Formerly Feral Cat Named 'DOG' (Who Thinks He Is a Dog!) Helps Train Service Dogs in St. Louis
The adorable black-and-white feline is the live-in kitty at Support Dogs, Inc.
This adorable black-and-white kitty is the boss of 23 dogs, just don’t tell him he’s not a dog himself!
DOG (pronounced ‘dee-OH-gee’) can blame fate and a kind animal lover named Nadine Wenig, Director of Canine Services at Support Dogs, Inc., in St. Louis, Missouri, for his new Fido-filled life.
The friendly feline was a stray kitten in his former life, found by Wenig near an old barn living amongst a family of feral cats. Although this tiny baby cat had never been touched, loved or even fed by humans before, he somehow instinctively knew this special lady was a friend. He marched right up to her and began to nuzzle her leg.
After a car ride, numerous health screenings and some tentative meet-n-greets with his new doggie roommates, DOG is now a fearless mascot and frequent drill sergeant “employed” by SDI to help train its canine wards.
“We train dogs to help people who have a variety of needs, and sometimes those people have other pets in the home. DOG is the perfect learning tool – he’s energetic, he’s playful, he’s excellent at testing the dogs’ ability to stay calm and focused in any situation. We didn’t plan it, but he does a very important job,” said Anne Klein, CEO of Support Dogs, Inc.
But to DOG, living at SDI isn’t a job, it’s simply a way of life. After all, he seems to believe he is a dog, too — chewing through leashes and chasing the dogs’ tails — despite some very cat-like behavior.
“DOG likes to drink the water out of the glasses on our desks and ‘redecorate’ our offices by pulling the pushpins out of bulletin boards. There are a few staff members who like to pretend they’re exclusively dog lovers, but everyone secretly adores DOG. He’s spoiled rotten,” said Klein.
Indeed, DOG is living large above the hoi-polloi pups of SDI in a multi-level kitty condo. But his chic abode doesn’t stop him from mixing it up on a daily basis with his doggie pals. Come end of September, DOG is expected to make a celeb appearance at the Support Dogs’ graduation ceremony.
Bill Murray in Ghostbusters said it best, “Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!” But in this case, dogs and cats are also learning together — and it’s massively heartwarming.