Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Rolly: Popular KSL sportscaster lived five days in hell

By PAUL ROLLY

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Sep 08 2013 05:50 pm • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:33 pm

Former KSL sportscaster and BYU game announcer Paul James lost his wife of 60 years, Annette, two and a half years ago. Five weeks later, he bought a 5-week-old black toy poodle that has been his constant companion since and has slept cuddled against James’ back every night.

Until about two weeks ago.

At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The dog, Nikko, thinks James is his mother. If James gets up in the middle of the night, Nikko gets up, too. Nikko hasn’t left the back yard except when accompanied by a 10-year-old boy whom James pays $5 to walk the dog twice a week.

As the lad was walking Nikko recently, the chain around his neck broke and the dog raced into the maze and warren of streets and patches of scrub that make up the Olympus Cove area where James lives.

The first day he disappeared, a Thursday, James searched for four hours with no sighting of Nikko. He finally stopped looking at 10 p.m. That was the first since he was weeks old that Nikko did not sleep in James’ bed.

James resumed his search all day Friday and Saturday, with no results, after driving the 50 or so streets that make up the Cove area.

On Saturday, James, who took up painting after he retired, made a large cardboard sign with his watercolors and placed it at the bottom of Oakview Drive, a main entrance into the Cove.

On Sunday morning, he made another large sign for the top of the Cove at the intersection that leads to Neff’s Canyon.

He searched all day Sunday and Monday and finally realized the poodle that had become such a valued companion was not coming home.

James became depressed at the thought he would not see his little companion again. Then, at 7:30 p.m. on Labor Day, he got a call. The man on the line asked if he was Paul James. He then said: "I’ve found your dog."


story continues below
story continues below

The man and his wife were from California and were in Salt Lake City visiting his in-laws. On their last night in Utah, they decided to take a drive through Olympus Cove.

Going up Oakview, they saw the signs to Neff’s Canyon, so they decided to take a look. Then they saw James’ sign offering a $100 reward for the retrieval of Nikko.

Five minutes later, on their way back down Oakview, a black poodle full of burrs in his fur ran across the road.

The man said to his wife: "I’ll bet that’s the dog on the sign." He stopped the car and chased the dog and, with the help of other motorists and neighbors, finally pinned him down.

The reunion of the two companions took place shortly thereafter.

James found it impossible to get the more than 100 burrs out of Nikko’s fur. The poodle’s face was so covered he could barely see. James finally took him to Pet Smart where they shaved off all the fur to rid the rescued dog of that final misery.

But, James said, Nikko seems thrilled to be back home, snuggling with his companion in that comfortable bed.

And he seems a bit paranoid to go outside for a walk.

prolly@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.