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Monke: Noodle vs. The Bunny

Sometimes, I wonder if my dog doesn’t have an inner monologue that only other animals can hear. Like a cartoon character.

If you read my column, you probably know I love our dog, Noodle, a 2½-year-old Schnoodle who has become more like a kid than a pet. But maybe what I love about him the most is that he just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Case in point is this summer’s saga of Noodle vs. The Bunny.

Our neighborhood always seems to have a rabbit hopping around. A year ago, it was a big, mature rabbit that must have been a few years old. This year, it’s a small, young, brown bunny. And he (or she) is kind of a punk.

More times than I can count this summer, I’ve let Noodle outside on his leash, only to see The Bunny sitting in our courtyard — far enough away so that Noodle has no way of getting to him. Meanwhile, Noodle runs back and forth, staring at The Bunny and intermittently whining and howling (he’s half-poodle, so it’s really more of a high-pitched, ear-piercing cry).

When Noodle comes back inside, he goes to the front window just in time to see The Bunny run back to the bush in front of our house, where he apparently lives. Cue more crying and howling.

Sometimes I wonder if The Bunny isn’t outside of our window every night, teasing and taunting Noodle.

“Hey dog! I’m right outside. Why don’t you come and chase me? Oh, that’s right, you can’t because you’re locked in the house! Hahahaha!”

Cue Noodle howling and barking like a maniac and sprinting to the front door. (This usually happens around 4 a.m.)

Typically, when he does this at night, he is warning us that we need to let him out quick before he does his business inside. That hasn’t been the case since The Bunny came along.

We hook Noodle to his outdoor leash, let him out the door — which he exits as fast as his legs can carry him — and his nose immediately hits the ground, searching for The Bunny. He always winds up in the bush.

“I’m gonna get you, bunny! Where are you?”

Even during Friday night’s rain, when Noodle told us he had to go outside, instead of doing what needed to be done, he decided to — in the downpour — check out The Bunny’s lair, just out of Noodle’s reach.

“I don’t care how wet I get, you stupid bunny! I’m not going anywhere until you come out.”

I’ve debated calling animal control to come over, trap The Bunny and take it to a more open space so this saga can end. But there’s no guarantee The Bunny will be any safer out on the prairie than in our yard.

So, until winter or until The Bunny finds a better lair, we may just have to watch the ongoing saga of Noodle and The Bunny.

Monke is the managing editor of The Dickinson Press. Email him at, call him at 701-456-1205, tweet him at monkebusiness and read his past features and columns at

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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