Sue and Tom Runyan with their dog Rufus stand by the family’s decorative dinosaur, a velociraptor, also called a deinonychus by experts, that they’ve had in front of their Dungeness’ home for more than seven years. See story, A-4. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sue and Tom Runyan with their dog Rufus stand by the family’s decorative dinosaur, a velociraptor, also called a deinonychus by experts, that they’ve had in front of their Dungeness’ home for more than seven years. See story, A-4. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Dungeness couple keeps dinosaur by front steps

One Dungeness couple has bucked lawn fixtures like gnomes and flamingos for a prehistoric pal.

For more than seven years, Tom and Sue Runyan have hosted a velociraptor (also referred to by experts as a deinonychus for this look) by their front porch.

“We thought it’d be cool,” Tom said. “We don’t like trolls anyway.”

The couple said they’ve always wanted to have a dinosaur of their own but they wanted one that looked more realistic than others available online.

“There are all kinds of dinosaurs available but they tend to look silly and hokey or too expensive (like a scale version of a tyrannosaurus rex costing upwards of tens-of-thousands of dollars),” Tom said.

The Runyans found their dinosaur online through an importer in Texas who shipped it in from China to Texas and then to their home at Dungeness Heights.

“We tell visitors that they run wild in Texas and we got it stuffed,” Tom said.

One surprise, the Runyans said, is that it was sold to them anatomically correct too.

Visitors still stop by years later slowing to a crawl in their cars to catch a second glimpse or come up to the door and ask to take a photo, the couple said.

Tom engineered a weather vane for the dinosaur to rotate on too but if any locals are considering a dinosaur as a scarecrow they may need to think again. The couple said it doesn’t do a great job chasing away birds.

This velociraptor, or deinonychus, stands on a weather vane that its owner Tom Runyan crafted for it to rotate on in front of their home in Dungeness Heights, north of Sequim. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

This velociraptor, or deinonychus, stands on a weather vane that its owner Tom Runyan crafted for it to rotate on in front of their home in Dungeness Heights, north of Sequim. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

This velociraptor, or deinonychus, stands on a weather vane that its owner Tom Runyan crafted for it to rotate on in front of their home in Dungeness Heights, north of Sequim. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

This velociraptor, or deinonychus, stands on a weather vane that its owner Tom Runyan crafted for it to rotate on in front of their home in Dungeness Heights, north of Sequim. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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