Former Stray Dog Becomes an Officer for the Marquette University Police Department

Maddie the Police Dog

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Humane Society

Cinderella had a pumpkin to help her find her fairytale ending. One stray dog in Oklahoma had an amazing multi-shelter transport program to help her go from a stray to an officer of the law attending a gala.

The beautiful tan and white dog was surviving on the streets before she was found and cared for by the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. That shelter, along with several others, participates in a transport program. Allie Christman, the Marketing Manager at the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS), explained that WHS “partners with several other shelters across the Midwest and southern states in a lifesaving transport program that is growing. Sadly, many animal shelters are overcrowded and lack the infrastructure, staffing, and resources to help the volume of animals coming through their doors.…This is where we can help. We’re very lucky to serve a community that so readily adopts, and the majority of animals transported to us find homes within just a day or two.”

It was Allie’s shelter, WHS, that took in that tan and white dog, then known as Maddie. Dezarae Jones-Hartwig, the Youth Programs Manager at WHS shared with us, “the first thing I noticed about [Maddie] was her sweet, soft eyes. Sweet is the word that was constantly used to describe her.” Because Maddie was so sweet and loving, staff thought that she would be a great fit for their People & Animals Learning (PAL) Program. In the nationally-recognized program, students work in pairs with one dog over two weeks. Dogs who participate in the program, spend their nights with a foster family. As the shelter explained on their Facebook post about Maddie, “PAL teaches reward-based dog training techniques, helps prepare shelter dogs for life in a home, and aims to increase the participants’ self-esteem and… skills like empathy and conflict resolution.” Maddie, according to Dezarae, “was so gentle that she quickly became a group favorite.”

Photo Credit: Marquette University Police Department

Photo Credit: Marquette University Police Department

Dezarae remembers “how much both kids adored her and how she provided them with such unconditional love in return.” In the program Maddie “learned and truly excelled at all the basics: sit, down, come, etc,” according to Dezarae. Nora Hart, a Program Specialist at WHS, got to spend a lot of time with Maddie, too. She described Maddie as “the perfect ‘office foster.’ She spent her afternoons with us in our office after the PAL Program and before her foster mom picked her up. We felt like we hit the jackpot as she was such a good girl, so loving and easy.”

Maddie’s overnight foster mom, Carolina Seidl, worked for the Marquette University Police Department (MUPD), and she was falling in love with Maddie. As soon as Maddie graduated from the PAL Program, the Seidl family adopted her and gave the sweet dog her forever name, Nattie. While talking with coworkers about the new addition to her family, Carolina realized that Nattie might be exactly what her department needed.

On August 18, the same day that her mom became an officer for the MUPD, Nattie was sworn into the department in a videotaped ceremony. She earned her official police vest and badge that day. Nattie isn’t patrolling the streets of Wisconsin looking for crimes. Instead, as MUPD’s “community outreach dog” Maddie is sniffing out opportunities to help students and the community have positive experiences with MUPD, as well as to comfort crime victims as needed. As part of her community outreach duties, Nattie has an adorable Instagram account with an impressive following! Dezarae shared that during PAL “Nattie learned and truly excelled at all the basics: sit, down, come, etc. All of these will help her in her new role. Not to mention the fact that she got to meet and interact with a bunch of different people and kids during PAL, giving her some great socialization skills.”

Funny enough, Nattie isn’t the first dog to graduate from PAL and find a job. Allie shared the story of Delta who came to WHS in 2012 “from an overcrowded shelter in Tennessee when she was only nine months old.” Like Nattie, Delta also went through PAL. Immediately after Delta graduated from PAL, a woman named Carol who had seen that Delta would soon be graduating from PAL “was first in line to adopt her. She knew Delta would be a perfect companion and potential service dog for her son, Nate, and it was a truly wonderful match,” Allie told us.

“All PAL dogs get adopted into loving homes and go on to be wonderful family companions – but Nattie’s story is extra special,” said Laura Nowlin, the Corporate Giving Officer for WHS. She continued, “To know that Nattie is not only in a wonderful forever home, but that she’s also out there serving our community and bringing joy to others daily is such a special thing!”

Allie agreed about Nattie being special. “Nattie is a true ambassador for shelter dogs everywhere and she’s a walking reminder of how many incredible companions are waiting at your local shelter,” she said. “I immediately followed her on Instagram (@mupdnattie) and I still get that burst of pride each time I see a new photo of her surrounded by smiling students. She brings so much joy and unity everywhere she goes and she’ll never know just how incredibly valuable that is to our community,” Allie added.

