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Coast Guard makes dog it rescued from uninhabited island an honorary crew member

Jan 08, 2019 02:51PM ● By Editor
Logan with his owners and crew members of the Mackinaw - Photo:  U.S. Coast Guard

By Tanda Gmiter of Mlive.com - January 8, 2019


Here's the happy-ending story about how the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw rescued a dog they'd spotted struggling on the ice near the uninhabited Lime Island in the St. Marys River. 

The dog, a husky mix named Logan, had been missing since Christmas Day from nearby St. Joseph Island, just across the border from Michigan's Upper Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. The dog's owners had been visiting relatives there when it ran away. 

Nine days after he disappeared, the Coast Guard called Logan's owners to say the Mackinaw's crew had found the dog and was bringing him into their home base of Cheboygan, in the northern Lower Peninsula.  When the big ice breaker pulled into port, there was a sweet reunion between Logan and his owners.

Here are some of the details about how the crew found Logan, built enough trust to get him onto the 240-foot ship -- and how they did a few special things to make the pup an honorary crew member.

The U.S. Coast Guard is now sharing these details with readers, and pictures of Logan's time on board the ship. 

Logan had been missing and on the run for nine days by the time the Mackinaw's crew spotted him struggling in the ice near Lime Island.

SPOTTING A STARVING DOG

On Jan. 2, the Mackinaw's crew was preparing to moor at Lime Island, an uninhabited island that draws summertime visitors as a state park. It sits in the St. Marys River on the U.S. side, just west of the Canadian border and just south of St. Joseph Island. 

"Crew members of the USCGC Mackinaw spotted an extremely malnourished dog with a collar running along the ice, following the ship as it approached the pier. The ice was unusually thin for this time of the year, and the crew saw the dog fall through the ice and make it back out of the water twice during the approach, shouting their encouragement," according to a statement released by   LTJG Carolyn Smith, a public affairs officer aboard the Mackinaw.

"The ship's ice rescue team was dressed out and departed to go find and help the dog immediately upon mooring, along with numerous other crew search parties. The dog could not be found that evening. The ship's cooks left two bowls of food, ribs and macaroni, on the pier for the dog the next day before the ship got underway to continue their ice-breaking mission."

A RETURN TRIP, A NEW FRIEND

After another day breaking and flushing ice in the Saint Marys River, the Mackinaw returned to Lime Island.

"As the ship approached the pier again, the crew was relieved to see the dog running by the pier. Although he didn't come out immediately, a couple hours later he came willingly to some crew members and members of the ice rescue team," Smith said.

The crew noticed Logan had a tag with a phone number. A crew member called the dog's owners, Lydia Selin and Kailaan Walker of Canada, who were so happy to hear their dog had been found.

It was then the crew realized how long Logan had been missing, and that he'd come quite a distance -- from northern St. Joseph Island, across an ice bridge, and onto Lime Island. 

ONE OF THE CREW

Suffice it to say Logan got plenty of attention once he was rescued. He was fed, warmed up, and had his injured feet bandaged after the ship's corpsman called an after-hours veterinarian to discuss his care.

Then the crew decided to do a little something special for the pup. They made him an honorary crew member.

"Some coast guardsmen added a ship's coin and a cutterman's insignia to his collar to officially recognize him as part of the crew," Smith said.

"When the cutter pulled into Cheboygan on the evening of Jan. 4, Logan's owners were waiting for him on the pier with anticipation and treats. 

"The captain of Mackinaw, Commander John Stone, presented Logan with the "Order of the Great Turtle" certificate, an honor given to all departing crew members from Mackinaw, and Logan began his journey back home that evening."

To read more of this story and see a photo gallery of Logan's time on the Mackinaw, follow this link to the Mlive.com website.  https://www.mlive.com/expo/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/01/9ac1a835fc4739/coast-guard-makes-dog-it-res...