Who let the dogs in?

Julia Scott, Co-Editor

The morning of April 18 seemed, at first, like any other to Lucien Montagne (‘19). He got ready for school and left his house to pick up his neighbor, who he drives to school.

This is when the morning verged from its expected path.

“As soon as I exited my house and went to open the gate I have on my porch, I noticed this dog running about one hundred yards away from my house to behind a building. When I went inside to tell my mother that I had seen someone’s dog near our house, then had gone back out the door, the dog was nowhere to be seen,” Montagne said.

This dog was a large, fluffy, white dog, a local celebrity, perhaps even an urban legend: The Ghost Dog of Saint Albans.

The Ghost Dog has been roaming the city and town of Saint Albans since at least January, 2018. It has even attracted police attention.

Last November, the Mercury looked into the Ghost Dog and the effect it has had on the community. While the dog was less frequently seen during the winter months, the return of spring has brought the return of the Ghost Dog.

Montagne lives near the intersection of Kellogg Road and Lower Newton Road, the latter a frequent locale of Ghost Dog sightings. While Kellogg is further east than the Ghost Dog is usually, seen, it isn’t the most distant sighting reported.

Montagne continued to look for the dog he had seen pass by, intrigued. After looking around and finding nothing, he returned.

“I found the dog about three minutes later inside the back part of my yard, which is fenced in. I can only guess that the dog must have jumped the fence,” Montagne said.

This was not his first time encountering the Ghost Dog.

“There was one time I was on my way home from picking up my sister from one of her hockey practices; it was about September if I do recall because the air was still warm but it definitely was cooling. It was about 8 or 9 p.m. when I was turning off of Federal Street onto Lower Newton Road when I saw this white dog in a spotlight in front of some old learning center. When I parked my car to see if this dog belonged to anyone, it ran, before I could even get a good 15 feet from it,” Montagne said.

Historically, the Ghost Dog has avoided human contact. When spotted or pursued, it typically runs off. The morning of April 18 marks one of the closest reported encounters between the Ghost Dog and the people of Saint Albans. Montagne was even able to touch the Ghost Dog — meaning it is definitively not truly ghostly in nature.

“I have two dogs, both are labs; the Ghost Dog was very friendly to them. It just ran around mostly with the younger of the two dogs. Although the dog wasn’t aggressive to me it didn’t seem like it was in any mood to receive attention. I touched the dog once when my own dog approached me, it merely brushed my leg, and I was able to place my hand upon its back for maybe a second,” Montagne said.

Montagne also came particularly close to capturing the Ghost Dog.

“I leave a sliding glass door open when I let my dogs out so they can return inside with ease, so when my dog came inside the ghost dog followed it. This legendary creature was inside my house! After that, my mother and I trapped it on my porch as a means to enclose the animal in a smaller space for better control of the situation,” Montagne said.

Soon thereafter, though, the Ghost Dog escaped the porch and disappeared once more. However, Montagne did learn a vital piece of information in unraveling the Ghost Dog mystery.

“One interesting detail I noticed was the dog had a collar mark suggesting that one point in its life it belonged to someone,” Montagne said.

This is undoubtedly not the last we will see of the mysterious Ghost Dog of Saint Albans.