Ruth Linneman (from the left), legal assistant, lawyers Mark Sostarich and Tim Mistrioty, and Becky Melson, legal assistant, stand on the front lawn of the Historic Church Street Law Offices in Elkhorn. Late this summer, a dog-shaped topiary named “Shrub,” which appeared to be doing its business, was taken from the property. Sostarich said “Shrub” was a conversation piece and he hopes the missing “dog” finds its way back. (Heather Ruenz photo)

‘Shrub’ a conversation piece for staff, neighbors

By Heather Ruenz

SLN staff

In a less-than-usual case of theft, a local law office is searching for a dog-shaped topiary aptly named “Shrub,” which was taken roughly 10 days after it was placed on the front lawn late this summer.

Samantha Sostarich, a legal assistant for her dad, Mark Sostarich at the Historic Church Street Law Offices building in Elkhorn, said staff posted signs around town following the mysterious disappearance. The flier (below) is titled, “Lost Dog, Shrub Come Home” and describes it as being a bush breed that’s green in color.

This flier was created by Samantha Sostarich, a legal assistant for her dad, Mark Sostarich, at the Historic Church Street Law Offices in Elkhorn, regarding the dog-shaped topiary named “Shrub” that was taken from the property.

“We added a member to the Law Office family, a dog shaped topiary named ‘Shrub.’ He proudly stood next to our business sign in the front yard before he was kidnapped,” she explained.

The incident was reported to local police and “we hoped he would eventually find his way back to our yard, but no luck. The whole situation has brought giggles to our friends and neighbors and we thought that our search may make an amusing local news article,” she added.

Mark E. Sostarich said while they have other items on the front lawn, “Shrub” was a different kind of animal.

“He looked like he was doing his business, with one leg up in the air. Our clients loved it and it was a great conversation piece among staff and clients as well people walking past,” he said.

Getting a hold of such a piece of lawn art was a challenge, he said.

“We saw it in a catalog only to find out it had been featured by producers of The Today Show so it was on back order. Eventually we received it but unfortunately, didn’t have it too long,” he said.

Mark said he realizes it’s likely not a top priority for the police but is hopeful someone will see this story and return “Shrub” to his home.

He said whoever took the “dog” didn’t touch anything else on the front lawn and this is the first incident of something being taken.

Sostarich said because of the location of the law offices, they make it a goal to be part of the neighborhood, which is largely residential.

“We enjoy decorating and do so for all the seasons. During Halloween it’s always a haunted house theme and for Christmas we always put lights up. It’s important to us,” he said.

Sostarich said he hopes to pull into the parking lot at the office and see “Shrub” on the lawn, doing his business.

“We were disappointed more than anything and we don’t want to get anyone in trouble,” he said. “More than anything, I really miss the kids talking about it because they got a real kick out of it.

“We’d love to get ‘Shrub’ back. That’s all there is to it.”

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of “Shrub” is asked to stop by the law offices at 6 S. Church St., Elkhorn, or call 262-723-5041.


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