DUFFY DOG OF THE WEEK: Otis, bite prevention specialist

Posted: June 18, 2010 in Basset Hounds

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Otis passed away recently.

We don’t do sad stories here and this isn’t one.

Otis was a shelter dog in a Humane Society near Cromwell, Connecticut. That’s right, he was in a shelter like the other zillions of dogs in this country.

He very easily could’ve been put down or lived out his days in the lonely world of a shelter cage.

He didn’t.

Otis went to work.

When Otis was 14 weeks old he met Cheryl Gagnon, an animal control officer. Her son had just been attacked by a dog and severely bitten. Cheryl had grown up with dogs and didn’t want her son to live life terrified of dogs. She wanted to teach her boy and other kids about safety around animals.

Enter Otis.

Cheryl started a program for nursery school kids on how to act around dogs. How to approach, how to pet and how to be safe around a dog, especially one you don’t know.

Cheryl would give a lecture and at the end the kids would come pet Otis. Kids who were terrified of dogs learned to love dogs because of Otis. Otis would let the kids pet him and remain calm as could be around the them, especially the nervous ones.

He became well-known around the schools and became an ambassador for the animal control office.

He turned 15 this year and passed on well past the normal age that bassets live.

Thanks Cheryl. Thanks Otis.

You made the world better which is about all anyone can ever ask.

Job well done, friend.

  1. Gina says:

    What a wonderfully touching story….it sounds like Otis and human companion really made a difference in people’s lives. Sad to see this kind soul pass on but glad to see that he left his mark on the world.

  2. Rest well, Otis. You’ve earned a special place in Heaven. Good job, little man. You too, Cheryl.


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