Longtime stray warm, safe at last

Wayward beagle now named Joy captured and brought to Humane Society by man who couldn’t bear to see her suffer through another winter

A BEAGLE THAT lived on the streets for at least a year was comforted by Angela Speed, vice president of communications for the Wisconsin Humane Society, last week at the organization’s Saukville shelter after being captured by a man who cared for the stray. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press staff

No one knows where she came from, but she appeared — almost magically, some might say — soon after last Christmas and became a daily presence in the lives of the people who live and work in the Saukville neighborhood bordered by Immaculate Conception Church and Saukville Feed Supplies.

The beagle singled out one man in particular, Dan Bolz, a long-time employee at the shuttered Arkema Coating Resins plant who now works there one day a week as a caretaker. He also stores a vintage car there and often can be found working on it.

“She just made it her home,” said Bolz, who lives in Random Lake.

She greeted him every day at the plant gate, usually about 9 a.m. Even on weekends.

“I would feed it every day. It’s such a cute little dog,” Bolz said. “Sharon (his wife) is a dog lover and made me come in every day, whether I had work to do or not. ‘That dog is counting on you,’ she said. It’s the cutest little dog.”

She would follow Bolz around the plant as he made his rounds or watch him work on his car.

“She sort of warmed up to me,” he said.

But she never let him touch her or get close enough to pick her up. 

The dog, whom he named Little Orphan Annie, had a collar but no tags. Bolz said he thought she was young because in the last year she’s grown so much that the collar appeared tight around her neck.

Bolz and others checked with police, the Wisconsin Humane Society and others to see if anyone had reported a dog missing.

Bolz’s friend Bob Greenthal, who sometimes helps Bolz around the plant, checked with his neighbors and couldn’t find anyone to take the dog.

“It’s the smartest little dog you ever saw,” Greenthal said.

After nearly a year, “I couldn’t bear to see her go through another winter again,” Bolz said.

So he hatched a plan.

Last week, Bolz brought a fishing net to work and when the dog was walking about two feet in front of him, he threw the net over her and caught her.

“She didn’t fight me or try to bite me,” he said.

He took the dog to the Humane Society nearby, hoping they could find it a good home.

Humane Society spokeswoman Angela Speed said the collar showed the dog had an owner at one time, but it had no chip embedded as is common nowadays.

It had no injuries or diseases and was a healthy weight, thanks to Bolz and his neighbors, she said.

The beagle was fearful and skittish, which might indicate she had been abused but also is common among dogs raised in puppy mills or in the wild, Speed said.

“We will work with her to help her be more comfortable and relaxed,” Speed said. “We have people who are pretty good at that.” 

Humane Society staff members named her Joy.

Those who have come to know her over the last year are hoping for a happy Christmas ending.

  “I feel really good for her with the colder weather coming on,” Greenthal said. “A lot of people know about that dog. Hopefully somebody will give it a good home.” 

For more information, contact the Wisconsin Humane Society at 377-7580.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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