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Island dog goes on crime spree, snatches rubber chicken

Dakoda with her prized possession that she may or may not have acquired legally. - Photo courtesy of Juli An Panfilio
Dakoda with her prized possession that she may or may not have acquired legally.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Juli An Panfilio

In a recent e-mail to her neighbors, Bells Beach resident Juli An Panfilio asked, “Does anyone recognize this rubber chicken?”

The e-mail was prompted by her dog Dakoda’s kleptomania.

The 2-year-old black mutt has been happily coming home from her walks on the beach with various objects that have included the tail of a furry stuffed animal, a plastic horse and, now, the famous rubber chicken.

“What’s funny about it is that the chicken squeaks and Dakoda thinks it’s a rabbit or something,” Panfilio said.

Although Panfilio would like to make sure the dog is not taking the objects from her neighbors’ yards, sheds or “God forbid,” their homes, she sees the puppy as one of the recent miracles of her life.

Rescued from an East Coast snowstorm by a long-haul trucker, Panfilio spotted Dakoda at the Bayview Farmer’s Market a year ago and asked if she could pet the pup.

“I asked the family she was with if I could pet her,” Panfilio said.

“And they said to me, ‘Well, you can have her.’”

Panfilio had lost her own old, beloved dog some months before and didn’t think she would be getting a new dog anytime soon. Dakoda seemed to be meant for her, however.

“I thought that I would never love another dog like this. I actually am in the process of forming a group called ‘Magnanimous Gatherings’ that gets people together to celebrate the little miracles that happen to all of us everyday,” she said.

“Having found Dakoda really changed my life.”

Panfilio is forthcoming when it comes to counting her blessings since, she said, her life had gone awry years ago and she never thought she would have the life she has now.

The dog, she said, represents the goodness in her life.

Dakoda is extremely friendly, Panfilio said, and wants to walk with everyone who walks along the beach in front of the house. But, for some reason, she always wants to have something in her mouth.

Since Panfilio discouraged her from hunting and bringing home live animals like rats and bunnies, the dog has found satisfaction in toys.

“She keeps coming home with all these things,” Panfilio said.

“Everyday she reminds me of how magic happens,” she said.

If anyone has lost a rubber chicken recently in the Bells Beach area e-mail Panfilio at JuliAnPan@comcast.net or call 730-6087.

Patricia Duff can be reached at 221-5300 or pduff@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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