Grapevine, Texas city officials have announced that they had called off their hunt for Tee Time, a white Terrier who has lived a quasi-wild existence at the Grapevine Golf Course since 2007.
The dog has befriended many golfers over the years, but a few weeks ago she bit a course patron on the finger — and has since been the subject of an intensive search.
During that time, an animal control officer shot Tee Time at least twice with tranquilizer darts, but she eluded capture before the drug took effect. That technique angered golfers and employees, who felt that the city was slowly killing Tee Time by weakening her and exposing her to harm from wild animals that also inhabit the 27-hole course.
A city ordinance requires that when a dog bite breaks the skin, the dog must be quarantined for 10 days to observe whether the animal has rabies. But City Manager Bruno Rumbelow noted that the 10-day period had expired while Tee Time was on the lam. Also, he said, many golfers and animal control officers who encountered the dog during that time reported that she displayed no symptoms of rabies.
So officials said they would call off the search for good and allow the dog to continue roaming the course.
Rumbelow did not say whether the unidentified golfer who suffered the bite had sought medical treatment. The golfer was bitten after reaching for Tee Time, who had been trapped in a drainage culvert on the course and apparently was simply spooked.
A group of golfers has agreed to catch Tee Time on their own and take her to a veterinarian for vaccinations. She can then be returned to the golf course to roam freely, he said.
Golfers who encounter the dog, often give Tee Time treats during their rounds. The pooch has also a reputation for obeying golf course etiquette, such as not running on the greens or barking during a player’s swing.
The golfers said that last time the dog was seen, she appeared weak and, because she had become afraid of approaching humans on the golf course, was not eating well.
“I doubt she is now strong enough to outrun coyotes, as she has in the past,” said John Dewey, a golf course regular who last saw Tee Time early Saturday morning.??”Everybody loves her so much,” said Kristie Wildoner, who operates a beverage cart on the course. “I hate what’s been going on.”