Dutch lived a full life of a dog, and died at age 14. By this time, Tim was a young man and living a rough life linked to drugs and crime. In the end, Time was trying to turn his life around. He started going to church, met a girl and was engaged. But then he tragically died when he ran his car into a tree at high speed.

Some 20 years later, in 2006, the writer said he was walking the trails along the creek with his own son. "It was an area where Tim and I would sit for hours and talk about everything from movies to the latest school gossip." Suddenly he saw a young boy and a large dog walking at the far edge of a barren area, and then disappear in some trees.

"With curiosity I quickly made my way to the other side of the clearing so I could watch as the boy and the dog descended the steep trail. But when I got to the other side mere seconds later they were nowhere to be seen."

He said he dismissed the vision at the time, but a few months later, while having coffee with an old high school friend, a girl who also remembered Tim and his dog, and liked to walk those same trails with her husband, she told of also seeing the same apparition. . . not once, but numerous times.

After seeing this same boy and his dog numerous times over several years, the woman said she began thinking something was very odd about the sightings. She said the boy never seemed to age and he was always dressed in the same clothing.

Then in the spring of 1999, while walking alone, she unexpectedly came upon the boy and his dog walking parallel to her, only about 20 feet away. "The boy turned to look her in the eyes before he quickly disappeared in the dense foliage next to the creek. It was Tim."

"We sat there together in quiet contemplation for a while after she shared her story. Had Tim finally found peace in the afterlife by endlessly repeating the only thing that ever give him true happiness?" the author wrote.

"To some such a fate would seek akin to purgatory or even a form of hell. But knowing the tragic life of Tim it seemed a fitting rest if he could wander the Earth for a while with his faithful dog."