Guarding the Great Lakes, tales of Coast Guard Great Lakes dogs, part 3

Ensign Ella takes a moment from her guard duties at Coast Guard Station Oswego to take a photo. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Oswego.

Ensign Ella takes a moment from her duties at Coast Guard Station Oswego to pose for a photo.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Oswego.

The Great Lakes Coast Guard is sharing the stories of several dogs stationed throughout the Great Lakes in our blog series “Guarding the Great Lakes.” We hope you enjoy these stories of dogs who are “Always Ready” to go the distance and assist those in need.

 

Chopper prepares for a mission out on Lake Michigan with the crew from Coast Guard Station Kenosha, Michigan. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Kenosha

Chopper prepares for a mission out on Lake Michigan with the crew from Coast Guard Station Kenosha, Michigan.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Kenosha

“Chopper” Benjamin Cameron

Coast Guard Station Kenosha, Wisconsin

Coast Guard member since May 2004

Chopper, a black Labrador Retriever mixed breed, has lived his whole life at Coast Guard Station Kenosha giving companionship to more than 300 Coast Guardsmen. He was originally named Benjamin Cameron after the first keeper of Life Saving Station Kenosha, but Chopper later became his nickname for unknown reasons.

He has watched from shore as the crew has launched for more than 500 search and rescue cases and witnessed the arrival of two new boats.

Over the years, Chopper has been a big hit with the numerous school children, who tour the unit every year. The kids love to watch him jump in the lake and retrieve a boat fender.

In his younger days, he enjoyed riding on the bow of the 41-foot Utility Boat, so much so, that he is proudly displayed on the unit’s logo doing just that.

Chopper recognizes the sound of “first call” and will muster in front of the flag pole with the colors detail twice a day to observe colors.

He will be retiring this summer and will live with Senior Chief Petty Officer Colleen McCarthy, the stations officer in charge.

“Like so many mascots before him, he has provided unsurpassed morale and companionship to the crews,” said McCarthy.

Marlin demonstrates proper life jacket wear to children visiting Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Truax

Marlin demonstrates proper life jacket wear to children visiting Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Truax

Marlin

Station Cleveland Harbor, Cleveland

Coast Guard member since August 2013Marlin, a yellow Labrador Retriever mixed breed, is a spunky puppy who likes getting underway and lending a helping paw at the station. Besides spending his days guarding the station grounds and giving companionship to crew, Marlin is learning how to better help the crew with daily tasks.

Marlin made his official debut at a bring your kids to work day event held at his station in April 2014. At the event Marlin demonstrated the proper wear of a life jacket and assisted the children with the heaving line throw station.

“Marlin is loving, friendly and a great companion,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Eddy Fischer, Marlin’s owner.

“Though still a puppy, he is working hard to become a great Coast Guard dog.”

Ensign Ella

Ensign Ella stands a proper watch of Coast Guard Station Oswego's grounds from inside the station's watchroom. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Oswego.

Ensign Ella stands watching out for intruders on Coast Guard Station Oswego’s grounds from her favorite watch post.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Oswego.

Coast Guard Station Oswego, New York

Coast Guard member since Dec. 16, 2013

Ella, a yellow Labrador Retriever mixed breed, was rescued by the members of Coast Guard Station Oswego after she was brought to a shelter after being rescued from an abusive owner.

Since coming to the station, Ella has boosted morale. Not only has she made the crews days and nights a little more lively, she makes sure that the crew is always alert. Throughout the day, Ella spends her time wandering the passageways and keeping everyone company. Ella also stands a taut watch to make sure intruders such as ducks and squirrels do not infiltrate the station.

“We gave her a home and a family who appreciate her spunky attitude and love for people,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Brooks, a coxswain at Station Oswego.

At the end of the week all the dogs will be featured on the Great Lakes Facebook page as part of a contest to see which luck dog will be the leader of the pack and become the Great Lakes Top Dog.

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