Some days K9 Dogo sniffs out drugs, and some days he sniffs out a sentimental wedding ring swallowed up by a sandy beach. Just another day for this K9 and his partner.
K9 Dogo is partnered with Seargent Brad Pelli of Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan. Dogo is a five-year-old Dutch Shepherd trained to find hidden drugs and weapons and detect human scents on objects.
Elsa Green was ready to spend a relaxing day on the beach with her son and two friends.
“We got to the beach and found some space to put our stuff,” said Green. “I always take my wedding rings off to apply sunscreen, so I put them in my baseball cap that was sitting next to me.”
Once Green was finished with the sunscreen, she went to grab her rings from the hat, but she wasn’t able to.
“There was a big, ugly, nasty beetle crawling on it,” Green said. “It freaked me out, so I threw my hat, and there went my rings.”
Symbols of her 17-year marriage to her husband were lost somewhere in the hot sand.
“My friends and I started looking for them, kind of gently touching the sand, but they were nowhere,” added Green. “Literally, I was just trying to focus on breathing, so I didn’t have a panic attack.”
Elsa says one of her girlfriends saw a man on the beach with a metal detector, so she approached him, explained what had happened, and asked for his help.
“He kindly came over and tried to use the metal detector in the area where the rings likely were, but he didn’t have any success,” said Green.
That’s when Elsa’s other friend, Colleen, offered to go to the local sheriff’s department that was nearby to see if they could help.
When Colleen got to the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Department, she was greeted by Sgt. Brad Pelli. She shared with him what had happened, but he said there wasn’t much his department could do.
After Colleen left, Sgt. Pell decided to grab his partner and try to help.
Pell’s partner is a crime-sniffing K-9 named Dogo, who was willing to lend a snout.
Sgt. Pelli and Dogo made their way to the beach and contacted Green and her group.
“The officer asked us to pick up our stuff and go back and wait on the pavement because if we’re too close, the dog will smell us and not the rings,” stated Green.
Sgt. Pelli gave Dogo a search command, and he immediately went to work, pushing his nose just above the sand’s surface. Dogo sniffed around a 30-square foot area where Green’s hat landed.
“He hit a spot and just laid down,” said Green.
“When Dogo lays down, that’s a signal to me that he’s located the item that we’re looking for,” said Sgt. Pelli. “I walked right up to where his nose was between his paws, brushed aside some of the sand, and saw something glimmering.” Sgt. Pelli scooped up the ring and rewarded Dogo with his favorite ball.
Green says she was beyond excited to have one of the rings back, but her wedding band was still out there.
This time, Pelli didn’t need any help from his partner to find the platinum band. “I carefully sifted my fingers through the same area and found it right away,” he said. “Both rings had been maybe an inch beneath the sand.”
Crisis averted, thanks to K9 Dogo and Sgt. Pelli.
“My son and I both gave the dog a huge hug,” she said. Green also posted a “thank you” to the duo on her Facebook page. “K9 Dogo, you will forever be my hero!” she wrote.