Plump Field

Half Mag / Half Zine

A Michigan woman accidentally lost her wedding rings on the sandy shores of Lake Superior—but soon celebrated the return of the precious jewels after some stunning police work by the local sheriff’s K-9 dog.

Elsa Green had taken her rings off at Eagle Beach to apply some sunscreen, setting them carefully in her hat. Later, she was suddenly startled by a large bug crawling on the cap and she tossed it into the air—remembering only seconds later that her precious rings were inside.

When a frantic search for the wedding band and matching engagement ring turned up nothing, Green and her friends enlisted the aid of someone using a metal detector who was scanning the sand—but he couldn’t find them, either.

“I felt sick about it,” she told the Washington Post. “I’d been wearing those rings every day for 17 years. But at that moment, I figured they were gone.”

Hoping the police might have another metal detector that would allow them to continue the search, Green’s pal drove to the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office. While the department didn’t have a metal detector, they did have a ‘Dogo’— a specially trained 5-year-old Dutch shepherd with a nose for ferreting out weapons.

Dogo can also find things by honing in on a person’s signature odor.

According to Dogo’s, handler Sgt. Brad Pelli, K-9s trained in “article search” can detect pretty much anything that still has a human scent trail on it. But, looking for a lost wedding ring would be a ‘first’.

Arriving at the beach, Pelli cleared the area of people, so Dogo would have the best shot at locking onto the olfactory clue he was searching for, without distraction.

It didn’t take him long. The intrepid pooch latched onto the scent of Green’s engagement ring, and dutifully sat down on the spot. Pelli sifted some sand through his hand and found its hiding place—and then found the second ring close by.

With the rings back on her finger where they belonged, Green and her 9-year-old son gave Dogo a huge hug and heaped praise on Sgt. Pelli for volunteering his services without any payment.

An ecstatic Green posted on Facebook, celebrating the amazing find: “K9 Dogo, you will forever be my hero!” she enthused. “Dogo put his training and skills to use and sure enough he found my rings! I’ll be bringing you ice cream to say thank you!”

All Dogo requires for a job well done is some praise and a chance to play with his favorite ball—but after the mini-miracle at the beach, a little treat might be a pawsome reward.

Green’s friend Karen Saunders Kezele commented, “Amazing job!! We’re so fortunate to have that team here in the Keweenaw!”