MILWAUKEE — A Coast Guard station crew in Milwaukee is in the process of making a rescued stray dog their official mascot. Barnacle, a 2-year-old Terrier mix has proven to be a big part of the station family, and the service men and women want to see him officially recognized.
Since his arrival, the dog has fit right in with the crew. He loves the people he is with, enjoys lots of attention, and always manages to find someone to play a game of fetch with. Barnacle’s favorite activity, though, is getting out onto the water with his crew on patrol.
Last summer, Officer Anthony Kaminski’s wife came across the stray dog in a South Florida parking lot. When Kaminski was relocated to Wisconsin, he took the dog with him.
Barnacle adapted to his new surroundings right from the start, and is loved by everyone on the crew. They decided they would hold a vote, and make it official that he was a member of the crew.
“I had to talk to the crew about it because ultimately the crew had to take care of him and the crew is responsible,” said Chief Eric Hopperdietzel.
Having Barnacle as part of the crew has been a huge boost to the station, raising morale for the brave men and women stationed with him. Before the U.S. government can officially recognize Barnacle as a full Coast Guard member, there is just a small amount of paperwork that needs to go through. Until then, the pup is already considered family by the people who get to work with him everyday.
“From the first day he arrived at the station he was just right at home and just loved everybody,” said Hopperdietzel.