Allie also shared that Nattie will be attending WHS’s Paws & Claws Gala on October 21 and shared that the staff “can’t wait to catch up with her and hear all about life as a gainfully employed pup!” From stray to gainfully-employed and attending a fancy gala, it sounds like a happily-ever-after ending. We’re thrilled that Nattie is proving how capable and amazing shelter pets can be. It’s obvious from everything that the staff at WHS shared that this special dog is going to be a fantastic community outreach dog.

Halo Pets

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Current Facebook Group is shutting down

Due to my more liberal moderating of my Facebook group, I have had a severe infestation of trolls, coming from a group appropriately called “The Dog Snob Rejects.”

Because I cannot ferret out who is doing screen shots to that harpie-filled den of soulless fockin’ eejits, and drama queens I am deleting the current Facebook page for this blog on Saturday, and I will revive it with a more selective group.

I’m sorry for any convenience this might cause.

Also, Facebook needs a better system to report harassment and bullying.

Natural History

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Thanks for the kind comments. A sobering reality c…

Thanks for the kind comments. A sobering reality check though: With the exception of these pups, we're not able to help much with this case. With nearly zero rescue resources available to semi-feral adult dogs,100 or more will be facing euthanasia in order for this high volume breeding operation to cease. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear when I wrote this. Trying to offer a realistic account without inciting panic can be a tricky balance.

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You stepped up and are doing your best. Com…

You stepped up and are doing your best. Commendable by any measure.

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The Best (and Last) Dog Bowl You’ll Ever Buy

I had a “light bulb” moment recently about the cleanest, most comfortable and healthy way to feed my dogs – one of those “Ah duh!” moments where you hit your forehead with the bottom of your palm and say, “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!”

Like me, you may be one of those dog owners whose house (and basement) are full of many different styles and types of dog beds your dog doesn’t really like – and just as many types of rejected dog bowls, too. It’s my belief that many dogs would lodge a complaint about their feeding bowl if you put up a Suggestion Box.

Do You have a Pug or Bulldog?
If you have one of the bracephalic breeds – a Boxer, English Bulldog, Pug or Puggle, French Bulldog or an Affenpinscher – those short-snorted dogs have additional challenges in trying to get their flat little faces into deep bowls with high sides. And my dog bowl solution suits them best of all!

The Long List of Discarded Bowls
Do you have bowls which are gathering dust under a cabinet because your dog wasn’t all that comfortable using it – or you weren’t?

The too-light aluminum bowls that skitter around (and the dog’s collar tags jangle against it bothering you and him) (plus it turns out a lot of stainless bowls were made unsafely in China and have some sort of toxicity)?

Or the heavy ceramic bowls you need two hands to lift once filled, plus they are shaped like a casserole baking dish, with an inner shape that bears no resemblance to how a dog’s snout and mouth function, so she has to travel all around the bowl to get at the food stuck in the crevice…or just give up?

Or a plastic bowl that has gotten scratched over time and now you cannot reliably get it really clean because bacteria lingers in the scratched surface?

Or one of the many variations on raised feeders in decorative platforms – only to discover that raised feeders can actually be dangerous to proper digestion because it interferes with the way a dog naturally eats, putting her head down to the ground, the way a horse and many other animals naturally eat.

So What’s The Magic Solution?
You may laugh when I tell you what I figured out – because it seems too easy and obvious. Buy an ordinary glass pie pan! It can be Pyrex or another brand; it can have a plain edge or a fluted one. Every supermarket or kitchen store sells them and it will cost under $ 10. Get a size that is appropriate to the size of your dog – anything from small (intended for making individual quiches or tarts) to the large circumference for big pooches like my Weimaraners. And glass pie pans are indestructible: I have a soapstone sink and even if the dish slips it doesn’t break. You can see perfectly when they are clean – and every so often they pop right into the dish washer where their agreeable shape fits nicely. Your dog will find the pie pan’s flat surface lovely for comfortably slurping up food, and if your dog is a wolf-it-down type, the spread out surface actually can slow them down.

