Enjoying the entertainment, the neighbor hoped that Phil would never realize that he could simply let go.
Marmaduke appears to be imitating a rabbit, leaping down the sidewalk with his hind legs coming down ahead of and on the outside of his front legs. Such a gait appears to have increased his deformity, for his chest is at a much lower level than his stomach, yet the top of his head is at a higher elevation than his back.
Nonetheless the dog seems to have been able to achieve great speed, and as is often the case, Phil is being dragged behind, obstinately refusing to release the leash. Phil is whining to his neighbor that his shoes have melted, oblivious to the fact that someone has buried the neighbor up to his waist in the barren yard.