Coast Guard dogs: Thor and Loki
MARQUETTE — Chasing geese off the station grounds, sleeping, running the halls and sitting in on meetings. That may not sound like your typical day at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Marquette, and for most it’s not. Unless of course you have four legs, go by the name of Thor or Loki, and are the Coast Guard pups.
It was a little over a year ago the Marquette crew had been discussing the idea of adopting a dog for the station. It held a vote and off they went to the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter to look for a dog. Thor and Loki are Lab-Vizsla mixes and are about 3 years old.
“Our original idea was that we would adopt just one dog, but once we went to UPAWS and saw that there were brothers,” Operations Petty Officer BM2 Terry C. Bailey of the Marquette Coast Guard said. “There was no other choice than to bring both back home. There was no way that we could let them get separated.”
UPAWS saved Thor and Loki from a shelter in Missouri one day before they were going to be put down. They wanted to give them a second chance at life.
Every day, all of the crew pitches in to provide for the brothers and give them the best life possible. They provide all the food, vet visits, toys and anything else the two may need.
“We are so thankful to UPAWS for saving their (lives), and even more thankful that our crew is able to show them that there is unconditional love to be given to them 24/7,” Bailey said.
The dogs are often seen running the grounds, playing or going for a boat ride. There are often long strenuous days for the crew and the joy of having Thor and Loki around keeps them moving forward. In the evenings, you will find them sleeping or snuggling up with the crew.
“They are not trained for anything in regards to work for the Coast Guard. They are simply morale dogs, where they bring nothing but joy to the crew every single day,” Bailey said.
Even though Thor and Loki are not trained to work for the Coast Guard, they are able to involve the pups in a creative way.
The crew has a Facebook page and uses the hashtag #SafetyTipTuesday with Thor and Loki. They post photos of the pups along with information for the public such as weather, sun protection, proper gear for boating and safety. The Coast Guard’s Facebook page also includes information on what the crew does on a daily basis, such as various training exercises, cases, awards, events and volunteer days.
The crew plans on involving the dogs with any events in the future so the community can meet and engage with them. They will live out their lives as permanent members of the Coast Guard station and overall are happy members of the Marquette community.