A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died” (10/20)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/20)
“Work for a cause, not for applause” (10/20)
Gaphattan (Gap + Manhattan) (10/20)
“Welcome to New York. Duck, Mother Fucker!” (10/20)
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Entry from June 19, 2014
“The land is so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days” (joke)

A popular joke is that parts of Texas are so flat and treeless that “you can watch your dog run away for three days.” (The time varies; sometimes it’s two days or even two weeks.) The joke appears to have origins in Canada’s Saskatchewan province.

“Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada where you can sit in your living room, goes another local joke, and watch your dog run away for 2 1/2 hours” was cited in print in 1991. “It is so flat here that you can watch your dog run away for two days” was cited in print in 1993 and also referred to Canada.


24 June 1991, The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH), “Saskatchewan only has 2 seasons, winter and road construction” by Pat Leimbach, pg. C-5, col. 3:
What impresses me about this region of Canada besides the flatness of the land—Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada where you can sit in your living room, goes another local joke, and watch your dog run away for 2 1/2 hours—it’s the prevalence of the first and second generation Canadians and the mix of nationality groups they represent.

Google Books
November 1993, Skiing magazine, ‘Vision at Yellowknife” by Michael Finkel, pg. 46, col. 1:
One native described his homeland to me this way: “It is so flat here that you can watch your dog run away for two days.” He was incorrect only in that dogs do not run away in Yellowknife: There is nowhere to run to.

6 December 1995, The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA), pg. 1C, col. 3:
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It’s the only town where you can watch your dog run away for three days.” - Toronto Maple Leaf Coach Pat Burns about the flat terrain of Winnipeg

Google Books
Canadian Food Words:
The Juicy Lore & Tasty Origins of Foods that Founded a Nation

By Bill Casselman
Toronto, ON: McArthur
1998
Pg. 209:
Bald-headed prairie, the softly rolling plains with no trees, gave rise to this provincial folk saying: Parts of Saskatchewan are so flat you can watch your dog run away from home for a week.

Google News Archive
7 November 2005, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “So you want to go see Canada, eh?” by Jan Glidewell, Citrus Times, pg. 1, col. 1:
Someone once told me that Winnipeg is Canadian prairie country, is the only place in the world where you can watch your dog run away — for three days.

Google Groups: Steve Fox Adventures
#4 Where You Can Watch your Dog Run Away for 3 days…
steveswor...@hotmail.com
7/8/06
The Never-ending Canadian Prairies

Urban Dictionary
saskatchewan
the only place where you can lose your dog, and watch it run away for 4 days.
saskatchewan is flat, like edmontons chance at winning the stanley cup.
by Cflames June 21, 2007

Google Books
The Mystery of the Moonlight Murder:
An Early Adventure of John Diefenbaker

By Roderick Benns
Whitby, ON: Fireside Publishing House
2009
Pg. 136:
There is an old prairie joke that says the land is so flat you can watch your dog run away from home for three days.

Twitter
Sidney Burgess
‏@Sidneyy20
Down in south Arkansas it’s so flat you can watch your dog run away for two weeks.
9:23 PM - 22 May 2014

Twitter
Garrett O’Donnell
‏@gdiesel_193
Out West its so flat you could watch your dog run away for 3 days
8:18 PM - 13 Jun 2014

Houston (TX) Chronicle
Opinion > Editorials
No eyesores, please
Texas has made progress minimizing the visual blight of billboards. Let’s not retreat.

June 19, 2014 | Updated: June 19, 2014 7:18pm
(...)
But picture Interstate 10 as you drive through the featureless plains of West Texas. There’s an old saying: “The land is so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days.” How far away will residents and tourists be able to see a billboard that is the equivalent of a six-story building on those plains?

Twitter
Rich DeVita
‏@RichDeVita
Waco Tx today. So flat you could watch your dog run away for two days.
Texas, USA
10:23 AM - 19 Jun 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Thursday, June 19, 2014 • Permalink