They say dogs and cats don't mix, and a golden retriever found out the hard way when his head got stuck in a cat house Friday morning in Medford.
It took three officers armed with crowbar and hammer to rescue the canine in the back yard of a Holland Avenue home, where a woman reported Buddy got stuck in a feline place, just after 11 a.m., Suffolk County police said.
"He was in there, and he was in there good," said Fifth Precinct Officer Stephen Lukas.
His head was jammed in the ground-level opening for cats in a white-trimmed, green house with "Catfish" above it.
At about 4 inches wide and 5 inches high, "the hole was pretty small and he had a pretty big head," said Lukas, who responded with Officer Martin Gill and Sgt. Kit Gabrielsen. "It was amazing he got his head in there."
Lukas said the plywood cat house was well made, about 4 feet high and wide, with a sloping roof and 2-by-4 planks as the interior floor.
But it had to be destroyed. In a noisy rescue replete with canine whines, Lukas and Gill pried apart the walls and hammered apart the tight supports.
Buddy was struggling all the while, Lukas said.
"We kind of felt bad for him," he said. "He was crying a little bit and almost choking to get his head out . . . We told him to 'hang in there.' "
Buddy's owner was "distraught" as her dog became more distraught, Lukas said, and she was led a short distance away.
But 15 minutes after the officers started the pet version of a house gut job, they lifted the front of the house a few inches off the bottom and Buddy knew what to do, Lukas said.
"He bounced out of there and started running around the yard," the officer recounted. "He couldn't be happier."
Buddy was not hurt, Lukas said, and the owner "just kept thanking us."
She told the officers that the cat house was not used.
Lukas, an 11-year veteran of the force, theorized that perhaps Buddy was chasing something into the cat house.
But was the dog perhaps jealous a cat could have such a fancy house? Lukas replied, "I can't say for sure."