D.O.G. (pronounced Dee-Oh-Gee) is an aptly named black and white kitty with a very important job to do. He is the office cat and “professional dog distractor” at Support Dogs, Inc. in St. Louis – a non-profit organization that trains and provides service dogs for individuals with disabilities.
He was just a tiny, feral barn kitten when Nadine Wenig, Director of Canine Services at Support Dogs, Inc. first met him.
Despite his feral history and the fact that he had little prior human contact, D.O.G. traipsed right up to Wenig and nuzzled against her leg. If any cat was going to be fearless enough to live amongst an ever-rotating cast of service dogs, it was this one!
While the pup-loving staff were hesitant to accept a feline into their midst, Wenig saw his potential to enhance the dogs’ training.
“A lot of our clients have cats so a big question is, ‘How do they get along with cats?’ when they get their dogs. And now we can say they’ve been introduced to cats and have been around a cat,” Wenig told KSDK-TV.
Now, 33 years after its inception, Support Dogs, Inc. has welcomed its first office kitty/feline “dog trainer” and it’s a job that D.O.G. takes very seriously! He tests the dogs’ tolerance by chasing their tails, stealing their beds, gnawing their leashes, drinking from their water bowls, and even stealing their kibble!
“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,” Anne Klein, President and CEO of Support Dogs, Inc. told People. “There are a few staff members who like to pretend they’re exclusively dog lovers, but everyone secretly adores DOG. He’s spoiled rotten.”
Despite his decidedly cat-like behaviors, his coworkers wonder if D.O.G. isn’t suffering from a bit of an identity crisis – hence his fitting name. If he is a bit confused, we certainly can’t blame him – he does have 23 canine BFFs, after all!