Best Dog Bowl

My Dogs’ Dinner
Maisie and Wanda each get a smorgasbord for their meals. The basis of their diet starts with a scoop (or 1 1/12) of their Halo kibble (they appreciate the earth and animal friendly new recipes!) and then there is a scoop of low fat cottage cheese (or sometimes it is scrambled eggs instead) and a spoonful either of home-cooked ground turkey or chicken, string beans and oats (as you see here) or for their second meal of the day I use a big spoon of canned Halo food – the salmon (wild caught), chicken (cage free) or (hormone-free) beef.

Get yourself a glass pie plate and it will be the last “dog bowl” you ever need to buy!

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Carrion bird

turkey vulture in november

We have begun our descent into the grayness of November. The deer are entering their time of being libidinous and dumb, and arrow have already taken a few of the bucks.

But soon the guns will crack, and gut piles will be scattered throughout the land.

And the turkey vultures will glide through the sky, casting their nostrils into the air current for the scent of blood and bile and stinking rumen.

The will drop from the sky and eat their late autumn repast, and then fly up into bare trees to digest their grisly fare.

Odd among the avian kingdom, the turkey vulture has fine sense of smell, and the black vultures and the ravens are keyed into their wanderings.

Turkey vultures will soon be heading south.  But maybe not. If the snows don’t fall, they’ll hang around to cast around on the air currents, fighting with the winter ravens as winter’s famine takes its toll upon the land.

I came across this big carrion bird on Saturday as I traipsed around in the first gloomy weekend of November. It had three companions that soon took to the wing at my approach.

But this vulture stayed put for a while longer, staring down at me with imperious disdain.

The great feast for the vultures is nigh.  The gray skeleton trees and the rutting bucks mark its coming.

This one seems to know what it is coming along with the sinking sun.

Natural History

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Golden Retriever Saves His Lost Canine Sister

Dog Golden Retriever Saves Lost Canine Sister

Photo Credit: News on 6

Knox, a Golden Retriever in Grand Lake, Oklahoma, deserves a hero’s cape and reward after finding his canine sister who had been lost, alone and hungry, for days. According to News On 6, although rewards, boats, and drones were unsuccessful and finding Tara Vreeland’s missing dog, Knox came to the rescue.

Tara has three dogs, Knox and two German Shepherds – Scarlett and Ruger. These days the three dogs hang around their neighborhood enjoying the usual doggie delights of fetch and walks, alongside rides in golf carts. In the past, when Tara was an anchor and reporter for Channel 6, Knox used to go to work with her. She said that back then Knox “used to run the roost there, used to run around on the floor.”

On a walk in early September, Scarlett “just darted through the trees,” according to Tara, “she was gone.” Tara searched for hours, but had no luck finding her beloved dog. Tara then offered a reward, went on a boat on the lake to scan the cliffs for her dog, and asked a friend to use a drone to search for Scarlett. Nothing worked. After four days of searching, Tara began “really just trying to think outside the box,” as she told News On 6.

She walked Knox to a spot near the bluffs. She noted that Knox has not been trained as a search and rescue dog, but she wanted to see what he might find. Suddenly, Knox “put his nose to the ground like Scooby Doo, and just starts sniffing around, sniffing around, sniffing around,” Tara said. She added, that she “was scared for the worst.” Then, she heard a dog’s whimper and a collar’s clink, and felt like her “heart stopped.”

Scarlett had been found, trapped on a small ledge, 20 feet down from the top of the bluffs. Despite days without food or water, Scarlett was somehow okay. A neighbor climbed the 20 feet down and brought Scarlett back to Tara and hero dog Knox.

Tara tried to describe how she felt about her superhero, “I can’t put into words how incredible I think he is. He’s pretty cute, he’s really funny, he’s feisty, he can be a little bit of a brat, but he’s also a hero.”

Reporter and friend of Tara, Tess Maune, said, “I believe any pet owner knows that undeniable bond that you have with your dog, your cat, your rabbit, whatever it might be. When you have a pet there is a deep connection.” We here at Halo understand that connection and are so glad that Tara’s connection with Knox helped her find Scarlett. As Tara told Tess, “It’s a happy ending when everyone was scared there wouldn’t be.”

Halo Pets

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Nothing to see here…just three gorgeous Giant Schnauzers, brought to you from the Facebook page of Schnauzer Lovers. Happy Sunday! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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I would also suggest getting the services of an an…

I would also suggest getting the services of an animal communicator to help with behavior and issues with trust.

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Friday Funny: Cats vs. Dogs

Now that’s funny. Enjoy your weekend! I hope it’s sunnier where you are than it is in Northeastern Ohio. Until next time, Good day, and good dog Dog Blog

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